Prior Hall

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Prior Hall
Prior Health Sciences Library.jpg
General information
Type Library
Completed 1971
Opened 1971

The Prior Hall originally known as Health Sciences Library is the home of medical library at Ohio State University.


1971 - Construction on the Health Sciences Library Building was completed in August 1971.

1988 - Renamed to the John A. Prior Health Sciences Library.

2007 - The Health Sciences Center for Global Health was added to the first floor.

2009 - A coffee bar named The Caffeine Element opened on the first floor. The Center for Clinical and Translational Science was added to the second floor.

2010 - Two floors were added onto the top of the building to house academic and clinical departments.

2011 - The building was renamed the John A. Prior Hall in 2011.[1]

The Mural[edit]

1st Floor Mural: Printing Press

The mural on the first floor of Prior Hall was created by Marguerite Gaudin of the Willet Studio in Philadelphia. Artists for the mosaic were Costante Crovatto, Giovanni Travisanutto, and Nicky Milanese.  Installed in 1974, it is the centerpiece of the first floor. The mural shows the development of human communication across time.

The theme was developed by a committee within the College of Medicine composed of Georgr Hahn, Dr. Richard Meiling, Dr. Karl Klassen, Dr. John Prior, and Dr. Donald Westra.[2]

Measuring sixty-seven feet long and nine feet tall[3] the colorful mural uses marble, colored cubes of silica metallic oxides, glass cubes with gold leaf veneer and onyx. Before the building renovation in 1996, the mural was along a dimly lit exterior walkway. Part of the renovation process involved cleaning and restoring the mural.

1st Floor Mural: Typesetter


In addition to the Health Sciences Library, Prior Hall also contains the following:

  • Clinical Skills Education and Assessment Center
  • Health Sciences Office for Global Health
  • Center for Clinical and Translational Science
  • Medical Heritage Center
  • Academic offices for the Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Department of Orthopaedics and Division of Vascular Diseases & Surgery
  • Caffeine Element coffee and snack shop


The Health Sciences Library offers access to more than 2800 Health Science eJournals, 6000 eBooks and more than 55,000 print books. They also offer access to more than 50 different databases, such as Clinical Key, which provides access to more than 1,500 health sciences books and journals, plus more than 13,000 medical and surgical videos. More than 8,000 additional videos are available from Films on Demand, including nearly 2,000 in health and medicine.

Service Areas[edit]

  • @ the Desk: Front desk staff that assists customers with reference questions, checks out anatomical models and spreads the word about upcoming events.
  • Research and Education: Librarians at the Health Sciences Library provide liaison services, classroom instruction, in-depth reference and research consultation, and much more.
  • Medical Visuals: The Medical Visuals team offers full-service poster printing, as well as medical illustration, graphic design and portrait photography.
  • Event Technologies: Event Technologies provides a variety of audiovisual services, handling anything from small classroom presentations to large-scale broadcast events. They also provide video and web conferencing services.
  • Digital Solutions: This team provides services to support the education and research efforts at The Ohio State University. Staff is available for consultation, interface and design and application development
  • Medical Heritage Center: Located on the fifth floor, the MHC preserves, promotes, teaches and celebrates the health care legacy of central Ohio. The MHC's holdings include rare books dating back to 1555, archives and medical artifacts.


  1. ^ The Ohio State University Board of Trustees Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee Meeting Minutes November 4, 2011
  2. ^ Columbus Dispatch Magazine 1974, September 1
  3. ^ Ellwood, V. (1997). Past and Future Meet in New Health Sciences Library. College of Medicine Journal 46(2):12-14

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°59′42″N 83°01′01″W / 39.994973°N 83.01706°W / 39.994973; -83.01706