Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library


  • John Gallagher, M.L.S., Director
  • Holly Grossetta Nardini, M.L.S., Associate Director
  • Lindsay Barnett, M.L.S., Collection Development and Scholarly Communication Librarian
  • Janene Batten, M.L.S., Nursing Librarian
  • Alexandria Brackett, M.L.S., Clinical Support Librarian and Coordinator of Search Services
  • Courtney Brombosz, M.L.S., Research and Education Librarian/Clinical Librarian
  • Thomas Falco, Research Specialist
  • Melissa Funaro, M.L.S., M.S., Clinical Librarian
  • Rolando Garcia-Milian, M.L.S., Biomedical Sciences Research Support Librarian
  • Melissa Grafe, Ph.D., Head of the Medical Historical Library and John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History
  • Alyssa Grimshaw, M.S.L.I.S., Clinical Librarian
  • Dana Haugh, M.L.S., Web Services Librarian
  • Robert Hughes, Operations Manager
  • Katherine Isham, M.S.I.S., Archivist
  • Caitlin Meyer, M.L.I.S., Research and Education Librarian
  • Sawyer Newman, M.L.I.S., Data Librarian for the Health Sciences
  • Melanie Norton, M.L.S., Head of Access and Delivery Services
  • Kate Nyhan, M.L.S., Research and Education Librarian
  • Nur-Taz Rahman, Ph.D., Simbonis Fellow in Bioinformatics
  • Judy Spak, M.L.S., Assistant Director of Research and Education Services
  • Lei Wang, M.S.I., Assistant Director of Technology and Innovation Services
  • Susan Wheeler, Curator, Prints and Drawings and Historical Medical Posters


The Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library provides access to an extensive array of information resources and tools, offers research assistance and expertise, and delivers meaningful services to our users to support innovation and excellence in biomedical research, patient care, and the development of scholars and future leaders in health care.


Elihu Yale himself donated Yale College’s first two medical volumes. A century later, in 1813, the Medical Institution of Yale College opened, but it was not until 1917 that the medical school began a separate library on the medical campus.

The current medical library was founded thanks to the efforts of Dr. Harvey Cushing (1869–1939), considered one of the founders of modern neurosurgery, and two other renowned medical specialists, Dr. Arnold C. Klebs and Dr. John F. Fulton. Calling themselves “The Trinitarians,” these three physicians gave their extensive library collections to Yale to form the nucleus of one of the great medical historical libraries in the world.

Completed in 1940, the medical library is located on the main floor of the Sterling Hall of Medicine and features two main wings and stacks below for books and journals. The central rotunda honors Harvey Cushing, who graduated from Yale College in 1891 and returned in 1933 as Sterling Professor of Neurology.

In the late 1980s, Betsy Cushing Whitney, daughter of Harvey Cushing and widow of John Hay Whitney, donated $8 million to enlarge and refurbish the Medical Library. Space for the collections was approximately doubled, and the beautiful skylit Information Room was added to the main floor. The medical library was renamed the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, honoring Cushing and John Hay Whitney (1904–1982; Yale 1926), editor of the Herald Tribune and patron of the arts.

New this year are a large team-based learning classroom, eight rooms for small-group learning and independent study, an expanded studio for video production of learning materials, and an enhanced information commons with workstations, comfortable seating, and an information help desk. The new spaces are designed for flexible use and incorporate technologies to support the YSM curriculum and accommodate individual study preferences.


During orientation week, medical students are introduced to their personal librarian, who will act as a contact for research and library-related questions throughout their education at Yale.

The medical library houses a substantial print collection, but many of its resources can also be accessed remotely. In the event the library doesn’t own something, it can acquire it for free through the interlibrary loan service.

Library guides and video tutorials provide 24/7 help on a wide range of library topics, from getting started with a research project, to using resources like EndNote. Most library-related questions can be answered on the medical library website, but students are encouraged to contact their personal librarian for assistance.

Spaces to Collaborate and Study

Students will find group and individual study spaces throughout the medical library. Individual study carrels and tables are located on all levels of the library. The Morse Reading Room and Historical Library Reading Room are designated as quiet study spaces. More details can be found at https://library.medicine.yale.edu/about/places.

Library Technology

Windows and Mac computers are available throughout the medical library, with software such as Microsoft Office, EndNote, Adobe Creative Suite, and statistics and GIS programs (SAS, SPSS, ArcGIS, etc.).

Yale researchers have access to black-and-white and color printers and copiers, as well as two scanning stations (Windows and Mac) in the 24/7 space. A high-performance workstation with a suite of licensed and open source tools, such as BRB-Array Tools, Cytoscape, and Qlucore, is also available to process, manage, analyze, and visualize data in a variety of formats. Access to this workstation can be reserved by any Yale researcher.

Windows and Mac laptops are available for loan to Medical Center students needing a computer for short-term use. Digital cameras, camcorders, and related video accessories are also available at the Circulation Desk, as are chargers for cell phones, tablets, and many computers. This equipment may be borrowed by anyone with a valid Yale ID.

For more information about available library technology, visit https://library.medicine.yale.edu/services/library-technology.

Library Collections

The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library provides a comprehensive collection of clinical reference tools, databases, evidence-based practice resources, image collections, educational software, and books and journals in support of programs in medicine, nursing, public health, physician associates, bioinformatics, and the basic sciences. The library provides access to more than 39,500 electronic books, 23,000 electronic journals, and 96 databases, in addition to more than 400,000 print volumes. Its holdings also include all Yale medical student theses, many of which are available online. Yale affiliates have access to the library’s electronic collections from any device wherever they are.

The Medical Historical Library contains one of the world’s finest collections of rare medical books, journals, prints, posters, drawings, and photographs, as well as current works in the history of medicine. There are 325 medical incunabula, more than 75 manuscript volumes from the twelfth through sixteenth century, and one of the best study collections of weights and measures in the world. Its holdings also include Yale catalogs, yearbooks, photographs, and other publications and ephemera related to the Yale School of Medicine, and a growing archives program focused on the School of Medicine community. Special strengths in the collection are the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Vesalius, Boyle, Harvey, Culpeper, Haller, Priestley, and S. Weir Mitchell, and works on anatomy, anesthesia, and smallpox inoculation and vaccination. The library also owns an extensive smoking and tobacco advertising collection and the Robert Bogdan collection of disability photographs and postcards. In addition, an outstanding selection of photographs, posters, and other images is available in the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Digitized Collections online.

The Cushing Center, located in the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, houses a unique collection of materials once owned by Dr. Harvey Cushing. The center is the home of the Harvey Cushing Brain Tumor Registry, which consists of approximately 600 brain specimens, glass-plate negatives, and accompanying patient files from the early twentieth century.

Medical Library Associates

The Associates of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library are friends of the library who, through membership and other contributions, are committed to assist the Medical Library in its mission of serving the information needs of Yale students, faculty, and staff. Funds raised by associates represent unallocated money that can be used at the librarian’s discretion to support various projects.

The associates host an annual lecture in the spring. Past lecturers include Nobel Laureates, writers, professors, and Surgeons General who have spoken on a wide variety of topics relating to medicine. A gratis membership for Yale medical students continues through their years of residency. More information is available online at http://library.medicine.yale.edu/associates.