The Philadelphia Regional Chapter of the Medical Library Association was established on October 29, 1951 when Margaret Palmer, Frances Houston, Charlotte Coffman, Ruth Yarger, Elizabeth Bready, Minerva Dunning, and Robert Lentz met to discuss its formation. Robert Lentz was elected Chairman pro term, and Lucy Finkel Cooke was elected Secretary/Treasurer pro term. The first official meeting of the group was on November 16, 1951 where Margaret Palmer was elected Chairman and Lucy Finkel Cooke was elected Secretary/Treasurer. According to the bylaws the purpose of the organization was to foster the aims and strengthen the membership of the Medical Library Association by means of meetings and closer professional association within the Philadelphia area. Dues were set at $1 per year.
From this original handful of dedicated people, the Philadelphia Regional Chapter has continued to grow; as of 2015 it boasts an active membership of more than 80 individuals. MLA-Philadelphia has also had five current and former members serve as National MLA Presidents: W.B. McDaniel III,PhD, 1946-47; Robert Lentz, 1960-61; Elliott Morse, 1969-70; Jacqueline Bastille, 1992-93; and June H.Fulton, 1993-94. The Philadelphia Regional Chapter continues to further its aims through programs, continuing education courses, and professional and student scholarships and achievement awards.