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 Librarian
  • Thomas Falco, Research Specialist
  • Katherine Stemmer Frumento, M.L.S., M.B.A., Assistant Director of Clinical Information Services
  • Melissa Funaro, M.L.S., M.S., Clinical Librarian
  • Rolando Garcia-Milian, M.L.S., Biomedical Sciences Research Support Librarian
  • Melissa Grafe, M.L.S., Ph.D., Head of the Medical Historical Library and John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History
  • Alyssa Grimshaw, M.L.S., Evening/Weekend Supervisor and Clinical Librarian
  • Dana Haugh, M.L.S., Web Services Librarian
  • Robert Hughes, Business and 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
  • 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


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 professors of the medical school began a separate medical library on the medical campus.

The Historical Library was the vision of Dr. Harvey Cushing, a neurosurgeon and pioneer of brain surgery, who graduated from Yale College in 1891 and returned to Yale in 1933. Cushing joined with his two friends and fellow bibliophiles, Arnold C. Klebs and John F. Fulton, in what they called their “Trinitarian Plan,” to donate their superb book collections to Yale. As the plan matured it became wedded to the idea of creating a new medical library for the Yale School of Medicine. Cushing was the driving force persuading Yale officials to realize his vision. He wanted the medical library to be the heart of the medical school and therefore specified that it be located on the main floor and that the old and new collections be equally accessible. This vision was realized in 1941 with the dedication of the Yale Medical Library, designed in the shape of a Y with two wings, one for the Historical Library reading room and one for what was then the periodical room, with stacks below for books and journals. The central rotunda honors Dr. Harvey Cushing.

A generous gift from Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, daughter of Dr. Harvey Cushing, enabled a major renovation and expansion of the Medical Library that included the addition of increased study and stack space. Upon completion of the renovations in June 1990, the library was officially renamed the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, honoring both Cushing and John Hay Whitney (1904–1982), Yale graduate, 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 plentiful workstations, comfortable seating, and an information desk for help. The new spaces are designed for flexible use and incorporate technologies to support the YSM curriculum and accommodate individual study preferences.


During orientation week, first-year students are introduced to the library and their “personal librarian.” Every Yale medical student has a personal librarian to answer questions and help with research, especially when approaching the thesis.

Students have access to library resources beyond the Medical Library’s vast collections. The library can scan, loan, and deliver articles and books not owned by Yale from other libraries around the world.

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 specific library resources like EndNote. Most questions about the library can be answered by the Medical Library website, but students should not hesitate to contact their personal librarian for assistance.

Spaces to Collaborate and Study

Students will find group and individual study space throughout the Medical Library. Individual study carrels and tables are located on all levels of the library. The Morse Reading Room is designated as quiet study space. Details can be found at http://library.medicine.yale.edu.

Computing in the Library

The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library provides Windows and Mac computers in multiple locations, including the 24/7 Computer & Study Space. The computers have productivity software such as Microsoft Office, EndNote, and other tools including Adobe Acrobat Pro, Adobe Creative Suite, statistics and GIS software (SAS, SPSS, ArcGIS, etc.), and medical education software. Black-and-white and color printers/copiers/scanners are available. In addition, the library offers two scanning stations (Windows and Mac) in the 24/7 space, which have a variety of applications for graphics and video editing and production. 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.

A mix of 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 common models of mobile phones, tablets, and many computers. This equipment may be borrowed by anyone with a valid Yale ID.

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 366,500 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. 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. The space also displays a portion of Cushing’s rich collection of rare books.

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.