This paper describes a procedure, based on Tikhonov regularization, for obtaining the shear rate function or equivalently the viscosity function of blood from Couette viscometry data. For data sets that include points where the sample in the annulus is partially sheared the yield stress of blood will also be obtained. For data sets that do not contain partially sheared points, provided the shear stress is sufficiently low, a different method of estimating the yield stress is proposed. Both the shear rate function and yield stress obtained in this investigation are independent of any rheological model of blood. This procedure is applied to a large set of Couette viscometer data taken from the literature. Results in the form of shear rate and viscosity functions and yield stress are presented for a wide range of hematocrits and are compared against those reported by the originators of the data and against independently measured shear properties of blood.