About the Winkler Center

Preserving & promoting the rich history of the health professions in Cincinnati

In early 2009, University of Cincinnati (UC) President Emeritus Henry R. Winkler received an extraordinary honor from the University’s Board of Trustees, as the Board approved the naming of the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions. As the University’s President from 1977 to 1984, Dr. Winkler led UC though its historic transition from municipal to state university. An historian by training and a medical historian by avocation, Dr. Winkler served as chairman of the Center for the History of the Health Professions for 20 years. In countless ways, his visionary leadership fostered and advanced the mission of the repository that would later bear his name.

From its early beginnings in 1974 as the Cincinnati Medical Heritage Center, the Winkler Center has been a premier  health history repository not only nationally, but also around the world. Though primarily relegated to the history of the health sciences and professions in the Cincinnati region, the Winkler Center has archival collections like the Albert B. Sabin Papers which have global significance. Its 35,000 book library contains classic and rare works on the Health sciences, some dating from the early 1500s. It is an archive, library, and exhibit facility that encourages visitors and researchers to explore and discover the people, topics, and ideas that have contributed to important advances in medicine, nursing, and pharmaceutical and other health sciences.

The Winkler Center began with the aggregation of the library collections of Dr. Daniel Drake (founder of the UC College of Medicine in 1819), and of other UC faculty, area physicians, and medical researchers--people who had a vision of the importance of preserving medical history. These works form the core of the Winkler Center library. Over the years, the collection has grown considerably to encompass books, journals, archives, photographs, medical artifacts, and an oral history series devoted to the history of the health professions.

The Hauck Center for the Albert B. Sabin Archives, founded with a generous grant from the John Hauck Foundation in 1995, is one of the Winkler Center’s most significant collections, contributing to many publications, documentaries, and other writings about Dr. Sabin and the history of polio.