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History of the Association

The Medical Library Association was founded as the Association of Medical Librarians on May 2, 1898, by four librarians and four physicians in the office of the Philadelphia Medical Journal at the invitation of George M. Gould, M.D., editor. William McKinley was president, Victoria was queen, Congress declared war on Spain, the Hawaiian islands were annexed, and Henry Ford had put the cart before the horse just two years earlier.

Historical Marker Commemorating the Founding of MLA in Philadelphia - See MLA News

The MLA Milestones timeline lists significant dates in the association's history.

MLA Members can also access information from past annual meetings, including proceedings and programs, where available.

MLA Past Leaders

Past Elected Officials (Presidents, Board of Directors, Nominating Committee)

MLA's Oral History Project conducts interviews with MLA leaders. The project was featured in Barbara Epstein’s 2015 Janet Doe Lecture, “In Their Own Words: Oral Histories of Past MLA Presidents.” 

MLA's former executive secretaries and executive directors contributed to MLA by leading the headquarters staff in the daily administration of the association.