Eileen Roach Cunningham
- 1915 - 1965
- Cunningham, Eileen R. (Eileen Roach) (Person)
Notes about Access to this Collection
Historical or Biographical Note
Eileen Roach Cunningham was born in 1894. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Eileen worked as a research assistant in the anatomy department at Johns Hopkins. She joined the staff of Vanderbilt's medical library in 1926, and she developed a new scheme of classifying medical literature by anatomical system. Eventually, the Cunningham Classification for Medical Literature went through four published editions and was adopted by medical libraries throughout the world. It was later used as the basis for both the Army Medical Library and the National Library of Medicine's classification plans.
Mrs. Cunningham was appointed Associate Librarian at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in 1928 and Head Librarian in 1929. Mrs. Cunningham was an active member of the Medical Library Association, and chaired the MLA committee charged with obtaining foreign medical and scientific literature. In 1935, she attended the first conference of the International Federation of Library Associations. Mrs. Cunningham's interest in international cooperation played an important part in the rest of her career. In 1947, she became only the third woman president in the Medical Library Association's history; and in 1949, she was honored with the first Marcia C. Noyes Award for medical librarianship.
After she formally "retired" in 1956 from Vanderbilt, she continued her work in the Medical Library community. Within two years, she had gone off to organize the Basic Medical Sciences Institute in Karachi, Pakistan. Thereafter, she continued her travels, attendance at library functions, and public service work.
For more information and pictures please see the VUMC Online Biography of Eileen R. Cunningham.
Language of Materials
Collection Scope and Content Summary
Part of the Eskind Biomedical Library Manuscripts Collection Repository
Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232