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Erik Waller collection

Call Number: MS 1341

Scope and Contents

The Erik Waller Collection documents the bibliophilic enthusiasms that Waller shared with Harvey Cushing and John Fulton. The collection includes Erik Waller's original letters to Cushing and Fulton and carbon copies of their replies (folders 5-8) These letters document their mutual interest in collecting and the exchange of gifts of significant medical historical books. They also record Cushing's and Fulton's efforts to help Waller recover the 1628 copy of William Harvey's De motu cordis, which had been stolen from him. In addition, the collection contains descriptions of Waller's library, the Bibliotheca Walleriana, and correspondence about the development of its catalogue. There are also a few photographs, mainly of Waller, his family, and associates.


  • 1927-1955


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Yale University Historical Medical Library, 1980.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of correspondence and printed matter which document Erik Waller's bibliophilia. The collection, which was assembled in the Yale Medical Historical Library, includes Waller's correspondence with Harvey Cushing and John Fulton.

Biographical / Historical

Erik Axel Waller was born on November 29, 1875 at Unum, Sweden. He received his medical degree in 1900 from the University of Uppsala where he later taught anatomy and physiology. He also studied with John Berg at the Karolinska Institut, Stockholm.

From 1909 to his retirement in 1933, Waller was physician and surgeon-in-chief at Lidkoping. He was the Librarian of the Swedish Medical Library Association in Stockholm from 1940 until his return to Lidkoping in 1951.

Waller began collecting medical books in 1910 and by 1950 had amassed an outstanding collection of more than 23,000 volumes, which included not only early surgical texts, but herbals, many incunabula, and literary writings by and about physicians. John Fulton called Waller "the collector of the greatest personal library on the History of Medicine in existence." Waller gave his collection to the University of Uppsala which published a complete catalogue of his library, Bibliotheca Walleriana. He died in Lidkoping on January 30, 1955.

Guide to the Erik Waller Collection
Under Revision
compiled by Bella Z. Berson
January 1997
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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