Historical Research on Infectious Diseases

Research Sources for Infectious Diseases (Still Under Development)

Primary Sources in Diaries, Film, Literature:

Experiencing Epidemics (European University Institute)

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel DeFoe

U.S. Library of Medicine: The Public Health Film Goes to War: The Films (World War II)


Science Museum (United Kingdom): Epidemics (including bubonic plague (Black Death), smallpox, and polio)

Subject Guides:

The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: A Digital Encyclopedia (University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine)

Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics (Harvard University)

A Timeline for the Eradication of Smallpox

Tropical Diseases in Primary Sources Guide (created by Boston College) (including cholera, beriberi, dengue fever, malaria, plague (Black Death), sleeping sickness, smallpox)

Secondary Resources

Honigsbaum, Mark. The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris. First edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2019. Print. (ZSR Library Atrium RA650.5 .H665 2019)

Kenny, Charles. The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease. New York: Scribner, 2021. (on order)

Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth. Infectious Diseases in Context. (Available as an e-book; needs WFU ID) Detroit, Mich.: Gale, 2009. 

Magner, Lois. A History of Infectious Diseases and the Microbial World. (Available as an e-book; needs WFU ID) Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2009.