The CLEVELAND MEDICAL LIBRARY ASSN. was organized on 27 Nov. 1894, by a committee representing the CUYAHOGA COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY, the SOCIETY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, and the CLEVELAND MEDICAL SOCIETY. In 1995 its Allen Library held about 1,000 current journals and 80,000 monographs, including extensive holdings in the history of medicine. The independent organization was created to provide and maintain a medical library for the practicing physicians of the area. Its first home was a corner of the Case Library (see CLEVELAND LIBRARY ASSN.) in downtown Cleveland. In 1898 the association purchased the Henry Childs residence at 2318 Prospect Ave. for its rapidly growing library. In 1906 a fireproof wing was added, but continued growth necessitated further development. In 1919 land was purchased on Prospect for a new building. ELISABETH SEVERANCE ALLEN (Mrs. FRANCIS FLEURY) PRENTISS, widow of DUDLEY P. ALLEN, M.D., suggested instead that the library building be erected on land adjoining the proposed site for UNIV. HOSPITALS, at UNIV. CIRCLE. Dr. Allen had been an active member of the CMLA and had left a large endowment for library operations at his death. In 1925 Prentiss offered additional funds for the building's construction on its present site at 11000 EUCLID AVE., and on 13 Nov. 1926 the Dudley P. Allen Memorial Medical Library (called the Allen Library) opened. The Allen Library building was designed in Neoclassic style by the firm of FRANK R. WALKER and HARRY E. WEEKS. Constructed of Indiana limestone with a pink Georgia marble base, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
The CMLA is supported by endowment and membership fees. Its collection is primarily clinical in nature, serving health-science practitioners. Membership provides a number of specialized services, but the library is also fully accessible to the public. Since 1966 the CMLA has been a partner in the CLEVELAND HEALTH SCIENCES LIBRARY, which includes the Allen Library and the Health Center Library of CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV. From 1931-44 the association occasionally published the Bulletin of the Cleveland Medical Library, and between 1944-54 an occasional News-Letter. In 1954 a new series of the Bulletin began; except 1973-75, it appeared regularly until 1986, when it merged with The Cleveland Physician. This affiliation ended in 1995, and the publication of a newsletter was resumed.
"Cleveland Medical Library Assn." (1992), Brochure.