Bibliography of Pre-1915 American Publications in Microbiology 


The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) presents here a Bibliography of early American microbiology publications (1721 to 1915). Our purpose is to enlist the aid of others in improving and expanding this bibliography, as well as to provide a convenient listing of the holdings of these publications at the Center.



In 1944, Leland McClung published “Early American Publications Relating to Bacteriology” (Bacteriological Reviews 8:2, 119-16). Based on an examination of the catalogues of sixteen libraries, the review offered more than 450 bibliographic records arranged alphabetically by author, cross-references for multi-authored works, and a chronological listing by author only. The current bibliography of over 600 items is based on McClung’s review, which has been edited, rearranged and expanded. Much of the expansion was the result of a systematic search of WorldCat for items from 1880-1915 with “bacteriology” as the Library of Congress subject term. We are certain that this bibliography is not complete, and would like to solicit assistance in finding relevant additions to it.


Inclusion Criteria:

The criteria for inclusion in this listing are that the primary subject matter relates to microbiology, including all subdivisions such as bacteriology, parasitology, mycology, epidemiology and infectious diseases; that it be published before 1916; and that at least one of the following conditions is met:       


  • authored by an American (or a person residing in America)* 
  • translated by an American
  • published in America 
  • published as a special American edition


* The initial focus of this bibliography is on publications relating to microbiology in the United States, from the colonial period to 1916. However, it does include some references from Mexico and Puerto Rico that were in the original McClung bibliography.


In some situations, a particular edition of a work is missing from this list. If there was not a catalog entry for it in one of the libraries used by McClung, and it has not yet been located in a specific collection, this will result in a situation where the list will include, for example, the first, second, or fourth edition only. It should also be noted that a monograph relating to pathology, public health or hygiene is included only if it contains a chapter or a section directly concerned with microbiology or microbiological techniques.  The full bibliographic entries are arranged chronologically, then by author, in two sections:


  • PART ONE:  Publications Prior to the Establishment of Bacteriology as a Specialty - 1721 to 1879. Includes material relating to specific microbial disease or related subjects such as vaccination, hygiene, epidemiology and public health.


  • PART TWO:  Critical Years in the Formation of the Science of Bacteriology, 1880 to 1915. Covers the period when Bacteriology first becomes recognized as a separate discipline of science and medicine as well as the early publications in specialty areas of microbiology including fields such as mycology and parasitology.


The bibliographic records have generally been pared down to include first author, title, edition, place, publisher and year. For items owned by CHOMA, Library of Congress Catalog Numbers are included in red.


There are two indexes, each covering both parts of the bibliography: a listing of primary authors, arranged by year; and a full alphabetical list of authors, editors and translators, with years of publication.   The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives would like to solicit assistance from interested persons who would like to propose additions to this bibliography. In addition, we would also gratefully accept the donation of any listed items which we do not already own.



Jeff Karr, Archivist,

Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives


Phone:  410-455-3601


This revised and expanded edition of the bibliography was prepared in 2010-12 by Jeff Karr, ASM Archivist, and James A. Poupard, Committee Chair, the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD  21250, with editorial review comments by CHOMA committee member, Karen Beth G. Scholthof.


Link to PDF of Bibliography 



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