OHSU Library welcomes Maria Cunningham as Director of Special Collections

Color photograph shows Maria Cunningham smiling at the camera wearing a blue shirt and long hair in locs. In the background, greenery is visible.
Maria Cunningham, M.L.I.S. (she/her)

Please join me in welcoming Maria Cunningham (she/her) to OHSU! Maria joined the OHSU Library on July 7th as a faculty member and Director of Special Collections. Maria comes to OHSU from Reed College, where she served as Head of Special Collections and Archives. Prior to this position, she served as the Special Collections Librarian at Reed where she led department efforts in diversifying the collection, creating new outreach initiatives, and connecting with student researchers.

Maria began her library career as a graduate student at the Milwaukee Public Library in Milwaukee, WI serving as the Historic Photo Librarian and the Digital Projects Librarian. After completing her graduate studies, she moved into the position of Rare Books Librarian stewarding a collection of over 5,000 books, manuscripts, and archives documenting Milwaukee history.

Maria has a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a certificate in Museum Studies. She is a member of Northwest Archivists, Librarians, Archivists and Museum Professionals in the History of the Health Sciences (LAMPHHS), and the Rare Books and Manuscript Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Her research interests include social justice in libraries, the art of medical illustration, representations of the black body in medical illustration, and zines. She has a forthcoming chapter in Nina Clements’ Art at the Intersection of Librarianship and Social Justice from Library Juice Press.

As Director of Special Collections, Maria will lead the Historical Collections & Archives team consisting of the University Archivist Steven Duckworth, Public Services Coordinator Meg Langford, and graduate library/archives student assistants. Together they will steward a collection of archives, manuscripts, artifacts, and over 4,000 rare books spanning the history of medicine and health.

“This job is a dream opportunity for me,” says Cunningham. “I have long had an interest in medical history, illustrations, and teaching models. I’m excited to work with a collection that so closely matches my personal interests. I’m looking forward to working with a dedicated team to highlight these amazing resources and increase collection visibility.”

Please connect with Maria to welcome her to OHSU and let her know of your interests in future collaborations!