The Max Henry Memorial Library is a collection of over 1000 books and manuscripts. It includes early veterinary textbooks, books about animal health and veterinary science in Australia and books written by Australian veterinarians.
The library was formed in 1931 by Mr Max Henry from books received by the Australian Veterinary Journal for review. Originally known simply as the AVA Library, it was renamed the Max Henry Memorial Library in 1961 to commemorate the life's devotion of Max Henry to veterinary science in general, and to the AVA, its journal and the library in particular.
From its earliest days the Max Henry Memorial Library was housed in the McMaster Laboratory of CSIRO located beside the Veterinary School of the University of Sydney. Dr Hugh McL Gordon was the AVA Honorary Librarian for the entire period the library was housed in the McMaster Laboratory.
With the growth of the Max Henry Memorial Library and competition for shelf space in the McMaster Laboratory library, a collection of 559 books of historical value was transferred to the Fisher Library of the University of Sydney in the late 1970s.
In 1995 the AVA Executive decided to disband the Max Henry Memorial Library. The traditional type of library consisting of books and journals was seen to be too costly to maintain and outdated by technological developments. It was considered preferable to have an information service based on electronic methods. Most of the books and journals were donated to the Veterinary School in Zambia. Custody of the historical component of the Max Henry Memorial Library, comprising over 600 books, was given to the Australian Veterinary History Society.
The size of the Max Henry Memorial Library has grown slowly through the donation of books and some purchases made by the Australian Veterinary History Society.*
* adapted from The Australian Veterinary History Record Nov 2012 No.63 at https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstream/2123/9117/2/AVHS%20HISTORY%20RECORD%20%2363%20Nov12.pdf accessed on 19 06 2019
The Max Henry Memorial Library is currently housed in the Veterinary Science Library at University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria. The library is located in the Teaching Block. The collection is open to the public and all visitors to the Werribee campus must register at the hospital reception and receive a visitor's pass. AVA members and students and staff of the University of Melbourne are able to borrow selected items from the collection.