Librarian and historian of science. Gnudi was born Martha Teach in Sycamore, IL in 1908 and was raised in Southern California. She received her B.A. in classics and history from the University of Southern California in 1929; in 1931 she was awarded the doctorate in belle lettere from the University of Bologna.
While in Bologna she met Dr. Jerome P. Webster, an American plastic surgeon who was investigating the life of Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1545-1599), the University of Bologna faculty member whose 1597 De Curtorum Chirurgia per Insitionem was the first published book on plastic surgery. Together they discovered key documents in Italian archives relating to Tagliacozzi.
Upon Gnudi’s return to the US, Webster hired her as his research assistant and librarian. Together they wrote Documenti Inediti Intorno alla Vita di Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1935), a biographical sketch of Tagliacozzi based on the documents they had unearthed. They followed this with The Life and Times of Gaspare Tagliacozzi, Surgeon of Bologna, 1545-1599: With a Documented Study of the Scientific and Cultural Life of Bologna in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Reichner, 1950). It received the 1954 William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine for a book “of outstanding scholarly merit in the field of medical history.”
In 1963, Gnudi received her MLS from the Columbia University School of Library Service. The next year she was appointed the first head of special collections at UCLA’s Biomedical Sciences Library, which she quickly established as one of the country’s outstanding history of medicine rare book collections.
Gnudi married Dante Gnudi, an Italian who later became an American citizen, in 1933; she died April 30, 1976.