Welcome to the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library
A part of Historical Collections at the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library maintains a growing collection of over 14,000 rare books and manuscripts pertaining to the history of medicine and science, dating from the 14th to the early 20th centuries. Dr. Lawrence Reynolds (1889-1961), a native of Ozark, Alabama, formed the library's original collection. In his youth, Reynolds accompanied his father, a blind physician, on house calls, reading to him from various medical writings en route. This experience encouraged an early appreciation for both books and medicine. After receiving his B.S. degree from the University of Alabama in 1912, Reynolds attended medical school at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Reynolds worked as a radiologist in Detroit, Michigan, until his death in 1961.
It was in Baltimore that Dr. Reynolds began collecting books important to the history of medicine, a pursuit he continued throughout his life. Motivated by his roots in Alabama, Dr. Reynolds donated his valuable collection of about 5,000 volumes to the University of Alabama School of Medicine on February 2, 1958, and the Reynolds Historical Library officially opened. Since acquiring the collection, the Library has more than doubled in size.
On November 14, 2014, it was announced that a gift from Sara J. Finley and Randall W. Finley that honors their father, Dr. Wayne Finley, would form an endowment for the continued enhancement and expansion of the medical historical collections. In recognition of this significant gift, and of Dr. Finley's longstanding commitment to medical history at this university, the Reynolds Historical Library is renamed the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library, and the Reynolds Historical Lectureship is renamed the Reynolds-Finley Historical Lectureship. In particular, Dr. Wayne H. Finley, professor emeritus in the Department of Genetics at the UAB School of Medicine, is recognized for his contributions to the growth and development of the library’s collection as well as the lectureship in medical history.