About the Associates


Mission Statement

Established in 1948, the Medical Library Associates have supported the medical library for over 70 years, helping enable its world-class services to the faculty, staff and students of the Yale Medical Center, today and for generations to come.

"The Medical Library Associates assist through contributions of money, service, and encouragement in the maintenance and augmentation of the collections and services of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, and in the extension of their usefulness to Yale and health professions and medical historians worldwide."

Supporting the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library

Becoming an Associate is an affordable way to support the medical library. Membership and gifts help to enrich our collections and improve service to our community.

Some examples of what the Medical Library Associates have funded include:

  • Creation of a digital imaging center
  • Purchasing rare books and manuscripts, such as the 14th Century Paneth Codex
  • Creating the online exhibit of the history of the Yale School of Medicine
  • Buying recent books on the history of medicine and humanities
  • Digitization of the entire Fry Print Collection
  • New exhibition cases for the central rotunda
  • Yale's first electronic version of Medline

A Board of Trustees governs the affairs of the Associates. The board consists of 16 trustees in 4 classes who are current Associates members, as well as a number of honorary trustees.

Become a Medical Library Associate →

About the Library

Original Medical library floorplan

The Medical Institution of Yale College opened in 1813, and started a library one year later. In 1865, this collection was transferred to the Yale College Library where it remained for many decades.

In 1934, Harvey Cushing approached two of his friends, John F. Fulton and Arnold C. Klebs, with a plan to donate their extensive rare historical book collections to Yale in the hopes Yale would build a separate medical library. As a result, the medical library was built in 1940. The collections of the original three were enhanced by Edward C. Streeter’s collection of weights and measures and later by Clements C. Fry’s collection of prints and drawings. 

The library was designed in the shape of a Y with two wings and stacks below for books and journals. The central rotunda honors Harvey Cushing (1869-1939), the father of neurosurgery, who graduated from Yale College in 1891 and returned to Yale in 1933.

Today, the library serves the biomedical and health care information needs of the Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University, as well as providing service to area physicians and medical libraries. The collections cover clinical medicine and its specialties, the pre-clinical sciences, public health, nursing, and related fields. They also include the Historical Library's distinguished holdings. The library now contains more than 416,000 volumes.