Library of Science and Medicine: A Brief History

As early as 1952, Rutgers University considered building a separate science library on the Busch campus, formerly known as “University Heights Campus.” In 1962, the dean of the Medical School proposed that a combined medical and science library be established to serve as the central scientific research collection for the University.

In 1963, James Barry was appointed to be the Librarian to oversee the development of a library for the sciences. This library was located on the third floor of what is now Alexander Library. Grant funds were obtained to bring the medical collection up to par. Plans for a new building were begun in 1964 by a special committee at Rutgers and the architectural firm of Warner, Burns, Toan & Lunde which designed many buildings on college campuses.

The library officially became the Library of Science and Medicine in July of 1964. After many design changes, the present building was completed in August 1970. With over 120,000 volumes of books and journals, LSM has become a government document depository which owns many U.S. and international documents as well as a full patents and trademarks collection. In 1971, the College of Pharmacy collection of over 25,000 volumes were integrated with the rest of LSM holdings.

In 1970, the Medical School (College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-CMDNJ) was officially separated from Rutgers University, thus forcing the library to deal with two separate administrative structures. Agreements between the Medical School and LSM were made to provide funding and support for collections and staffing.

The character of the library has changed from a medical library serving the science campus to a university science library also serving a medical school. The history continues to write itself when the merger of UMDNJ (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) and Rutgers took place in 2013. Due to its proximity to other science departments and health related programs, LSM plays an important role in serving the students and faculty at Rutgers University. Today LSM is home to the Science research collections including behavioral sciences, biological sciences, chemistry, engineering and geology.