Sotheby's Auction Catalog

Helen Crawford


In 1945, Helen became the first academic librarian appointed for the University of Wisconsin’s Medical School. During her 26 year tenure at the William S. Middleton library, former Director Virginia Holtz wrote Helen brought, “…enthusiasm, a sound work ethic, a solid background of training, a truly phenomenal memory, large measures of generosity and common sense, a scholarly bent, an engaging sense of humor, and a genuine interest in the work and ideas around her.”

One of the many achievements of her career was the acquisition of large portions of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh’s library, auctioned by Sotheby’s during a three part sale in February, July, and October 1969. These trips to London increased the Middleton library’s historical collection by three fold before her departure. She was able to successfully acquire nearly 70% of the Medical Society’s medical books and the largest collection of Medical Society dissertations outside of the Society itself.

Helen retired from the library in 1971. Former Dean of the Medical School, Peter Eichmann, commented about the indelible influence of Helen on the library. “The library will forever have a character which reflects Miss Crawford’s thoroughness and persistent devotion to excellence.”


Information taken from:
Holtz, V. (1995) Helen Crawford, 1906-1994 Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 83, 267-269.


       This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, US Code).                                                                         Photo by Amanda Lambert, Edinburgh 1995  

home page history of the collection auction thesis search using the collection credits Sotheby's Auction Catalog historical services Ebling Library University of Wisconsin Madison