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Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Medical School. Library


When in 1869 Northwestern University acquired the former medical department of Lind (now Lake Forest) University of Chicago, Illinois, it also inherited Lind’s Medical Library of roughly 1,000 volumes.  However, lack of funding and interest forced the Library's dissolution in 1871, and the Great Fire of that same year destroyed the remainder of the collection.  Northwestern University Medical School did without library facilities from 1871 to 1883, when the Medical School's  Alumni Association re-established the Medical Library in the School's building on the corner of 26th Street and Prairie Avenue in Chicago. 

The facility was relocated in 1896 to the basement of Davis Hall, 3348 South Dearborn Street.  Between 1883 and 1907 alumni and students co-operated in administering the Library, increasing the holdings from 200 to nearly 5,000 volumes.  In 1907 the Medical School's Alumni Association formally presented the Medical School Library to Northwestern University, which then re-assumed administration of the Library.  The medical collection grew slowly until 1925, when Dr. Archibald Church, professor of nervous and mental diseases in the Medical School, and Mrs. Church made major donations of money, initiating a surge in holdings from 13,000 to 92,000 volumes over the next twenty years. 

Between 1907 and 1925 the position of Medical School librarian was only part-time, and the librarian had other responsibilities. For instance, Dr. Walter Herman Buhlig, who served as librarian from 1908 to 1913, was an assistant professor of clinical pathology during that same period; and Selma Schneider, who succeeded Buhlig as librarian, also may have worked for the Medical School registrar. 

Dr. Buhlig had presided over a collection of approximately 6,000 bound volumes; the number increased to 10,000 by 1916, the third year of Schneider's management. Also during Schneider's administration, in academic year 1913-1914, the Library moved from Davis Hall to the Laboratory Building at 2431 South Dearborn Street, where it remained until its relocation in 1927 to Ward Hall on the University's new Chicago campus.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of the Librarian, Northwestern University Medical School

Identifier: 18/5/1
Abstract These records comprise the correspondence of Medical School librarians Dr. Walter Herman Buhlig (1908-1913) and Selma Schneider (1913-1927) from 1909 to 1916. Arranged in chronological order, the correspondence relates mainly to the purchase of library materials from various publishers and booksellers; however, some letters and memoranda between 1913 and 1916 pertain to the examination schedules established by the Medical School registrar.
Dates: 1909-1916