Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association

Bertha Hallam, 1895-1982


  • Only Pacific Northwest Chapter/MLA member to become President of MLA, 1956/57
  • First chairman of the Pacific Northwest Regional Group, 1953
    Bertha Hallam was one of the organizers of the Pacific Northwest Regional Group, which held its first meeting in Seattle, Washington on October 10, 1953.
  • First Librarian at the University of Oregon Medical School
    She served as librarian from 1919 until her retirement in 1965 as Professor Emeritus.
  • MLA accomplishments
    Became member of MLA in 1922.
    Attended her first MLA meeting in 1926.
    One of three who signed the Certificate of Incorporation for MLA in 1934.
    Elected to Executive Committee 2 times.
    Served as Treasurer of MLA during the war years in 1941-46, when no meetings were held.
    Member of several MLA committees: Finance, Gifts and Grants, Standards for Medical Librarianship.
    Chairman of the Membership and Certification Committee.
  • Contributed chapters to the first 2 editions of the Handbook of Medical Library Practice
    "Periodical and Book Selection Ordering" 1943
    "The Medical Library Association" 1956
  • Hosted the MLA annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, 1940
    80 members attended
  • One of organizers of the Portland Area Special Librarians group, at a time when few librarians working in the special library field could afford time or money to attend national meetings.
  • One of original faculty members of refresher course, "Medical Reference Work," preceding MLA Annual Meeting, 1958.
  • Other honors: Elected to honorary membership in the Portland Academy of Medicine, 1952.
    She was the first woman to achieve such a distinction and was given a silver tea service.
    "Citizen of the Week" in Portland, 1947.
    "Woman of Achievement" of Theta Sigma Phi national honor society for women in journalism and communications.
    Honorary member of the Oregon State Medical Society, Multnomah County Medical Society, University of Oregon Medical School Alumni Association, University of Oregon School of Nursing Alumni Association.
  • Elected for honorary membership in MLA in 1966
    "You have...brought lustre to your profession by symbolizing what a medical librarian should be. The many medical and community groups that have granted you honorary memberships and awards for citizenship honored not you alone but your unprecedented record of cheerful and enthusiastic service. So do we."


 Last Modified: Tuesday, 20-Sep-2005 15:18:28 PDT