Moody Medical Library

By: Larry J. Wygant

Type: General Entry

Published: May 1, 1995

The library of the Medical Department of the University of Texas, now known as the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, was inaugurated soon after the opening of the school at Galveston in the fall of 1891 by the gift of about 500 medical books from Dr. Thomas J. Heard of Galveston. Other gifts from individuals and from the Galveston County Medical Society increased the collection to more than 2,600 volumes by the turn of the century. In 1901 responsibility for the operation of the library was given to the dean's secretary, and in 1920 the first trained librarian, Kate Feuille, was appointed. Following her resignation, Elizabeth Runge became librarian (1922) and held that post for forty-four years. Succeeding librarians were C. Lee Jones (1967–72), Emil F. Frey (1973–89), and Brett A. Kirkpatrick (1990-). The library was first housed in the original medical college building, named now in honor of Dr. Ashbel Smith, and was moved to the Laboratory Building in 1925 and to the Gail Borden Building in 1953. In 1972 it was moved into its present home, the Moody Medical Library. This five-story building, named for the Moody Foundation of Galveston, was designed by Texas architect O'Neil Ford and cost $2.8 million to construct. Funding came from a $1 million grant from the Moody Foundation, a $1,598,406 grant from the National Library of Medicine and $200,000 from the Permanent University Fund. From its original 500 volumes and no staff, the library had grown by 1993 to more than 241,000 volumes and sixty-two employees, including fourteen professional librarians. The Moody Medical Library has become one of the leading academic medical libraries in the United States. The library is, additionally, a center for the study of medical history. Its Truman G. Blocker, Jr., History of Medicine Collections constitute the largest such collection in the Southwest and consist of rare books (including thirty-three incunabula), prints, archives, manuscripts, microscopes, and medical instruments. The Blocker Collections are particularly strong in the subjects of anatomy, surgery, anesthesiology, forensic medicine, occupational medicine, radiology, immunology, and psychiatry.

Mildred Robertson, "The Medical Library," News Notes: Bulletin of the Texas Library Association, February 1944. University Medical, May 1972. Larry J. Wygant, comp., The Truman G. Blocker, Jr., History of Medicine Collections: Books and Manuscripts (Galveston: University of Texas Medical Branch, 1986).
  • Health and Medicine
  • Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • Libraries
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Larry J. Wygant, “Moody Medical Library,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995

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