• 1907 — Maud H. Mellish Wilson is appointed to organize and develop a medical library.
  • 1907 — First library committee is established with Dr. A.H. Sanford, who serves as chair until 1942.
  • 1909 — A separate library building is erected on the present site of the Plummer Building. This was the first building erected solely for use by the medical practice. Other offices were rented at that time.
  • 1914 — The first building called Mayo Clinic is constructed for the clinical practice. The library collection of 4,000 volumes moves to this location.


  • 1920 — Violet Vistadt is hired as Plummer Library reference librarian; she serves in this capacity for 46 years.
  • 1921 — Colonial Hospital Training School for Nurses changed its name to Kahler Hospitals' School of Nursing when it became a 36-month diploma program for professional nursing. A very small library is established in a 12-foot-square room in the freshman dormitory.
  • 1922 — A nursing library and reading room at Saint Marys Hospital opens in the surgical pavilion (Joseph Building).
  • 1926 — Circulation of library items begins. Previously, only on-site use had been permitted.


Plummer Library, Mayo Hall, 1937

Plummer Library, Mayo Hall, 1937

  • 1928 — The library moves to the 12th floor of the recently completed Plummer Building.
  • 1933 — Death of founding librarian Maud H. Mellish Wilson; Plummer Building doors and Mayo Clinic close during her funeral.
  • 1934 — Mayo Medicine collection is established: books, reprints and papers written by Mayo Clinic staff.
  • 1935 — Dr. William J. Mayo presents books from his father, Dr. William W. Mayo, to the medical library.
  • 1937 — Browsing collection room for nonmedical books opens.


Treasure Room, circa 1941

Treasure Room, circa 1941

Projected book system

Projected book system

  • 1940 — The Kahler Hospitals' School of Nursing library is moved to a partitioned-off room in back of the Damon Hotel classroom.
  • 1941 — Treasure Room for rare history of medicine materials is completed.
  • 1941 — Books on military medicine are added. The collection is used heavily by Army and Navy officers on special assignment in Rochester, Minnesota.
  • 1941 — Due to increased utilization of the library, a public address system to page physicians is installed.
  • 1941 — Due to World War II, 223 journals are discontinued.
  • 1941 — Books and journals are contributed by Mayo to China, the international Red Cross and British libraries that were demolished in the war.
  • 1944 — Funds are designated for postwar purchase of journals to fill gaps.
  • 1944 — A part-time librarian position is created for the Kahler Hospitals' School of Nursing.
  • 1945 — European journal agent furnishes most of the war journal issues to complete runs.
  • 1946 — Hospital library service for patients is reorganized under Mayo Medical Library administration to provide bedside service.
  • 1947 — Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, a classic set from 1665, is purchased.
  • 1947 — The projected book system is implemented for hospitalized patients who are visually impaired.


  • 1948 — Linguaphone language self-study courses are purchased so that patrons can learn French, German and Spanish.
  • 1949 — Instructional film titled "The Mayo Clinic Library: An Introduction to Its Use" is created.
  • 1954 — Mrs. Henry (Daisy) Plummer works with library staff to select books from Dr. Henry S. Plummer's collection to be donated to the library upon her death.
  • 1956 — The library expands to fill the 11th through 16th floors of the Plummer Building, increasing floor space to 30,000 square feet.
  • 1956 — The first full-time librarian is hired for the Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing. The library continued to grow and was moved several times as the number of students increased and the institution evolved.
  • 1957 — Mayo Medical Library celebrates its 50th anniversary.


History of Medicine Library exhibit

History of Medicine Library exhibit

  • 1958 — The library volunteer program is established for the Saint Marys Hospital Patients' Library.
  • 1959 — President Eisenhower appoints Mayo Clinic librarian Thomas E. Keys to the board of regents of the National Library of Medicine.
  • 1961 — The library literature research program is established. Librarians begin using appropriate indexes to locate topical information for the medical staff.
  • 1961 — Delivery of medical books and journals to medical staff offices is implemented.
  • 1962 — The library acquires its first photocopier, a Xerox 914.
  • 1963 — Dr. Henry S. Plummer's collection of Audubon's "Birds of North America" and "Indians of North America" is given to the library by Mrs. Daisy Plummer.
  • 1964 — Mayo Clinic Libraries establishes the History of Medicine Library.
  • 1964 — Mayo Clinic Author Catalog is computerized, indexing more than 50,000 citations to Mayo-authored works.
  • 1966 — The History of Medicine Library moves permanently to the 15th floor of the Plummer Building and becomes the Mayo Clinic History of Medicine Library.
  • 1967 — The nursing library at Saint Marys Hospital moves to the newly completed Alfred Building.


TWX machine used for MEDLINE

TWX machine used for MEDLINE

  • 1968 — Book collection is reclassified from Boston Medical Library Classification to Library of Congress Classification; this took three years.
  • 1970 — A branch collection of core medical texts and journals is provided at Saint Marys Hospital for hospital-based residents.
  • 1972 — The Learning Resource Center, a branch of Mayo Medical Library, is established for the newly created Mayo Medical School.
  • 1972 — Reference department acquires computerized MEDLINE access terminal.
  • 1973 — Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, former Mayo legal counsel, uses the Mayo Clinic Library for research on Roe v. Wade.
  • 1975 — A retail medical bookstore service is created for staff and student use.


Reference staff teaching online searching

Reference staff teaches online searching

  • 1982 — Mayo Clinic Libraries celebrates 75th anniversary.
  • 1984 — Reference department writes a successful grant for an IBM PC to examine end-user education and alternative information transfer techniques in relation to online searching.
  • 1985 — Video collection is started at Methodist Hospital Patients' Library in Rochester, Minnesota.
  • 1985 — The Learning Resource Center purchases three microcomputers with software: database searching, word processing and computer-based training.


  • 1989 — Methodist Hospital Patients' Library begins circulating CD players to patients.
  • 1989 — The Sister Joseph Patient and Visitor Library is dedicated in Francis 7 Tower at Saint Marys Hospital.
  • 1990 — Residents' medical collection and the materials of the staff library at Saint Marys Hospital are integrated and relocated to a new facility in Marian Hall.
  • 1990 — The patient and employee libraries of Methodist Hospital and Saint Marys Hospital formally join Mayo Clinic Libraries.
  • 1992 — Access of Mayo Medical Library services extended to Mayo regional programs.
  • 1995 — Internet access offered to patrons of the patients' libraries.
  • 1995 — The History of Medicine Library receives a notable gift of 130 rare anatomical texts from the 16th to 19th centuries from former Mayo surgical fellow Dr. Anthony H. Kelly.
  • 1996 — The Mayo Clinic Libraries website is instituted. It serves as an electronic library hub for services, electronic journals and Internet-based databases.
  • 1996 — Major renovations occur in the Plummer Library and the Learning Resource Center: medical bookstore relocated, public service area redesigned, technical services space reconfigured, Learning Resource Center circulation reconfigured, medical school bookstore permanently closed.


  • 1998 — Audiovisual materials and searchable book table of contents are added to the library catalog. With the inclusion of this information, the library management system reaches approximately 330,000 total volumes, encompassing Mayo Clinic's campuses in Jacksonville, Florida; Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona; and Rochester, Minnesota.
  • 2000 — Mayo Clinic Libraries Director J. Michael Homan is inaugurated as president of the Medical Library Association.
  • 2001 — E-knowledge.net: Quarterly Newsletter of the Mayo Clinic Libraries is launched.
  • 2003 — Mayo Clinic Libraries Director J. Michael Homan is elected president of the Association of Academic Health Science Libraries.
  • 2003 — An updated, jointly managed and consolidated website is implemented for Mayo Clinic Libraries based on findings from an extensive usability study.
  • 2003 — New resources are added to database collection: UpToDate, Facts and Comparisons, and link resolver (SFX). Electronic document delivery of library materials is implemented.
  • 2004 — Mayo Historical Archives is integrated into Mayo Clinic Libraries.
  • 2004 — First shipment of volumes is sent to the Minnesota Library Access Center for permanent storage. The center now holds approximately 100,000 book and serial volumes from Mayo Clinic.
  • 2005 — New electronic document delivery software, Celsus, is designed and implemented.
  • 2005 — Mayo Clinic Libraries collaborate with Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing on resources for nurses and nurse researchers.
  • 2006 — Minnesota Go Local project with links to the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus system is initiated with the University of Minnesota Health Science Libraries and other partners.
  • 2006 — The Core Public Health Journal Project receives the 2006 Louise Darling Medal for the Distinguished Achievement in Collection Development in the Health Sciences at the Medical Library Association annual meeting. Mayo is represented on this team.
  • 2007 — Formal reception honoring current and emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic Libraries on occasion of library centennial.
  • 2007 — New medical library opens at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • 2007 — Plummer Library is renovated to include group study rooms and a cybercafe.
  • 2007 — Mayo Clinic Libraries celebrates its centennial with a two-day symposium on Oct. 2-3, 2007, in Rochester, Minnesota.


  • 2008 — Venables Health Sciences Library is renovated with the addition of new computers and new artwork.
  • 2008 — The Learning Resource Center is renovated as part of the Mitchell Student Center remodel project.
  • 2009 — The collection and staff of the Colonial Library, formerly known as Methodist-Kahler Library, are transferred to the Plummer Library and renamed "Colonial Library Services."
  • 2009 — Exhibit of the Methodist-Kahler Nursing Library and artifacts are placed on permanent display in the History of Medicine Library.
  • 2009 — E-knowledge.net: Quarterly Newsletter of the Mayo Clinic Libraries, published from 2001-2008, is succeeded by Liblog: Quarterly Newsletter of the Mayo Clinic Libraries, beginning with Issue 30.
  • 2010 — Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, with the assistance of the Mayo Historical Unit and Mayo Clinic Libraries, hosts the joint annual meetings of the American Osler Society, the American Association for the History of Medicine and several other groups.
  • 2011 — The newly named Saint Marys Hospital Library and Knowledge Services celebrates the completion of a major renovation with a library blessing, a dessert reception and open house events.
  • 2011 — Mayo Clinic is ranked nationally by the Special Libraries Association for its high rate of librarian-authored substantive research and professional practice publications in leading library science journals from 2000 through 2010.
  • 2012 — Venables Health Sciences Library at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester undergoes significant renovation.
  • 2012 — IPad lending programs are pioneered at Mayo Clinic Health System — Eau Claire and launched at the Rochester campus of Mayo Clinic.
  • 2013 — IPad lending program expanded to Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • 2014 — J. Michael Homan retires as Mayo Clinic Libraries director in December 2014 after 20 years at Mayo Clinic.
  • 2015 — In recognition of the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. W. Bruce Fye to Mayo Clinic, the History of Medicine Library is named the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library.
  • 2016 — Anna Beth Morgan is named the new executive director of the Mayo Clinic Libraries with her leadership beginning March 7, 2016.
  • 2016 — All library and historical employees participate in a new Mayo Clinic-wide strategic planning process. Employees volunteer to serve on teams to accomplish the libraries' seven strategic goals and their 49 related initiatives.
  • 2016 — Mayo Clinic Libraries' recruitments include the addition of two outreach librarians, Leslie C. Hassett and Julie M. Taylor, and the first associate director, Matthew B. Hoy.
  • 2017 — Approval is granted to implement Library Ambassadors, a hospitality and information service, using the main reception area of the Mayo Clinic's Plummer Building. The service is scheduled to begin after the Labor Day holiday.
July 11, 2017