T. Mark Hodges

(1933 - 2006)

Mark Hodges was born in Sheffield, England on June 18, 1933. His mother was a teacher and his father a banker. Mark was seven years old during the German bombardment of Sheffield in December 1940. Sheffield, a key city in Britain's military supply chain, suffered over 600 civilian fatalities from air raids. World War II left an indelible impression on Mark, and he often spoke of his family's experiences during the war.

Mark was educated in England and graduated from the Leeds College School of Librarianship. From 1951-1953 Mark embarked on his first overseas library adventure when he directed the library at the Suez Garrison Army Education Centre in Egypt. He then returned to Sheffield where he worked in the Sheffield City Public Library System, rising to the position of branch librarian. During the 1950's the United States experienced an acute shortage of trained librarians. Mark seized the opportunity to immigrate to the U.S., accepting the position of reference librarian at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He later moved to Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and then to the Brooklyn Public Library, where he directed the King's Highway Branch and filled the position of Senior Librarian Language and Literature Division, at the main library. While working in Brooklyn, Mark met and married fellow librarian, Judith Rosenbloom.

Mark Hodges came into medical libraries in 1965 with an appointment as circulation librarian at Harvard's new Countway Library in Boston. At the Countway Library he became director of the New England Regional Medical Library Service in 1967, and in 1970 moved to Emory University in Atlanta to establish the Southeastern Regional Medical Library Program. In 1972 he moved to Nashville to become director of Vanderbilt's Medical Center Library. Mark remained at Vanderbilt until his retirement in 1995. His achievements at Vanderbilt were many: he more than doubled the size of the staff; coordinated the automation of the library's card catalog; doubled the collection; established a Special Collections department; and negotiated the budget up to ten times its size when he came. His crowning achievement was the planning of a state-of-the-art new library, the Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library, which opened in 1994.

Mark Hodges was an active member of a variety of library organizations. He worked diligently for the Medical Library Association (MLA) throughout his career. In 1995, he was elected as an MLA Fellow, and he was chosen to give the 1997 Janet Doe Lecture on a topic concerning the history or philosophy of medical librarianship (Musings on Our Meetings: MLA Conventions, 'Ninety-eight to Date). In 1999 he received MLA's highest award, the Marcia Noyes Award. He was also elected fellow of the UK's Library Association in 1990 and was a regular contributor to the publications of its Medical, Health and Welfare Group. He was a charter member of the Association of Academic Health Science Library Directors (AAHSLD) and served on its Board of Directors from 1987-1990. He founded the Mid-Tennessee Health Science Librarians Consortium in 1973 and was a charter member of the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries (CONBLS), which he served as Vice-President from 1985-1987 and as President from 1987-1989.

In retirement, Mark devoted himself to the history of medicine and medical librarianship. He served as obituaries editor for the Journal of the Medical Library Association, was an active member of Vanderbilt University's History of Medicine Society, published a history of the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association, and was the main speaker at a memorial conference held in London in 2005, honoring noted medical bibliographer, librarian and historian Leslie T. Morton. Mark interviewed Leslie Morton in 1999 and 2000. The published transcript of the interview is available in the Special Collections at the Eskind Library.

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