Specialized Collections at WDL

Rare Book Collection

The Wilson Dental Library Rare Book Collection houses significant publications in the health sciences focusing on the dental sciences. 

Email wdl@usc.edu to schedule an appointment to view items in the rare book collection. Advance appointments help ensure that a librarian will be available and that requested materials can be pulled for your convenience.

For information about other special collections at the USC Libraries: 


Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Archives

In addition to historic items the collection also contains archival copies of materials published by the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC or by individual faculty members.

The Wilson Dental Library also attempts to maintain and collect archival materials related to the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, its history, as well as documentation about important faculty and alumni. To access materials or inquire about Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry history, please send a detailed message to wdl@usc.edu

Human Skulls

The Wilson Dental Library has a collection of 10 authentic human skulls for classroom use and for student use within the library.  

  • Students may check out skulls, but they are LIBRARY USE ONLY. 

  • Faculty may check out skulls with prior approval. Please reserve skulls by e-mailing wdl@usc.edu prior to the date needed. The skulls are not available for permanent departmental check out.

The skulls purchased by WDL are real human skulls and not replicas. In an effort to maintain the condition of this collection, we ask that you not utilize pens, pencils or other items that may leave a mark. Please make every effort to ensure safe handling of these items by students should you use them for classroom purposes. While we understand that these items will suffer from normal wear and tear, if significant damage of the skull occurs while you are supervising use, please be aware that the Wilson Dental Library reserves the right to charge your department for replacement costs. 

Significant damage is defined as:

Any damage that renders the skull unusable for classroom purposes: severely cracked, shattered, missing pieces or markings covering the entirety of the skull.  

Dr. Sonia Kaur Everest Children’s Book Collection

In 2017, the Wilson Dental Library acquired several oral health related children’s books for use by the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.  For more information about the collection and Dr. Sonia Kaur Everest, please visit the research guide.

Clifton O. Dummett Papers

This collection contains the papers of Dr. Clifton O. Dummett (1919-2011), an African-American pioneer in the field of dentistry and a professor at the University of Southern California. Read more about the Clifton O. Dummett collection here. Contact wdl@usc.edu for more information.