Contact Us | Donate | Advertise Follow us on TwitterFollow us on facebookFollow us on LinkedIn


For the most complete display of articles, please login.

Editor - Christine Willis, AHIP
Managing Editor - Susan Talmage
Full Editorial team - click here
MLA News is updated continually. Most articles are restricted to MLA members and/or to members of specific MLA Sections. For the most complete display of articles, please login.
Submit to the MLA News.
Products, services, and events published in the MLA News do not constitute MLA's endorsement or approval. Opinions expressed in MLA News are the authors' and do not necessarily express those of the association.

October Events
October 24, 2018
07:00 AM - 03:00 PM
SUNY College of Optometry
New York, NY

October 28, 2018
04:10 PM - 04:10 PM
Ocean City, MD

February Events

MLA News < Article detail

Runge, Elisabeth D. (AHIP, FMLA)*

Elisabeth Runge was associated with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for forty-four years and was a member of the Medical Library Association for over fifty years. Unlike many of the other oral history interviewees, Elisabeth was not President of the Association. She declined to serve as President claiming she was too isolated in Galveston to discharge the duties of that office. And while she was not a Noyes Award winner, she had the privilege of knowing Marcia Noyes, first meeting her in Cleveland in 1929. In commenting on the changes in librarianship, she noted that the library was no longer the social gathering place that it had been and that physicians no longer did their own library research. Expecting to be a kindergarten teacher, Elisabeth attended the University of Texas at Austin. While there she was persuaded to become a librarian through encounter with members of the library staff, who often lunched at her dormitory. She wanted to study librarianship at the University of Chicago, but her father, who objected to her having any career aspirations, insisted she remain in Texas. She stayed on at Austin, which had a smaller and newer library school. Elisabeth, and her seven classmates, took seven courses: classification, cataloging, administration, history, library extension, reference, and book selection. She valued the personalized attention and the practical aspects of her training.

Elisabeth developed the library at Galveston from a one-person library. "Oh yes, I did all the cataloging. And I did all the letter writing, ordering, classification, selection of books...I had nobody to superintend me or to inform me...I used to save stubs of pencils and string, because I didn't have much money." She supplemented what she considered an insufficient budget by exchanging the Texas Reports of Biology and Medicine for 1200 foreign and domestic journals. She also made good use of the Medical library Association Exchange. The growth of the collection necessitated five moves during her tenure.

Elisabeth was an avid Medical Library Association meeting goer, missing only three meetings in a thirty-one year period, even though she went at her own expense until 1942 when her institution finally assumed those costs. She served on a few committees and hosted the 1949 meeting. "We had 62 down here in '49 and we thought that was wonderful. We had 19 from NY, and they said that was the first time New Yorkers had ever left their territory. And then the Army people came from Washington. They flew in a plane, and that was something unusual!"

Always one to travel, Elisabeth attended the International Congress on Medical Librarianship in London. What she remembered most about the meetings was "the large libraries and the old books." She visited the British Medical Museum, the University of London, the College of Physicians, and the Royal Medical Society.

Elisabeth Runge's Oral History Index

If no content displays, it may be because the access to this article is member-only. Please login below, and then use the back page control to get back from the home page to the page displaying the article.