In 1897 the Royal College of Dental Surgeons (original name of the Faculty of Dentistry) created a room that was well supplied with daily papers, magazines and dental journals. Thus was born the School's library. In the same year a Committee was put together to arrange for an index to the library materials. Although staff members continued to manage the library collection, it was evident in 1898 that a librarian needed to be appointed to take better care of the collection. Later in 1898, the personal collection of Dr. W. George Beers was purchased, most of which is still available at the library in our rare book section. In 1899, the first librarian was appointed by the RCDS' Board, Dr. W.L.G. Spaulding. In 1902, the library grew to 700 volumes, 600 of which were bound periodicals. A card index was available and items were circulating. Dr. Spaulding continued his term until 1906, when Dr. W.E. Cummer becomes the second librarian and curator of the museum.
In 1919, Dr. W.E. Wilmott donates his personal library, adding 75 volumes to the collection. In 1925 the Harry Randolph Abbott library was founded upon a bequest from Dr. Abbott's sister to establish and maintain a dental library. This collection was differentiated from the rest of the Dentistry Library by marking the items purchased with the H R Abbott fund with an insert. The two libraries however, have always been interfiled.
In 2007, the library became part of the Central Libraries System at the University of Toronto Libraries, one of the largest library systems in North America. The operations of the library are now managed by UofT Libraries Central System. The library is the only free-standing dental library in Canada and has the largest dental collection in Canada.
In 2011, 375 from the dentistry rare book collection were scanned and made available online through the Internet Archive. Fragile or extremely rare dental books are housed in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, which is the largest rare book library in Canada
In 2014, the Dentistry Library received the Dr. Sydney Wood Bradley Library Fund. These funds are used to expand our collection and services in order to better serve all our users. Our first effort to put this fund to use was the Literature Search Service.
In 2015, in order to make more room for study space, we began to archive much of our print collection. After sending almost about 18,000 volumes of books and journals to the library remote storage space - UTL Downsview, as of November 2017, there remains about 9,000 volumes of collections: containing over 4,600 titles of print monographs and 456 titles of journals on site, with additional resources housed in the Gerstein Science Information Centre. Our dentistry collection is one of the largest in North America.
In 2018, the Dentistry Library underwent a renovation that transformed it into a modern, bright, and comfortable space for our community to enjoy. Renovations included new flooring, ergonomic furniture, electrical and a fresh coat of paint. We are grateful to all stakeholders who supported this important and much anticipated project.
List of Past Faculty Librarians
· 1899 to 1906 Dr. W.L.G Spaulding
· 1906 to 1910 Dr. W.E. Cummer
· 1910 to 1912 Dr. C.A. Kennedy
· 1912 to 1913 Dr. A.D.A. Mason
· 1913 to 1915 Dr. C.A. Kennedy
· 1915 to 1917 Dr. Wallace Seccombe
· 1917 to 1937 Dr. C.A. Kennedy
· 1938 to 1948 Dr. E.W. Paul
· 1949 to 1954 Dr. J.H Johnson
· 1954 to 1978 Phyllis Margaret Smith, BA, BLS
· 1978 to 1997 Susan Goddard, BA, MLS
· 1997 to 2003 Stephanie Walker, BA, MA, MLS
· 2003 to 2007 Margaret Fulford, BA, MLS