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The Health Sciences Library is one of seven libraries on West Virginia University's campuses. It's located on the 2nd floor of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center (North), in the Learning Center above the Pylons atrium. It provides support for the schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health. The library was initially known as the Medical Center Library and opened in the Basic Sciences Building in 1957. This came after pressure for the university to build a medical library since 1935. The library's name was changed in 1993 when the Medical Center changed its name in honor of Senator Robert C. Byrd.


  • One of Allan Jones' photographs in the exhibit at Health Sciences.
  • Exhibit dedicated to The History of Medicine Book Collection, currently located on level one of the library stacks.
  • Pieces from the Life: Magnified Exhibit
  • The Health Sciences Library supports a variety of health programs at WVU along with staff and researchers at WVU Hospitals. Photo courtesy of WVU.
WVU's history of medicine dates back to 1887 when the first medical school building was established. The Hick House, a modest shed below Woodburn Hall, allowed students to conduct dissections to learn about human physiology. The two-year program was added in 1912 and housed in a medical school building near Woodburn Hall from 1916 to 1957. It was not until 1957 that the Health Sciences complex we see today was completed. As part of WVU's mid-century expansion, which included the construction of science-focused campuses at Evansdale, the University Hospital, four-year medical program, and Health Sciences Library were established. Visitors to the medical center are greeted by Milton Horn's marble sculptures known as "the Pylons."

The Health Sciences Library contains The History of Medicine Book Collection, currently located on level one of the library stacks. The collection contains histories of health sciences disciplines, diseases and treatments, biographies of medical pioneers, as well as early textbooks and research publications. The Health Sciences Library also subscribes to the history of medicine journals and databases to supplement the book collection. A window showcasing the collection is currently on display in the library.

The Health Sciences Library currently features an exhibit by Allan Jones Photography. It features microscopic medical photographs taken by Allan Jones using an Olympus polarizing microscope at 10X objective. Jones worked at the WVU Eye Center after graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and following a biomedical photography internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami. He also worked at the King Khaled Eye Hospital and King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Saudi Arabia before returning to WVU in 2004. He retired from the institute in 2008.

The Life: Magnified collection is also on exhibit in the library. Thirteen images from the National Institute of Health feature images magnified about 50,000 times and illuminated by light boxes. The bold colored images include cells, bacteria, viruses and other microscopic organisms who have been tinted with dyes or enhanced with graphic design programs to allow scientists to study structures within the images. Prior to coming to WVU, the Life: Magnified collection was on display in the Washington Dulles International Airport's Gateway Gallery.
Allan Jones. Art in the Libraries. Accessed July 06, 2018. https://exhibits.lib.wvu.edu/gallery_jones. 
"History." WVU Medical School. Accessed July 2018. https://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/about/school-history/ 

"History of Medicine at the WVU Health Sciences Library." WVU Libraries. February 28, 2018. Accessed July 19, 2018. http://libguides.wvu.edu/historyofmedicine.

Life: Magnified. Art in the Libraries. Accessed July 19, 2018. https://exhibits.lib.wvu.edu/gallery_nih.

Moyers, Mildred. The Brief History of the WVU Libraries from 1931. June 09, 1999. Accessed July 19, 2018. https://lib.wvu.edu/about/history/briefhistory.pdf.

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