The Cordell Collection is the largest book collection in HS/HSL's Historical Collections. The Cordell Collection includes texts from across the various medical specialties, with holdings in a variety of languages and across several chronological periods. Additionally, the collection includes volumes written by University founders, faculty, and alumni, including John B. Davidge, James Cocke, Nathaniel Potter, Nathan Ryno Smith, Robley Dunglison, and John Ruhräh.
The collection's name honors the University's first librarian, Dr. Eugene F. Cordell, who served in that capacity from 1903 until his death in 1913. During his tenure as librarian, Dr. Cordell acquired much of the present collection. Other large donations to the collection include Dr. Eduard Uhlenhuth's anatomical collection, received sometime after his death in 1961; Dr. John E. Savage, School of Medicine Class of 1932, donation in 1979; and the Dr. Milford M. Foxwell, School of Medicine Class of 1980, donation in 2020.
The Cordell Collection continues to grow through donations and transfers from the Library's circulating collection.
Related Links and Collections:
To search the collection use the Library Catalog.
Dr. Eugene Fauntleroy Cordell was born June 25, 1843, in Charlestown, W.Va., to Dr. Levi O'Conner Cordell (University of Maryland School of Medicine Class of 1825) and Christine Turner Cordell. Eugene Cordell received a quality education before the outbreak of the Civil War. When war broke out in 1861, Cordell enlisted and served with the Confederate Army until 1865, earning the rank of Second Lieutenant.
Dr. Cordell entered the University of Maryland's School of Medicine in 1865 and received his medical degree in 1868. After graduation, Dr. Cordell held positions in Baltimore hospitals and opened a private practice. He served as librarian and president of the Medical and Chirugical Faculty of Maryland, co-editor of the Maryland Medical Journal, and founded the Association of American Medical Colleges. He served as president of the Hospital Relief Association and founded both the Home for Incurables and the Home for Widows and Orphans of Physicians.
As an educator, Dr. Cordell co-founded the Women's Medical College in Baltimore in 1882, serving as professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics there. He wrote A Historical Sketch of the University of Maryland in 1891, The Medical Annals of Maryland in 1903, and University of Maryland, 1807-1907. In 1903, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine as professor of history of medicine and librarian. In his librarian role, he cared for a small collection, growing it from a few hundred books to a respectable medical library. Dr. Cordell edited Old Maryland, a publication highlighting the work and growth of the University of Maryland's School of Medicine; he was also instrumental in the founding of the Medical Alumni Association.
Dr. Cordell and his wife Louisa Tazewell Southall Cordell had four children: Eugene F. Cordell, Jr.; Littleton Tazewell Cordell; Martha Tazewell Cordell Jeffers; and James Southall Cordell, who died at age three.
Dr. Cordell died in August 1913 of a cerebral embolism.
Additional Biographical Links:
A more extensive biography on Dr. Eugene F. Cordell is available in the Digital Archive.
Dr. Cordell’s Recollection of Slave Days and War Times.