Established in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school, the Perelman School of Medicine is now over 250 years old and is consistently ranked as one the nation’s top medical schools. There are 47 departments, divisions, and centers in the Perelman School of Medicine. The school has a full-time faculty of 2,914; over 750 medical students; 1,490 residents and fellows; and 782 postdoctoral fellows.
For nearly 150 years the physicians and students of the Medical School relied on the Library of the College of Physicians. In 1931, the rotunda of the Medical Laboratories Building, now the Morgan Building, was set aside for a Medical School Library. The collection was formed by the merger of several departmental libraries and the personal collections of several faculty members. Acquisitions for the Medical Library focused on the basic sciences and research needs of the Penn medical community. It was understood that the clinical information needs of the staff were handled by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) departmental libraries and, from 1952, by the consolidated HUP Library. In 1987, the HUP library was closed, and its unique holdings were transferred to the Biomedical Library. As a consequence, the Biomedical Library was charged with providing a clinical as well as a research collection. In 2022, the Biomedical Library was renamed the Holman Biotech Commons after an extensive renovation.