Sep 7 2021

Beverly Allen Day Open House and Exhibition

September 7, 2021

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM


One Illini Drive, Peoria, IL 61656

B/W photo from an undated Library of the Health Sciences newsletter depicting Beverly Allen with her colleagues from the Library of the Health Sciences in Chicago.

Please join us on Sept. 7 for “Beverly Allen Day,” an open house celebration and remembrance event and exhibition in honor of Beverly Allen, the trailblazing African American librarian who founded the Library of the Health Sciences-Peoria (LHS-Peoria). The day commemorates the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Allen in 1971 to the University of Illinois Peoria School of Medicine, now the UIC College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP). Allen passed away in late 2020.

For Beverly Allen Day, an exhibition including special collections materials and a timeline depicting Beverly Allen’s role in UICOMP’s history will be on display inside the Library and UICOMP. The exhibition will remain on display until Sept. 17. “Grab-and-go” refreshments will be available for UIC community visitors on a first come, first served basis throughout the day on Sept. 7.

During the early 1970s, when African American women had for the first time been appointed to a few key leadership roles in the still today white-dominated field of library and information science in the U.S., Beverly Allen not only single-handedly created and developed the Peoria School of Medicine’s library collections and services, policies, physical spaces and staffing, but did so while working concurrently in another predominantly white and male field—medical education. Over the course of only a few years from 1971-1976, Allen developed and set in motion her expansive vision of the role of the library as central to the medical school, shaping LHS-Peoria as we know it today. Just 17 days after starting her position as medical librarian, Allen gave the first Peoria School of Medicine Library Orientation to 18 third and fourth year-medical students (17 white men and 1 woman). By 1976, Allen had grown the medical collections from zero to over 25,000 volumes.


Carmen Howard

Date posted

Sep 3, 2021

Date updated

Sep 3, 2021