World events throughout the last century left their mark on the TMC Library in both big and small ways. In 1915 when the library was chartered, Houston was a disease ridden, sanitation poor, cow town fast becoming an emerging hub of transportation of raw materials, agriculture and commerce. Large events like wars demanded raw materials – lumber, beef, cotton and oil fueled Houston’s growth, and small things, like the invention of Jazz, talking pictures and sidewalks and teaching health and hygiene in schools kept Houston a destination for the ambitious and hard-working alike. In spite of the heat, humidity, mosquitoes, malaria, yellow fever, hurricanes and nor’westerners, people flocked to Texas, and many transplants to the state ended up in Houston.
No two decades were alike – the excesses of the roaring twenties, the deprivations of the great depression in the thirties, world war in the forties, cold wars of the fifties, social strife of the sixties, the psychedelic seventies, the maximum consumption of the eighties and the birth of the internet and personal computers in the nineties to the genomic breakthroughs of the early 2000’s and the advent of personalized medicine in this decade, the TMC Library has weathered storms, financial crisis, and health challenges as well as taken advantage of the good times, when money was easy and the pursuit of a better standard of living for everyone flourished.
After the second world war when opportunities seemed limitless, soldiers were donning civvies and returning to schools on the GI bill and the need for doctors was ever more demanding, the TMC Library permanently moved to the campus of the newly created Texas Medical Center where it still is today, roots deeply planted between the two major medical education institutions.
Each decade in the life of the library will be showcased. Click on the links to find out what happened around and to us, and check out the fun and informative events we’ll be featuring every month for each decade. Enjoy your browsing experience!