About the Bioethics Research Library

Our mission at the Bioethics Research Library is to provide exceptional services, curate unique knowledge collections, support collaborative research projects, and host an engaging space for active scholarship at Georgetown University.

The Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University began as a few shelves of books collected by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics scholars. As the interdisciplinary field of bioethics grew, so did the library. It is the home of the world’s largest and most extensive collection of materials on ethics, medicine, and biomedical research. Located in historic Healy Hall, the Library is popularly used for quiet study, to screen movies for the undergraduate bioethics society, host evening events, and a destination for visiting researchers to access our unique collections and archives. The Library now includes:

  • more than 100,000 books, journals, archival materials, and digital objects;
  • works spanning classical thought to contemporary and emerging issues;
  • rare and unpublished works to ephemeral, hard-to-find gray literature; and
  • a diverse range of opinions expressed on bioethical issues covering the full range of religious, political and cultural perspectives developed globally.

The Library and Institute are dedicated to making resources available to a global community of researchers and practitioners. The KIE’s visiting researcher program draws scholars from around the world to avail themselves of the tremendous research resources available here uniquely; our annual intensive summer course, now in its fortieth year, has drawn practitioners from every continent not covered by ice, and always features individual consultations with library specialists; the KIE’s Introduction to Bioethics MOOC, which launched in 2014 to a global audience of thousands, featured a student experience deepened and enriched by digital resource support by the Library.

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We are featured in The Hoya’s 2014 New Student Guide, Hidden Gems: Study Spots

“If [you] want that quiet study-inducing atmosphere, look no further than the Bioethics Library. This small library, located on the first floor of Healy, houses books and journals related to bioethics … in [a] beautiful room.”

The BRL is located in the same space as the previous Hirst Library and Reading Room. The stained glass windows have “HL” in the shield emblem. Learn more about the history of the library spaces on Georgetown University’s campus.

About the Kennedy Institute of Ethics

Founded in 1971 at Georgetown University, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics is a bioethics institute whose faculty includes founders of the field as well as next-generation leaders with expertise on issues such as health care reform, death and dying, clinical research ethics, abortion and environmental ethics. The KIE also includes a top-ranked graduate program, the world’s most comprehensive bioethics library, a highly praised intensive summer course for practitioners and professionals, a new bioethics minor and the first Massive Open Online Course in bioethics. Together, the Institute is a renowned resource for the University, the policy world and the global bioethics community — and a proud leader of innovation and creativity in the field.

The Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University is a destination library for bioethics scholars worldwide and an exceptional resource for the entire Georgetown community.

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Our mission at the Bioethics Research Library is to provide exceptional services, curate unique knowledge collections, support collaborative research projects, and host an engaging space for active scholarship at Georgetown University.

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