WHSC Library's Timeline: 1920s-Present


  • Dr. F. Phinizy Calhoun, Sr., states his intent to give $10,000 to Emory University for the founding of a medical library in memory of his father, Dr. Abner Wellborn Calhoun, a pioneer ophthalmologist and physician.  Plans are made for the library to be housed in the Wesley Memorial Hospital building. The Emory Board of Trustees approves the gift.
  • M. Myrtle Tye becomes the first librarian of the new Abner Wellborn Calhoun Medical Library, and the new library applies for membership in the Medical Library Association (MLA).
    Myrtle Tye





    • The A. W. Calhoun Medical Library opens on January 1st (New Year's Day). The library occupies two rooms on the main floor of the Wesley Memorial Hospital, predecessor to today’s Emory University Hospital.


    • The Calhoun family gifts an additional $32,000 to the medical library. Donors included Mrs. Abner W. Calhoun, Mr. Andrew Calhoun, Mrs. Susan Calhoun Oglesby, and Mrs. Harriet Calhoun Witham. 


    • M. Myrtle Tye raises the funds through faculty and student donations to purchase a rare 1543 first edition of Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem (On the Fabric of the Human Body), the most important anatomy book in history.


      • Dr. F. Phinizy Calhoun, Sr., arranges for the library to be relocated to the third floor of the west wing of the Emory University Hospital, formerly called the Wesley Memorial Hospital, to allow more space for books and users


      • M. Myrtle Tye, the first librarian of the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library, dies.
      • Mildred Jordan appointed head of the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library. 


        • John L. Tye, Jr. gives $175 to the library in honor of his daughter, the late M. Myrtle Tye. The money was the beginning of the Tye History of Medicine book collection.


        • The library moves to the third floor of the Woodruff Memorial Research Building.


        • Mildred Jordan receives a five-year grant from the United States Public Health Service to establish a training program for medical librarians.


        • The Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS) debuted.
        • Mildred Jordan receives the Marcia C. Noyes Award, the highest professional distinction awarded by the Medical Library Association for outstanding contributions to medical librarianship.


        • Dr. F. Phinizy Calhoun, a long-time supporter and advocate of the library, dies.
        • The library offers MEDLINE, a computerized bibliographic service maintained and operated by the National Library of Medicine.
        • Mildred Jordan, head of the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library, dies.


        • Miriam H. Libbey appointed the new library director.




        • The A.W. Calhoun Medical Library is designated the administrative headquarters for the Southeastern Regional Medical Library Program, under a grant from the National Library of Medicine. Libbey serves as director of this program until December 1982, when the Southeastern Region becomes part of the Southeast/Atlantic Region under the Network of the National Library of Medicine.


        • Miriam H. Libbey retires as director after 18 years of leadership following a stroke. She dies in December.
        • Associate Librarian for Public Services, Carol Burns, is appointed director of the library.


        • The Miriam H. Libbey Memorial Fund established by the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library.


        • The A.W. Calhoun Medical Library begins the move to its' current location at Emory’s Dental School Building (1462 Clifton Road NE), occupying only the first floor.
        • The first phase of renovations to the new space increases the library space from 17,000 to 29,000 square feet and its number of seats from 150 to 310.


        • DOBIS Online Public Access Catalog goes live at the library. Staff members wear DOBIS buttons to identify them to users as a person who can assist with Emory's first integrated library system.


        • Collections of the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library  are combined with the Sheppard W. Foster Dental Collection and the Alice Kydd Davis Nursing Collection. The expanded library is renamed the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library.


        • Following the closure of Emory’s School of Dentistry, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library expands to the second floor.
        • Renovations increase the library's footprint from 27,000 square feet to 39,000 square feed and expand its seating capacity from 310 to 400. 


        • The library discontinues the use of card catalog and printed indexes. These are replaced with online access and CD-ROM indexes and catalogs.


        • Sandra Franklin is appointed director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library following Carol Burns' retirement in 2000.