Health Sciences Library

18 May 2012

Health Sciences CentenaryThen

When UCT's School of Medicine moved from Orange Street in town to the Wernher and Beit Laboratories on the edges of the Groote Schuur campus in 1928, the medical collection of 10,000 books and journals was transferred to three rooms on the top floor of the pathology block, and so became the first and largest of the UCT libraries. With the opening of Groote Schuur Hospital in 1938, increased usage of the library had it bursting at the seams. Soon the University Council made good on its promise of a new medical library, a project that it was estimated would cost approximately £140 000. The new library opened its doors on 19 February 1954.


Today, the Health Sciences Library houses about 55 000 books and approximately 74,000 print journals. With computers on-site, students and staff have access to 75 000 electronic journals and 200 electronic databases. In addition, users now have 24-hour off-campus access, from anywhere in the world, to the library's e-journals. In 1998, the new MSD wing of the library was officially opened by Dr Donald de Korte, then managing director of pharmaceutical company MSD. The wing includes a training room and the Wolfson Computer Laboratory, home to some 130 PCs.

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