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A Brief History of the Annette and Irwin Eskind Family Biomedical Library and Learning Center: Home

Historical Timeline

  • The Vanderbilt Medical Library was established in 1906 as part of the Vanderbilt Medical Department. It was originally located on the corner of Fifth Street and Elm Street in Nashville, TN.

  • In 1926, the library moved to the Vanderbilt University Campus and was located in the A and B corridors of Medical Center North near 21st Avenue. Throughout the years it has been known as the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Library and the Medical Center Library.

  • During the 1920s, staff member and future director, Eileen Cunningham develops the Cunningham Classification for Medical Literature which would later form the basis for the National Library of Medicine Classification System.

  • With the generosity of Annette and Irwin Eskind, the Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library, a new architecturally stunning and award-winning standalone library opened in 1994

  • In 1996, the library became a unit of the Informatics Center and was instrumental in the implementation and success of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Integrated Advanced Information Management System.

  • A later donation from the the Eskind Family provided funding for a renovation in 2017. The library re-opened and was re-named as the Annette and Irwin Eskind Family Biomedical Library and Learning Center in 2018.


Vanderbilt Medical Library (Corner of 5th St and Elm St, Third floor, 1906)

Medical Center Library (Medical Center North, Corridor A, Floors 1 - 5, 1993)


Vanderbilt Medical Library (Medical Center North, Corridor B, First floor, 1928)

Eskind Biomedical Library (1993)


1906 - 1915
Pearl(e) Hedges
1915 - 1929
Eileen Cunningham
1929 - 1956
Eleanor Steinke
1956 - 1969
Richard Eimas
1969 - 1972
T. Mark Hodges
1972 - 1995
William W. Stead
1995 - 1998
Nunzia Giuse
1998 - 2016
Nancy Godleski (Acting)
2016 - 2017
Philip Walker (Interim)
2017 - 2018
Philip Walker
2018 -

"The criteria by which a Medical Library is judged are two-fold. The first is the extent of its holdings. The second is the quality of service which it provides. In going out of their way to help us so ably, Miss Steinke and her staff have demonstrated that the Vanderbilt Medical Library is outstanding in both of these areas. In doing so they have reflected great credit on themselves, the Vanderbilt School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University." (Nashville Banner, October 30, 1966)