The Norris Library John and Julia Webb Memorial Room has been relocated to the east side of the library’s upper level. In addition to housing the Webb Collection, the new space will serve as additional study space (identified as group study room E) for library users and can be reserved online for small group study. (Please note that this room has a capacity of 4-5 and includes wireless access but does not include a computer or plasma screen.)
The Webb room was created as a tribute to John L. Webb, Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Southern California [1914-1966], who established an exceptional record in teaching, research and scholarship during his 26 years as a member of the USC faculty. This room houses Dr. Webb’s personal library, a portion of which is the nucleus of the library’s endowed collection of American Indian Ethnopharmacology in honor of Dr. Webb. A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Webb received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the California Institute of Technology where his graduate studies in bio-organic chemistry were guided by Dr. Linus Pauling. He also held Fellowships at Oxford University and the University of Zurich and was appointed to the Department of Pharmacology of the USC School of Medicine in 1940.
Dr. Webb’s great interest in the history of drugs, drug plants, and their use by primitive peoples (a field encompassing anthropology and mythology as well as pharmacology) was but one example of the breadth and scope of his knowledge. He was not only a dedicated teacher and distinguished scientist, but he was also a painter and poet and an expert in such diverse fields as Far Eastern philosophy, archeology, ancient civilizations, and jazz.
In 2002, Dr. Webb’s widow, Julia M. Webb, passed away and bequeathed the proceeds from the sale of the Webb’s home to establish an endowment for the Norris Medical Library. Interest income from the John and Julia Memorial Fund allows the library to support in perpetuity Dr. Webb’s passion for teaching and learning.