Medical Books at Yale from 1701 to 1933

Founding of the Yale Medical Library, 1934-41

The Yale Medical Library, 1941-1990

The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library and the Growth of Electronic Resources, 1990-2001

Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

Historical Library

Bibliography of
Secondary Sources
on the History of
Yale Medical School

 

THE MEDICAL LIBRARY AT YALE, 1701-2001

The Medical Library at Yale, 1701-2001, was on display in the rotunda of the Medical Library from mid-December 2001 through January 2002. It was prepared by Toby Appel, Historical Librarian, as the last in a series of Yale Tercentennial exhibits. Ned Pocengal prepared the Web adaptation.

 

Medical Books at Yale from 1701 to 1933

MEDICAL BOOKS AT YALE IN THE 18TH CENTURY

Yale began acquiring medical books soon after its founding, since medical knowledge was considered to be part of the equipment of every educated man. In 1723 Daniel Turner, a British practitioner without an M.D., received Yale's first medical degree, an honorary M.D., for donating copies of his books to the Library. This reprint of the Catalog of 1742 of the Yale College Library shows the variety of medical and surgical works Yale held at this early date. The books listed here are now in the Beinecke Library.

A Catalogue of the Library of Yale College. Facsimile, n.d., of New London, 1743.

 

FIRST MEDICAL LIBRARY, 1814

By 1814, The Medical Institution of Yale College, chartered in 1810, and opened in 1813, had begun a Library, the earliest evidence for which is an expenditure recorded by Jonathan Knight, Professor of Anatomy, "to a lock for Library 1.67." Shown here is one of the many books in the Library of the Medical Institution of Yale College, a donation of Nathan Smith, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic and Surgery, and now, after a roundabout journey, in the collection of the Historical Library. One can see the original Medical Institution of Yale College plate, the plate used by the Yale University Library to denote its medical collection, and the transfer to the Yale Medical Library.

Joseph Townsend, A guide to health : being cautions and directions in the treatment of diseases, designed chiefly for the use of students.London : Printed for Cox ... and sold by Robinsons ... Dilly ... Murray ... and Owen ..., 2 vols., 1795-1796.

 

LIBRARY IN THE MEDICAL SCHOOL ON GROVE ST.

The catalog of the early Medical School said little about the Medical Library: "Students have access, not only to the Medical Library, but also to the various Libraries of the Academical Institution, containing in all nearly 30,000 volumes. It is desirable, however, that every student should provide himself with at least one work on each of the departments of instruction."

Annual Circular of the Medical Institution of Yale College for the Lecture Term of 1841-2. New Haven: Stanley & Chapin, Printers, 1841.

 

TRANSFER OF THE MEDICAL LIBRARY TO YALE COLLEGE, 1865

In 1865, five years after the Medical Institution of Yale College moved from its original location at Grove and Prospect to 150 York Street, the entire Medical Library, numbering 1204 volumes was transferred to the Yale College Library. A manuscript catalog was made of the collection at the time of the transfer. In 1960, Frederick Kilgour, Director of the Medical Library, annotated and published this catalog as The Library of the Medical Institution of Yale College and its Catalogue of 1865. The arrow points to Townsend's Guide to health shown above.

Frederick G. Kilgour, The library of the Medical Institution of Yale College and its catalogue of 1865. [New Haven] Printed for the Yale Medical Library at the C.P. Rollins Printing-Office of the Yale University Press, 1960.

 

A NEW MEDICAL COLLECTION, 1917

In 1917, a faculty-sponsored Medical Library was begun in the newly-built Brady Laboratory on Cedar Street. It was especially intended for third and fourth year students working in the New Haven Hospital and Dispensary. The main collection of medical books and journals was located in the main Yale Library, first in Linsly-Chittenden and after 1931 in Sterling Memorial Library.

In 1923, the Sterling Hall of Medicine was built on Cedar Street. It did not acquire its current facade until the Institute of Human Relations wing was added in 1931. In December 1923, the Brady Laboratory Library, consisting of 9,212 volumes, was moved into the second floor of Sterling Hall of Medicine and was called the Library of the School of Medicine. Miss Marjorie Wildes, Librarian, is seated at the desk in this photograph.

 

LOCATION OF THE LIBRARY READING ROOM IN STERLING HALL OF MEDICINE

This plan shows the arrangement of rooms on the second floor of the Sterling Hall of Medicine in the 1920s. The arrow points to the library. Through the 1920s and 1930s, medical students and faculty had to go to Sterling Memorial Library for access to Yale's main collection of medical resources.

 

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