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Claude Moore Health Sciences Library records

Identifier: RG-17-4

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of permanent and historically significant institutional records created by the University of Virginia Health Sciences Library and the antecedent Medical Library. These records include, but are not limited to: annual reports, planning documents, newsletters, blogs, social media content, conference programs, department histories, committee records, and library-sponsored lecture materials.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1942 - 2019
  • Creation: 1848 - 2019

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The records of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library are open to researchers, except where it is noted. Decisions to close records to research are made in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VAFOIA), the policies of the University of Virginia, and other relevent laws, regulations, or policies.

Conditions Governing Use

The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia own the copyright to records created by University employees while acting within the scope of their employment, except scholarly and academic works. Copyright ownership for other materials in this collection varies.

Biographical / Historical

Between 1826 and 1929, the University of Virginia's collection of medical books and journals were kept with the general library collections in the Rotunda. In 1929, the University moved the collections to the new Medical Library inside the recently-constructed Medical School Building.

Between 1929 and 1962, a medical librarian with a small staff of student and clerical workers stewarded the library's collections. The Medical Library at this time, although physically separate from the rest of the University's libraries, was administered as part of the central University library system with oversight from School of Medicine faculty serving on the Medical Library Committee. In addition to the management of collections, the medical librarians in this era began to curate exhibits and provide instruction. Only a few of the medical librarians who served in this period had professional library training.

In 1962, Wilhelm Moll was appointed the first Director of the Medical Library. During his tenure, Moll oversaw the radical trasnformation of a small branch library into an independent research library. The full-time library staff expanded from 4 to 30, the University built a new library building over Jefferson Park Avenue, the nursing and medical libraries merged to form the Health Sciences Library, a history of medicine program was founded, and the library began to adopt digital technologies.

After Moll's death in 1979, the University apppointed Terry Thorkildsen as the Director of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. Thorkildsen and his successors Linda Watson (1990-2005) and Gretchen Arnold (2005-present) led the library during an era when revolutionary advances in digital technologies (e.g. the Internet, personal computers, databases) presented new challenges and opportunities for the Library.

  • September 1826: The University of Virginia Library opens in the Rotunda and it includes a collection of medical books.
  • 1911: The University Library's entire collection of medical books and journals are gathered together and moved to the basement of the Rotunda.
  • September 13, 1915: Richard Henry Whitehead, Dean of the School of Medicine, creates the Medical Library Committee.
  • 1919-June 1929: Ella Watson Johnson serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • June 1929: The Medical Library moves from the basement of the Rotunda to its own space in the new Medical School Building, the Medical Library remains a department of the central University Library System.
  • June 1929-September 1929: Margaret Otto serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • 1929-1931: Anne Ashhurst Gwathmey serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • 1931-1934: Caroline Hill Davis serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • March 1934-June 1934: Dora Mitchell Brown serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • 1934-1936: Miriam Thomas Buchanan serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • 1935: The Medical Library institutes its first orientation for first year medical students.
  • 1936-1943: Anne Lewis Morris serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • 1943-1944: Mary Elizabeth Mayo serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • 1944-1947: Mabel Cook Wyllie serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • 1945-1949: The Nursing Library is placed under the Supervision of the Medical Librarian until the appointment of a clerk to manage the Nursing collection.
  • 1947-1962: Elizabeth Frances Adkins serves as the Medical Librarian.
  • September 1962: Wilhelm Moll is appointed the Director of the Medical Library.
  • 1962-1963: As the result of administrative reorganizations during this period, the Medical Library is separated from the central University Library system and placed under the control of the School of Medicine.
  • November 1970: Librarians conduct the first online searches of a database at the University of Virginia Medical Library using the experimental AIM-TWX service developed by the National Library of Medicine's Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications.
  • November 1971: Librarians begin using the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE system to conduct online searches for patrons.
  • August 1975: The Medical Library and Nursing Library are merged into the Health Sciences Library and Information Center and moved into a new building that spans over Jefferson Park Avenue. Wilhelm Moll is made the Director of the Health Sciences Library.
  • April 1976: The Health Sciences Library is formally dedicated and named after Claude Moore, an alumnus of and donor to the University of Virginia.
  • 1979: Terry Thorkildsen is appointed the Director of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.
  • 1989: The library card catalog is digitized and made available through computer terminals.
  • 1990: Linda Watson is appointed the Director fo the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.
  • 2005: Gretchen Arnold is appointed the interim Director of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and is then made Director in 2007.


97 Volumes (97 bound volumes and enclosures on book shelves)

8 Linear Feet (17 archival boxes)


Records are generally organized according to the records retention and disposition schedules series maintained by the Library of Virginia (LVA). When necessary, additional subdivisions have been created for materials that do not have clear equivalents in the LVA resources.

A Guide to the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Records
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Repository

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0722 United States