When the Ontario Cancer Institute was incorporated by an Act of the Legislature of the Province of Ontario in 1952, its members had the responsibility of planning, constructing and establishing buildings to accommodate their three objectives of cancer research, cancer diagnosis and treatment, and observation of and consultation with persons suffering from cancer.
By the end of 1957, some of the research facilities at 500 Sherbourne Street were already occupied. By May 1, 1958, the building was completed. The hospital incorporated in the Ontario Cancer Institute was named the Princess Margaret Hospital in 1958.
The OCI Library was originally classed under Patient Services, one role of the Division of Hospital Services. In 1958, the librarian was already involved in providing literature searches, reference and inter-library loan services.
As the use of the library grew, it was considered an essential element of the educational services of the hospital. By 1960, the Medical and Scientific Library reported directly to the Director of the Institute by way of the General Services Division. It was considered part of the Ontario Cancer Institute, as opposed to the hospital proper.
In the early days, the OCI Library was established to serve the needs of the Division of Clinical Services, the Division of Biological Research, the Division of Physics and the graduate students who pursued research in the laboratories.
In 1995, the Princess Margaret Hospital relocated to 610 University Avenue. Today, the OCI Library continues to serve the needs of the Institute's researchers, along with the many other professionals working and studying at what's now known as the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.