About Woodward Library

The Woodward Library’s collection covers a broad range of disciplines in support of learning and research in the Faculties of Applied Science, Dentistry, Forestry, Land & Food Systems, Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Science.

The collection covers a range of subject areas, including agriculture, biology, botany, chemistry, computer science, dentistry, earth and ocean sciences, engineering, food science, forestry, mathematics, medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, physics, public health, statistics, wood science and zoology.

Woodward Library has the largest biomedical collection in Western Canada and a strong history of medicine and science collection.


  • 1950 Medical Reading Room established as part of the Reference Division in the Main Library.
  • 1951 First full-time Biomedical Librarian appointed; 8,000 medical volumes available.
  • 1952 Biomedical Branch Library opened at the Vancouver General Hospital with the enrolment of the first class in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. The Biomedical Branch Library at VGH was the first official branch of the Main Library.
  • 1957 Biological and medical collections consolidated in the Main Library at UBC. The Biomedical Branch Library at VGH moved to its present location in the newly constructed Faculty of Medicine wing.
  • 1964 Woodward Library was built through a gift of the Mr and Mrs PA Woodward Foundation and matching federal government funds. It was officially opened on November 12, 1964.
  • 1970 Woodward Library doubled in size through a second gift from the Woodward Foundation and matching federal funds.
  • 1972 The Instructional Resources Centre, which adjoins the Woodward Library, was completed and occupied.
  • 1973 First online information retrieval service (MEDLINE) introduced in the UBC Library system through a grant from the Woodward Foundation.
  • 1977 Remote online database searching made available through DIALOG and CAN/OLE.
  • 1978 Card catalogue closed; books from 1977 and all serials listed on microfiche.
  • 1982 Health Sciences Network established. Woodward Library, the Biomedical Branch Library at VGH, St Paul’s Hospital Library, and the Eric Hamber Library at Shaughnessy Hospital share resources and provide next day delivery to library users.
  • 1988 OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) terminals installed in Woodward Library for accessing UBC Library’s online catalogue.
  • 1989 CD-ROM (Compact Disc-Read Only Memory) version of MEDLINE installed for public use at Woodward Biomedical Library.
  • 1992 Woodward Biomedical Library, Biomedical Branch Library, Eric Hamber Library, St Paul’s Hospital Library merged and renamed the UBC Life Sciences Libraries (LSL).
  • 1994 OVID version of MEDLINE installed in all Life Sciences Libraries and loaded for public and dial-in access.
  • 1995 Life Sciences Libraries World Wide Web Information Service installed and made available for public access at the URL: http://www.library.ubc.ca/life/.
  • 1997 UBC Library subscribes to its first electronic journal in the life sciences, The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  • 1998 Woodward opens a 20 workstation lab for teaching and student use, funded in part by the Woodward Foundation.
  • 2003 Partial refurbishment of the main floor of Woodward Library.
  • 2006 Relocation of MacMillan Library materials added Land and Food Systems/Forestry to Woodward.
  • 2009 Library Processing Centre moved in to the 3rd Floor
  • 2010 Basement and Lower Level renovation to provide Group and Silent Study space and refurbish Computer Teaching Lab
  • 2013 Science and Engineering collections, staff and services merged with Woodward Library