Mirko Dražen Grmek (Krapina 1924 - Paris 2000)


Prof. Dr. Mirko Dražen Grmek, eminent science historian and associate member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, studied medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb. He was founder and head of the first Academy's research unit dedicated to the history of medicine (1952-1960) and from 1960 to 1963 he was chief of the Academy's Institute for the History of Natural, Mathematical and Medical Sciences. At the same time he was professor of history of medicine at the University of Zagreb. In 1963 he moved to Paris, where since 1971 he was professor at the Sorbonne in Paris and associate professor of many European and American universities (Berkeley, Cambridge-Massachusetts, Geneva, Lausanne, Rome), and finally Director of Studies at the École Practique des Hautes Études, Sorbonne, Paris.

In studying the history of biological and medical sciences Grmek occupied himself with the medical bibliography, lexicography and epistemology. He is author of the Croatian Medical Bibliography (bibliography of books from 1470 to 1875 and together with V. Dugački books and articles from 1876 to 1940). Very important was his editorial contribution to Encyclopedia of Medicine of the Lexicographical Institute in Zagreb and the Encyclopédie internationale des sciences et des techniques (Paris, 1969-1973). In history of Croatian medicine he elaborated scientific contributions of many doctors and numerous historical topics of the Croatian public health.

He is author of more than 30 books, among which are the most important: Les maladies à l'aube de la civilisation occidentale, Western medical thought from antiquity to the Middle Ages, History of AIDS, La première révolution biologique, which were translated and published in other languages.

He was associate member of many academies and universities and was honoured with a number of awards for his work, among others in 1991 he received the Sarton's medal, the highest international award in the field of history of science. In the early 1990s he advocated Croatia's right to independence through several appearances on French television, and was the first president of Almae Mater Croaticae Alumni in Paris. With Louise Lambrichs he wrote the monograph Les révolté de Villefranche-de-Rouergue and with Marc Gjidara and Neven Šimac Le Nettoyage ethnique : documents historiques sur une idéologie serbe.





M. D. Grmek, associate member of the Academy, donated in 1999 a part of his library and archives to the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It consists of books, periodicals, off-prints and manuscripts, mainly dedicated to the Croatian and Slavic history of biological sciences. This precious collection includes also donator's works published in Croatia and elsewhere on various themes and a small collection of old and rare medical and biological books.

The Collection, which according to his wish was stored as a separate unit under the quoted name, contains also documents which are connected with the donator's work in Croatia and for Croatia from 1983 to his death.

The Collection contains:

  1. Works by M. D. Grmek published in Croatia and in the world
  2. Other books, off-prints and serials
  3. Old and rare books and precious manuscripts stored in the safe.

The catalogue of Grmek's Collection includes to this day primarily books written or edited by M. D. Grmek.