Eileen Roach Cunningham Papers

 Collection
Identifier: EBL-0020

  • Staff Only

Collection Scope and Content Summary

Personal papers of medical librarian Eileen Roach Cunningham, who was best known for developing the Cunningham Classification for Medical Literature in 1929. Ms. Cunningham was librarian at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine from 1929-1956 and was elected president of the Medical Library Association in 1947. The collection is arranged by subject, including various professional organizations, particularly the MLA. Other organizations include: American Library Association, Council of National Library Associations, and UNESCO. Also there are several files on Cunningham's involvement in various international programs, conferences, and research projects on medical librarianship. Collection contains correspondence (both professional and personal), pamphlets, articles, photographs, reports, programs, and other materials.

Dates

  • 1915 - 1965

Creator

Notes about Access to this Collection

All collections are subject to applicable Vanderbilt University privacy and confidentiality policies. Collection specific restrictions: No Restrictions.

Reproduction Rights

Copyright is retained by History of Medicine Collections, Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University

Historical or Biographical Note

Eileen Roach Cunningham (1894-1965) was a Vanderbilt Medical librarian, author and international leader in medical librarianship. She developed and published the Cunningham Classification for Medical Literature. She also served as President of the Medical Library Association in 1947.

Eileen Roach Cunningham was born in 1894. Before coming to Vanderbilt, she 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.

Extent

7.04 Cubic Feet (19 Hollinger Boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Personal papers of medical librarian Eileen Roach Cunningham, who was best known for developing the Cunningham Classification for Medical Literature in 1929. Ms. Cunningham was librarian at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine from 1929-1956 and was elected president of the Medical Library Association in 1947. The collection is arranged by subject, including various professional organizations, particularly the MLA. Other organizations include: American Library Association, Council of National Library Associations, and UNESCO. Also there are several files on Cunningham's involvement in various international programs, conferences, and research projects on medical librarianship.

Physical Location

EBL Vault

Acquisition Information

THe first part of the collection was donated in 1977, the second in 1982 by Mildred Crowe Langner former librarian of the University of Miami Library and to whom Mrs. Cunningham left her papers.

Processing History

processed on Unknown Date
Title
Eileen Roach Cunningham Papers
Status
Completed
Author
History of Medicine Collections Staff
Date
2004-10-28
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Eskind Biomedical Library Manuscripts Collection Repository

Contact:
Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232


 

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