The Texas Medical Center and the Library

The Texas Medical Center is one of the largest incorporated medical centers in the world and comprises more than 650 acres dedicated to biomedical research and care. Among its components are two graduate schools of biomedical sciences, two medical schools, a school of public health, four schools of nursing, a dental school, a college of pharmacy, a cancer research center, a medical library, and 12 hospitals. In addition, Rice University is within walking distance. The 44 member institutions of the Texas Medical Center are collectively Houston’s largest employer. More than 54,000 people work full- or part-time in the Medical Center. Although the member institutions of the Texas Medical Center operate under independent direction, there is considerable interinstitutional cooperation and scientific collaboration. Frequent seminars permit students and faculty of the many institutions to benefit from the broad base of local scientific expertise.

The Texas Medical Center is located in one of the most attractive areas in Houston. It adjoins the trees and ponds of Hermann Park, with its zoo, golf course, fountains, hike-and-bike trails, and children’s areas such as playgrounds, ponds, and a miniature railroad. Both the nearby University of Houston and Rice University add to the youthful, academic ambience of this section of the city. There are many cafĂ©s, bookstores, music and theater groups, film series, and art exhibits. Circling the medical center is the museum district.

Serving the Medical Center is the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. Located adjacent to Baylor College of Medicine, the library is one of the country’s largest medical libraries and serves the institutions of the Texas Medical Center through a unique cooperative agreement. The Library serves also as the Regional Medical Library for the South Central Region of the United States, an area comprising Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

The Library was founded in the Texas Medical Center in 1949 when the Houston Academy of Medicine Library and the library of Baylor College of Medicine merged. The Library’s collections contain more than 250,000 volumes of books and bound periodicals, and approximately 2700 subscriptions.

The Library offers a variety of services and educational programs. The Library offers electronic access to catalogs and to databases through its TexSearch system. Currently, the TexSearch system includes the MEDLINE and CancerLit databases and the Library System (ILS) catalog of books and journals. Current Contents is available for cardholders who subscribe to TexSearch Plus. Access to the ILS is open to anyone.

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