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Yale Medical Library opening and dedication

Call Number: Ms Coll 12

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, printed materials, and clippings. The correspondence by John Fulton and others includes letters on organizing the program for the dedication, hundreds of handwritten and typed RSVPs to the Dean of the School of Medicine, Francis G. Blake, accepting the invitation or declining, and letters of congratulation after the ceremony. The printed materials include pamphlets issued while the library was being constructed, the invitation to the dedication, a map of the library and the exhibits on display, the "Blessing of the Books" by the Reverend George Stewart, reprints of the speeches, and an illustrated reprint on the architecture of the library. Clippings include articles from the New York Times, the New Haven Register, other newspapers, and journals.


  • 1939-1942


Language of Materials

Materials are almost all in English. A few incoming letters are in other languages.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.


Organized in three series: 1. Correspondence. 2. Printed materials. 3. Clippings.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, printed materials, and clippings saved by Madeline Stanton, Secretary of the Historical Library, concerning the building, opening, and formal dedication of the Yale Medical Library on June 15, 1941.

Biographical / Historical

The Yale Medical Library (now the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library), an addition to the Sterling Hall of Medicine designed by Grosvenor Atterbury (Yale College 1891), began to be built in late 1939, and was dedicated in a large formal ceremony on June 15, 1941. It was designed in the shape of a Y with the Historical Library in one wing and the General Medical Library in the other. The founders of the library were three physicians, book collectors, and historians of medicine: neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing (Yale College, 1891), then Sterling Professor of Neurology; John Fulton, Sterling Professor of Physiology; and Arnold C. Klebs of Nyon, Switzerland. They had agreed to donate their rare book collections to Yale if Yale would build a place to house them. That offer coalesced with the need of the Medical School to build a larger library located on the Medical School campus for current medical books and journals. The Medical School had a small library but the main collection of medical books and journals was then housed at Sterling Memorial Library. By February 1941, the General Medical Library was open for patrons. The dedication marked the opening of the Historical wing of the Library. Cushing, who had been the main advocate for the library, knew that the Library would be built, but died in October 1939 before the construction began. The year 1941 coincided with the 50th anniversary of Cushing's Yale class of 1891, which donated funds as part of its class gift to decorate the rotunda of the library in commemoration of Cushing.

Custodial History

The correspondence and first set of pamphlets were maintained by Madeline Stanton, Secretary of the Historical Library, and held by the Historical Library since its inception. Stanton collected a variant set of pamphlets and clippings which she pasted on backing and annotated for a possible notebook or scrapbook.

Yale Medical Library Opening and Dedication
Toby A. Appel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Repository

Yale University
333 Cedar St.
New Haven CT 06520-8014 US
203-785-5636 (Fax)

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