The Health Sciences Library has been an essential part of the history and development of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz). The library was started with an endowment made by Ella Strong Denison, whose husband, Dr. Charles Denison, was an early Colorado physician and Professor of Chest Diseases and Climatology at the University of Denver, 1881-1885. Mrs. Denison donated funds in 1924 for "The Charles Denison, M.D., Memorial Library." The funds made it possible to furnish a library on the second floor of the School of Medicine. She also gave funds annually to purchase journal subscriptions. The library opened with 7,500 books and soon outgrew its quarters. In 1935, Mrs. Denison donated more than $90,000 to build a new library building and badly needed auditorium. This building was completed in 1937. The dedication address was given by Dr. Florence Sabin. The library flourished, requiring new additions in 1962 and 1977. For more information about the library on the old 9th Avenue campus, read this detailed history of the University of Colorado Medical Library Collection.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for a new Health Sciences Library at CU Anschutz took place on April 10, 2006. Collections and staff moved to CU Anschutz in October 2007 and its doors opened to the public on October 15, 2007. The new library is the physical and digital hub of knowledge at CU Anschutz, coordinating access to information in support of learning, research, clinical care, and service to the community. The library is seen as a link between people and knowledge in this technology-intensive era, helping to overcome barriers, meeting needs for information, and providing navigation assistance. In addition to CU Anschutz personnel and students, the library serves rural and metro health providers, citizens of the region, and Colorado's developing biotechnology industry.

The history of the library is captured as photographs and documents available in CU Anschutz Digital Collection

In November 2018 the CU Regents approved naming the library at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus the Henry Strauss Health Sciences Library in honor of pharmacy alumnus and philanthropist Henry L. Strauss (’51), a significant supporter of the library and the campus as a whole.  Mr. Strauss’s longtime advocacy for, and philanthropic contributions to, the library have impacted students, faculty and visitors for more than two decades. He established the Florence G. Strauss-Leonard A. Wisneski Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection in 1995 as well as an integrative medicine lecture series that has highlighted a broad range of health care speakers.  Mr. Strauss has also served the university at large through a number of volunteer leadership roles at the library, the alumni association and the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  A recognition celebration took place on February 4, 2019 to celebrate Mr. Strauss.

Governor Polis with Mr. Strauss at 2019 naming celebration.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Henry Strauss

Mr. and Mrs. Strauss at 2019 naming celebration.
Joan and Henry Strauss

Photographs by Eric Stephenson Photography

On February 20, 2020, Henry Strauss was one of three donors recognized at the 2020 Benefactor Recognition Dinner.
A video was created for each benefactor to explain their story and commitment to CU.



On April 8, 2021, Henry Strauss passed away at the age of 93. More information about his remarkable life, his obituary and the recording of Henry's service are here.