LIBR534 History of medical librarianship 2014


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  • THE profession of medicine has been a key part of civilization since the beginning of time. Physicians and healers have been looked upon with the utmost respect and accorded considerable power in society…. At times they have earned our opprobrium when cures were not possible or when they were considered “quacks”

    …..the medical library has played a part in creating doctors and advances in medical knowledge. We, as medical librarians, are a link between the past and present.

    The change in structure of medical libraries that took place around the 1500s with the renaissance in human knowledge and the development of scientific societies

    Medical libraries of the early colonial period in the US are linked to public libraries and collections of medical material in the early 1900s
  • The history of the medical library is closely allied to the history of medicine.

    In fact, the particular attitude toward medicine at any given time affected the state of the medical library.

    If you are interested in a good survey/overview of the history of medical libraries try this article from the BMLA published 40+ years ago
  • Here is Morton’s medical bibliography, the standard bibliographical reference for the history of medicine
    It provides annotated lists of “firsts” and the most important books (and other materials) in Western medicine from ancient world to circa 1980
    Secondary sources are included up to 1990
    Annotations explain the significance of each individual contribution to the history and development of medicine
    Note the call number: ZWZ40 G2 1991

    The online version of Morton's Medical Bibliography, which went live in the spring of 2015, has been revised and enlarged from the 1991 fifth edition, and will continue to be updated and corrected.
  • Medical collections have dated back to thousands of years before the birth of Christ. The earliest collections have dated back to the ancient civilizations of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. During the existence of these two civilizations, Mesopotamia was considered one of the most progressive and enlightened areas in the world.
    From the period we have hundreds of the tablets (30,000 at the British Museum alone) that cover medical matters and give details of medical practice; others are on the borderline between medicine and magic arts
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  • The greatest medical school was the Alexandrian School of Medicine. Together the schools, museums, and libraries supported groups of scientists and scholars so that Alexandria flourished as a center of learning for a considerable time (8). Even though the Alexandrian medical school was one of the first great medical schools, the Asklepion flourished for some six or seven hundred years or from 500 B.C. to later than 100 A.D. It was a combined school and temple, with many buildings; accommodations for teachers, students, officials, and visitors; ceremonial halls and baths; and most important. a library.

    Collections of rolls were kept in pigeon holes or on shelves arranged according to major divisions of literature. Booklists or catalogs were compiled. Both the library and the librarian were esteemed in the Hellenic society. The bibliographic scribes of Assurbanipal and Callimachus, the chief librarian of the Alexandrian library, were among the first catalogers

    Around 47 B.C. the city of Alexandria was completely destroyed and along with it the Alexandrian libraries and their contents. Rome followed Alexandria as a medical center. At this time the city of Rome had twenty-eight public libraries. But even though libraries were numerous in Rome, it appears that the manuscripts dealing with medicine were not plentiful because the Romans were little concerned with medical literature. Medical education, in the beginning, was taught in private, and the preservation of the literature depended largely on private collections of physicians.
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  • Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā) (980 — 1037 AD), Persian physician, philosopher and author, is one of the most influential figures in the history of medicine. Avicenna was born in Bukhara into a modest family and his father, a government official, arranged to have him educated by various scholars. Avicenna had mastered physics, mathematics, logic and metaphysics as a teenager, and by sixteen, began to study medicine. By the age of 21 Avicenna had written his "Canon of medicine", which for several centuries remained an authority in the study of medicine. Avicenna was also widely-known for his 450 treatises on subjects that show the scope of his self-education and scholarship. Of 240 texts that have survived, 150 concentrate on philosophy and 40 deal with medicine.
    Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine is an early example of an Arabo-Islamic text infused with Galenic principles. It contains five books ranging from anatomy to pharmacology, and was praised in Islamic circles and later in Europe where it was considered a seminal text for eight centuries. Throughout this period, the Canon was widely consulted for information about quarantine to prevent the spread of diseases, contagion and sexually transmitted diseases. It is notable for its treatment of pharmaceuticals and the use of concepts such as clinical trials and efficacy testing
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  • In 1898, resolution was passed by the AMA in general session
    WHEREAS, the establishment, organization and filling of public medical libraries is a means of vast and increasing importance for both preservation of medical literature and for progress of medical science, and, WHEREAS, there are at present but few such libraries in the United States, and of these the great majority are in a sad state of imperfection and efficiency
    Same year:
    by the ALA's executive committee:
    WHEREAS, the public library should be a
    means of stimulating all neighborhood intellectual
    and scientific progress, and of combining
    the helpful forces, ethical, mental, and
    sanitary, furthering the welfare of the entire
    country; it is therefore,
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  • LIBR534 History of medical librarianship 2014

    1. 1. LIBR534 - Health information sources & services, Giustini LIBR 534 Health informationsources & services • Guest(s): James Murphy, SLAIS Student, to talk about CHLA/ABSC Student Group @ SLAIS • Contact: • Structure of tonight’s class #2 • “Introduction to history of medicine, sources of information” • Break at 7:00-7:15pm • Announcements – all
    2. 2. UBC’s iSchool LIBR534 - Health information sources & services, Giustini (2015) Andreas Vesalius (1514 — 1564), Flemish anatomist, physician and author of 1543 book on human anatomy De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Andreas Vesalius Introduction to the history of medicine (withaneyetosourcesofinformation)
    3. 3. “…the history of medical libraries is related to the actual history of medicine” Birchette, 1973 The roots of medical libraries
    4. 4. In his book, Roy Porter, medical historian, says: “ “ (Porter, pg. 30)
    5. 5. Garrison-Morton now available online:
    6. 6. • 4000 BCE – Prehistory (before recorded history) • Before writing invented… we were hunter-gatherers, herbivores • Disease believed to be caused by demons/spirits entering body • Trepanation used (boring hole in head) for ailments/ to relieve pain • Medical techniques seen in art, mummification, clay tablets • Average lifespan = 20 yrs of age; “Gods” called upon to cure Let’s start at prehistory…
    7. 7. • 3000 BC forward Greeks refute demons cause disease • Science based on logic, reason, philosophy, observation The ancient world Watch first three minutes; then, papyrus 12:40sec – Imhotep “First” physician, 27th c. BC (c. 2650–2600 BC) Empirical observations in “Edmund Smith papyrus”
    8. 8. • Hippocrates 460-377 BC • The “Father of Medicine” • Made many contributions to medicine • Hippocratic oath Greek physicians in antiquity
    9. 9. (@4mins) Galen, AD 129 – 216 “Arguablythemostaccomplishedofallmedicalresearchersofantiquity…”Porter
    10. 10. • Fall of Rome precipitates “middle ……dark ages” • In European history, the Middle Ages or Medieval period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. • Political & religious turmoil; diseases “God sent” • Bubonic plague(s), massive loss of life (50 million) • Madness, insanity, leprosy; hospitals in 11th C. • Medicine in the medieval Islamic world thrives (750—1350 CE) Middle & dark ages
    11. 11. Avicenna, the Persian polymath
    12. 12. Renaissance of scientific inquiry & learning • Human dissection & cadaver studies – Paduan anatomy – Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) – Giovanni Morgagni (1682-1771) • Blood circulation theory – William Harvey (1578-1657) Medicine’s rebirth, 1500+
    13. 13. • Rene Descartes (1596-1650) » Mind-body duality theory • Scientific revolution 16/17th centuries • Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton • Invention of microscopy • Birth of demography • First “clinical trials” The Renaissance
    14. 14. Laboratory research • Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) “German school” • Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) • paved way for antisepsis - Joseph Lister (1827-1912) • Bacteriology as a scientific discipline • Robert Koch (1843-1910) • New Science: Darwin, Freud, Einstein 19th century lab medicine
    15. 15.
    16. 16. • Biomedical models (& information systems) emerge • Health defined as “absence of disease” • Disease caused by pathogens • Behavioural sciences • NIH in Washington • Economics of providing health care • Rise of value of information • Evidence-based practice in 1990s • Universal coverage 20th c. biomedical model
    17. 17. Sulfa drugs (1930s), penicillin/antibiotics (1940s) • Pharmaceutical companies & profits • Patient want the magic pill • Resistance & superbugs Technological advances & specialization in 21st C. • But in early 21st C., medical systems seen to be failing The rise of drugs in 20th c.
    18. 18. • Medicine’s roots are in antiquity • Accelerated growth in knowledge at renaissance • History of medicine closely linked to science • Science /medicine are interdependent • Medical knowledge built on evidence • Roy Porter calls it “the medical record” This tour of medical history reveals …
    19. 19. • Many major medical libraries were established in 19th C. • Early libraries grew out of private collections Hospitals established in US & Canada • Health libraries followed • Flexner report 1910 1875 medical libraries
    20. 20. • Physicians helped to establish several medical libraries • William OSLER, Canadian physician, on evidence: “We doctors have always been a simple, trusting folk! Did we not believe Galen implicitly for fifteen hundred years and Hippocrates for more than two thousand years?” • [Speech given to Ontario Medical Association, Toronto, June 3, 1909]. Canada Lancet. 1909; 42:899-912 Influence of physicians on libraries
    21. 21. Zeros McGill’s Osler Library
    22. 22. • John Shaw Billings, MD - His Role – Led U.S. Surgeon General’s Library - 1865-1883 • Medical Library Association founded in 1898 – Founding members: Margaret Charlton (Canadian medical librarian), William Osler, George Gould (American physician) – Largest medical library association in the world – Offers a credential for medical librarians called AHIP America & medicine Margaret Ridley Charlton (1858-1931)
    23. 23. US National Library of Medicine • National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) – Established by legislation in 1956 – Today, NLM coordinates information services for libraries worldwide... Medical library movement, 20th century
    24. 24. • No health library act in Canada • No national library of medicine • CISTI (Canadian Institute for Science & Technical Information) officially 1966/1974 • Since 1970, CISTI works closely with health librarians • In 2010, CISTI services were outsourced • In 2014-2015 a number of government libraries closed government-targets-science-at-every-turn-union-says-1.3199761 Medical libraries in Canada
    25. 25. • UBC health libraries • Serves UBC health community at multiple locations • Was once the largest network in Western Canada • HLABC (Health Libraries Assoc. of BC) • ~100 members • College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC), BC Cancer Agency, BC College of Physicians & Surgeons Library (CPSBC) • Government ministries & public libraries • Both library technicians & librarians Medical libraries – British Columbia
    26. 26. National & provincial influences • Health care reform ongoing in 21st century • Triggered by Romanow Commission • Provincial & local context(s) • Expansion of medical, nursing, pharmacy programs Summary
    27. 27. • Origins can be traced back to the early 20th c. • 1824: Canada’s 1st medical school • Father of Canadian medicare, Tommy Douglas Canada Health Act (1984) – National standards of care; publicly-financed, privately delivered – Merged hospital & medical insurance as one statute – No extra-billing; no user fees Health care in Canada Canada’s five (5) health act principles: 1. universality 2. accessibility 3. portability 4. public administration 5. comprehensive
    28. 28. LIBR534 - Health information sources & services, Giustini Immerse yourself in the culture of medicine
    29. 29. LIBR534 - Health information sources & services, Giustini Citing news in Vancouver style • Carville O. Health ‘snooping’ cases on the rise. Toronto Star. 2015 May 27:Sect. GT:1 (col. 3). • Wisniewski M. Five babies at Chicago daycare diagnosed with measles. Globe and Mail [Internet]. 2015 Feb 5 [cited 2015 Feb 6];Life:[about 2 screens]. Available from: fitness/health/five-babies-at-chicago-daycare-diagnosed-with- measles-report/article22805944/. Cite this item: Tom Mulcair makes multiple pledges to improve health care healthcare-doctors-1.3227153
    30. 30. LIBR534 - Health information sources & services, Giustini
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