HomeThe Medical Library AssociatesMission of the Associates of Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

Mission of the Associates of Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

Mission of the Associates of Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

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, both historical and contemporary, and in the extension of their usefulness, not only to Yale, but also to the health professions and medical historians at large.

2011 Medical School library orientation

As the financially challenged health care system places increasing emphasis on a “team approach”, it is all the more important that the various disciplines have an anchor that supports their central mission.  The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale is one such unit that exists to support and assist the operations of all areas of the medical center.  In turn schools and departments within the medical center gain from this relationship.

As a Library user you already know the value of the Library staff and its collections in assisting your everyday needs. As an Associate you can take particular pride in knowing that you will lend a hand in building and preserving collections, as well as create infrastructure to support the many important roles the Library has in our Medical Center.

Contributions are a vital part of enabling us to continue to provide the essential and outstanding support for biomedical education and research at Yale that the Library offers.

The reading room at the Medical Library

About the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

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 of Cushing's initiative the present Medical Library was built in 1940. The collections of the original three were enhanced by Edward C. Streeter’s collection of weights and measures at the time of the Library’s opening and later Clements C. Fry’s collection of prints and drawings. 

As a result of these donors, and many others since, the Medical Library has been built on a tradition of philanthropy in order to ensure collections are available not only for the present user, but for future generations. 

The Medical Library Associates, which was founded in 1948, additionally supported this concept of acting as a friends of the library who through membership and other contributions committed to assist the Medical Library in its mission of serving the information needs of Yale students, faculty and staff.

Today, the Medical Library uses new technology to offer instant access to biomedical information to its faculty, researchers and students no matter where in the world they are.  And at the same time the Library continues in the tradition of its founders to maintaining one of the best collections of history of medicine in the world.

You can help the library to continue to offer world-class services to the faculty, staff and students of the Yale Medical Center by joining the Associates or by making a donation.

For further information about the Library and its services: