The Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences began on the campus of the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 1975. The museum works to preserve and interpret the history of health science in Alabama and throughout the United States, with an emphasis on education and new methods as they relate to the practice of medicine. Visitors to the museum and researchers alike can view many historic medical books and manuscripts, some of which date back to the 14th century. The museum also offers exhibits that interpret historic instruments and other artifacts related to health science.
The museum's collection was formed by the donation of historic artifacts collected by Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, a native of Ozark, Alabama, who collected hundreds of items related to the development of medicine. Reynolds donated his collection to the University in 1958. From that original donation, the university's library created a growing collection of manuscripts and artifacts known as the Reynolds Library. Following a substantial gift from Randall and Sara Finley, the library is now known as the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library. These materials form the foundation of the Alabama Museum of Health Sciences.