The year 1999 marked the 80th anniversary of the organization of the OHSU
Library by its first librarian, Bertha
The OHSU Library originated as a donation to the University of Oregon
Medical Dept. in 1893 of the personal book collections of two deceased
Portland physicians: Rodney Glisan and R. B. Wilson. From 1893 to 1919
it was known as the R. B. Wilson Library and was located in the U. of O.
Medical Dept. building at N.W. 23rd and Lovejoy, across the street from
Good Samaritan Hospital. A photo from the Library's historical photo
collection shows the Library as it looked around 1912, located in the
rear of the Physiology Dept.
original books are located now
in the History of Medicine Room, integrated with the other historical books.
The Dental branch
library, renamed the Van Hassel Library in 1999, began also in 1893,
or shortly thereafter, in
the Tacoma College of Dental Surgery in Tacoma, Washington. It was moved
to Portland in 1899 with the relocation of that College.
By 1919 the R. B. Wilson Library had grown to about 4000 volumes.
the first librarian in January 1919.
Hallam moved the Library in summer 1919 from the N.W. 23rd and Lovejoy
location to the second floor of the nearly completed Medical Science
Building on Marquam Hill. This building is now the east wing of Mackenzie
Hall. In 1922, a larger wing was added to the building, oriented
west-east, and the entire structure was renamed Mackenzie Hall. Hallam
moved the Library that year up to the third floor of the new addition
into a room on the north side. Here it remained through the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1937, Dr. John Weeks, a new member of the Library committee,
a monetary gift for building a
separate library building on campus.
Funded by Dr. Weeks' gift and funds from the Rockefeller Foundation and
the U.S. Public Works Administration, the new Library building was
completed in 1939. Hallam moved the Library from Mackenzie into the new
building in October that year. It was dedicated on June 7, 1940. The
1939 building is now called the Auditorium
building and is used to house
part of the Library collection and for School of Medicine activities.
In 1956 a new Dental School building was constructed on Marquam Hill, and
the Dental library moved to its current location on the sixth floor of
the building. The Dental library was renovated in fall 1998.
became the second librarian when
Hallam retired in 1965. During Hughes' ten years as librarian, there was
a large expansion of the office and book stack space in the building. New
technology such as remote database searching and electronic interlibrary
loan communication was introduced. Library departments were formed as
new staff were added. In 1974, a year before Hughes retired, the
University of Oregon Health Sciences Center was formed by the
consolidation of the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, and School
of Nursing. The Dental
library became a branch of the UOHSC Library.
The CDRC branch
library began to form probably around 1957 and eventually
was given a room of its own specifically designated as the library in
1971 with the completion of a new clinical building immediately east of
the older Crippled Children's Division building. It is still in this
room on CDRC's third floor. It became an OHSU
Library branch in 1990.
James Morgan (librarian,
became the third librarian in 1976.
The Historical Book Room was renovated in 1977 which gave it the
appearance it has today. The room had earlier been furnished and
dedicated as the Historical Book Room in 1964. It was renamed the
History of Medicine Room in
The Oregon Health Information Network (OHIN) was begun by the Library in
1979 to develop hospital libraries and library services in Oregon.
In 1981, a new History of Dentistry Room was completed in the Dental
library to house an historical
that is the only collection of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
In the late 1970s, the Library entered an era of accelerated automation
and computerization, culminating in 1989 in the conversion to an
integrated library system which integrated many library functions
efficiently in one computer system. The Library also initiated
electronic services to the campus in 1988, such as an early version of
email and end-user searching of a locally- customized version of Medline.
The Library moved into the newly completed Biomedical Information
Communication Center building in September 1991. The building
was dedicated on November 8, 1991. The BICC is the realization of a
decade of planning for an IAIMS system at OHSU, an integrated academic
information management system. It was funded by a federal appropriation
arranged by U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield. The BICC consolidates and
improves diverse functions of library operations, computer training and
support, photography, video and distance learning, medical informatics
and outcomes research and education, and advanced computer, network, and
telecommunications technology for OHSU and the people it serves.
The Library became a member of PORTALS in 1992, a consortium of local
libraries, mostly academic, formed for the purpose of increasing access
to library catalogs and licensed databases while containing costs.
During the 1990s the Library has been involved from an early stage in the
development of the university-wide web page system initiated in 1996, the
consumer health resource center begun in 1996 (called
Health Information Library and previously located in the OHSU Hospital, ninth
oral history and archives project begun in 1997, the
Center for Women's
Health library begun in 1998, the distance learning Virtual Learning
Center begun in 1998, and the new Doernbecher Hospital
library in 1998.
Fall 1999 the Library began hosting the
library catalog of the
College of Naturopathic Medicine on the same server as the
catalog. Immediately ahead is the merging of the Oregon Regional
Research Center library into OHSU Library operations as a branch library.
More historical facts about the Library can be
found in the
of the History of the Library.
July 24, 2009
OHSU Library Web
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to the Library through the
customer support form.