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A Look Back: Checking Out the Library at 60

The three-story D. Samuel Gottesman Library was dedicated 60 years ago—on April 5, 1959—to serve medical students, faculty, and physicians affiliated with Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The library, on the first floor of the Forchheimer Medical Science Building, was built to house more than 200,000 volumes. Construction began in 1957 thanks to a $500,000 gift from the D. H. and R. H. Gottesman Foundation in memory of pulp and paper industrialist D. Samuel Gottesman.

The building included a 180-foot-long glassed-in reading room, reading carrels, study-typing rooms for students, a current periodicals room, and two lower-level floors of stacks for books and journals. In the photo at left, taken the year the library opened, a student in white shirt and tie pores over a textbook. (Note the ashtray on the table.)

Sixty years later, technology has changed how students use the same space. First-year student Taneisha Sinclair, at right, uses the library’s online portal to connect via laptop computer to the latest biomedical research published anywhere in the world. Her noise-canceling headphones keep her immersed in her work. But just as in 1959, a reference book serves as a helpful study tool.

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