Helen Holt, Houston Academy of Medicine Librarian

Sandra Yates
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

In the course of my research for the Library Centennial, I met the first full-time librarian of the Houston Academy of Medicine today, and I have to say that it has been one of the more exciting days in the archive. Helen Holt began working at the Houston Academy of Medicine Library in 1927, soon after the library and Harris County Medical Society moved into the brand new Medical Arts Building. I can imagine her first few months were spent unpacking and getting the library into shape.

Framed photograph of Helen Holt Garrott with plaque that reads, "Mrs. Helen Holt Garrott, in Recognition of 30 Years of Devoted Services As Librarian, Houston Academy of Medicine, 1927 - 1957" [P-3355, Oversize, McGovern Historical Center]

Framed photograph of Helen Holt Garrott with plaque that reads, “Mrs. Helen Holt Garrott, in Recognition of 30 Years of Devoted Services As Librarian, Houston Academy of Medicine, 1927 – 1957” [P-3355, Oversize, McGovern Historical Center]

By August 1927, Miss Holt was entering new book and journal titles into the accession log. The image below shows her first entries.

Page from the Houston Academy of Medicine library accession log. First entry by the new librarian, Helen Holt, on August 1927. [IC001, Accessions, HAM-TMC Library Collection, McGovern Historical Center]

Page from the Houston Academy of Medicine library accession log. First entry by the new librarian, Helen Holt, on August 1927. [IC001, Accessions, HAM-TMC Library Collection, McGovern Historical Center]

The Medical Arts Building broke ground in 1926, and it was part of the construction boom in Houston during the 1920s. Image below is the groundbreaking ceremony with leaders of the Harris County Medical Society.

Groundbreaking for the Medical Arts Building at Caroline and Walker in downtown Houston, TX. Caption reads: "Mrs. T. A. Dickson (center), President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Harris County Medical Society, turned the first spade of earth for the site of the new $1,750,000 Medical Arts Building, Caroline Street and Walker Avenue, From left to right are: DR. John T. Moore, Vice President; Dr. E. H. Lancaster, Director; Dr. Ralph Cooley, Director; Dr. John Foster, Director; Dr. W. G. Priester, Vice President; Don Hall, Contractor; Dr. Munford W. Hoover, Director, and Dr. A. H. Flickwir, Secretary-Treasurer." [McGovern Historical Center, Framed Oversize]

Groundbreaking for the Medical Arts Building at Caroline and Walker in downtown Houston, TX. Caption reads: “Mrs. T. A. Dickson (center), President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Harris County Medical Society, turned the first spade of earth for the site of the new $1,750,000 Medical Arts Building, Caroline Street and Walker Avenue, From left to right are: DR. John T. Moore, Vice President; Dr. E. H. Lancaster, Director; Dr. Ralph Cooley, Director; Dr. John Foster, Director; Dr. W. G. Priester, Vice President; Don Hall, Contractor; Dr. Munford W. Hoover, Director, and Dr. A. H. Flickwir, Secretary-Treasurer.” [McGovern Historical Center, Framed Oversize]

Here is the finished Medical Arts Building at Caroline Street and Walker Avenue. The Houston Academy of Medicine Library and Harris County Medical Society Meeting Room occupied half of the 16th Floor. The building was demolished around 1986.

Postcard of Medical Arts Building around the time it opened in 1926. The Houston Academy of Medicine Library and Harris County Medical Society Meeting Room took half of the 16th floor (top floor). The building was occupied by Harris County Medical Society and Houston Dental Society members. [IC091, hou43, Texas Health Facilities Postcard Collection, McGovern Historical Center]

Postcard of Medical Arts Building around the time it opened in 1926. The Houston Academy of Medicine Library and Harris County Medical Society Meeting Room took half of the 16th floor (top floor). The building was occupied by Harris County Medical Society and Houston Dental Society members. [IC091, hou43, Texas Health Facilities Postcard Collection, McGovern Historical Center]

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Posted in Centennial, Harris County Medical Society, Hospitals

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