Medical Library and Homeopathic Medical Library

Although the Medical School held its first session in 1879, there was no space officially set aside for a collection of medical books until 1882 in the Hall of Liberal Arts (Schaeffer).  The first acquisition of medical and homeopathic books is mentioned in the June 1879 annual report of the Librarian, where 250 volumes had been purchased.  The first librarian was a medical student who kept the library open for two to four hours daily.  By 1893 the medical and dental libraries had been put under general management of the Librarian; and the homeopathic medical library was moved to the main collection in North Hall.  By 1916 the homeopathic medical library had been moved again to a faculty office, where it was reported by the Librarian that the office was never locked and no one seemed to be responsible for any type of daily operation.

In 1901 the entire medical collection of fifteen hundred volumes was lost in a fire which destroyed the Medical Building and Old South Hall.  During the next 24 years the medical collection was housed in the General Library, first in the Hall of Liberal Arts and then in the Hall of Natural Science (Macbride Hall).  During this time collections were accumulated in a number of medical departments.  Since most of the books were purchased with library funds but were under the control of departmental staff, access to these books was difficult for those outside the department.  These separate holdings were finally integrated in 1925, and in 1927 the Medical Library was moved to the new Medical Laboratories Building, where it was to remain until the Health Sciences Library was occupied in 1974.

Dental Library

The annual report of 1887 accounts for 21 books in the dental library.  In 1896, no new books have been received and the library was generally thought of as containing little of use to students.  By 1893 the library occupied a corner of one of the operating rooms in the Dental Department.  In 1901 a fire destroyed Old South Hall which contained the medical library as well as the small dental collection.  By 1914, the dental collection had been moved to the general library where room had been created by the engineering books being moved to the Applied Science Building.  In 1917 the Dental Building (now Trowbridge Hall) was constructed and two years later the Dental Library was installed there.  1943/44 was the first full year that the library was under the direct control of the University libraries administration.  The dental library was integrated into the Health Sciences Library in 1974.In 1966, Robert C. Hardin, dean of the College of Medicine, brought the critical library needs to the attention of the Board of Regents who gave tentative approval for a new health science library building.  Construction began in June 1971 and was completed in May 1974.  In 1989 the library was renamed the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, in honor of Dr. Hardin.

The Speech Pathology Library, composed of books and journals withdrawn from the Education-Psychology Library, opened in 1967 when the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology moved from East Hall to the new Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center.  This collection was also integrated into the new Health Sciences building.

Hardin Library for the Health Sciences – a Photographic History (created  in 2004 for Hardin Library’s 30th Anniversary)


Med Library Reading Room

Medical Library Reading Room (1943)

Med Library

Medical Library Stereoscope Table (1943)

Med Library

Medical Library stacks, c. 1960s


Medical Library stacks, c. 1960s

Hardin Library

Health Sciences Library soon after completion