Databases that Penn makes available such as MEDLINE, BIOSIS Previews, ISI Citation Indexes, AgeLine, PsychINFO, CancerLit, and the Evidence-based Medicine Reviews Multifile greatly enhance the Dental community's ability to access current biomedical information.
Several early Deans and faculty members of the Dental School founded the Dental Library through the donation of their historic personal collections. Dean Charles J. Essig, Dr. Edwin T. Darby, and Dean Edward C. Kirk contributed invaluable collections of books from the 18th and 19th centuries. By 1902 a Special Library Fund had already been created, and the purchasing and donation of dental books and journals has continued throughout this century.
The historical collection covers the history of dental medicine in the United States and Western Europe. It includes most of the rare early books on dentistry; a collection of S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company catalogs; and publications by and about Thomas W. Evans, an early Penn Dental School benefactor. Some of the rarest dental books and manuscripts are now housed in the Special Collections Department of the University's Van Pelt Library.