LIBR534 History of medical librarianship


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  • Hippocrates of Cos 5th and 4th centuries Ancient Greek physician, diagnostician & author, is considered to be one of the best-known physicians in history and is often referred to as “The Father of Medicine”
    His writings, referred to as the Hippocratic corpus provide a wealth of information about medicine and insight into its early code of ethics.
    Hippocrates is known to the profession to this day for a number of simply but profound pricinples:
    first do no harm
    Bedside manner: do what is best for the patient AND what the patient wants before all else
    keep confidential what you see and hear.

    Galen (129 — 201 AD), also known as Claudius Galenus, and Galen of Pergamon, is one of the most influential physicians in the history of medicine. Born in Greece, studied medicine in Egypt and became the most celebrated physician of his time in Rome.
    He spent his life doing experiments, writing medical treatises and coming up with theories of the treatment of human illness.
    In fact, his theories dominated Western thought for (15) centuries and he was an authority in medicine until Andreas Vesalius in the sixteenth century.
    Many of Galen's views and ideas were incorrect …. Part of the problem is that he had formed them from dissecting pigs, Barbary apes and dogs. Galen thought that humans had a five-lobed liver (which dogs do) and that the heart had two chambers (it has four).
  • Andreas Vesalius (1514 — 1564), Flemish anatomist, physician and author of 1543 book on human anatomy
    Attended the University of Louvain to study anatomy, and later the University of Paris (1533-1536). He completed his medical studies at the University of Padua, and was professor of anatomy there from 1537-1542. One of his major contributions to anatomy education was bringing medical students closer to the operating table for surgical observation and dissection.
    As religious conflict took root, study of the human body became forbidden. Myths began to replace scientific research, and exploration of the human body stalled. Galen and other prominent physicians in Alexandria contributed to knowledge about human anatomy. But after the Library of Alexandria was burned to the ground laws were passed prohibiting human dissection based on religious and cultural beliefs SUCH THAT knowledge of human anatomy plateaued for 1500 years.
    In 1543, Vesalius published the groundbreaking "De Humani Corporis Fabrica", an anatomy text based mostly on human dissection. His work transformed anatomy into a subject that relied on observations taken directly from human dissections.
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  • Here is 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.
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  • The Osler Library of the History of Medicine opened in 1929 to house the collection of rare medical and other books donated by Sir William Osler, the renowned physician and McGill graduate and professor. Initially comprising 8000 titles listed in the Bibliotheca Osleriana, the collection - the finest of its kind in Canada - has grown to around 100,000 works including older, rare materials as well as current books and periodicals about the history of the health sciences and related areas.
    The Osler Library is a major resource centre for historical research in the health sciences and is the international centre for the study of Sir William Osler and the Oslerian tradition. It supports students and teachers at McGill in the Department of Social Studies of Medicine, the Faculties of Medicine (including Schools of Nursing, Physical and Occupational Therapy, and Communication Sciences and Disorders) and Dentistry, and the Faculties of Arts and of Science. It is heavily used by researchers from McGill, Quebec, across Canada, and throughout the world.
    Scholarship in medical history is supported through the Osler Library Studies in the History of Medicine series of publications and a research travel grant awarded annually. Exhibitions are mounted regularly at the Library's entrance.
  • Public administration: administered publicly for NO PROFIT
    Comprehensiveness: All necessary health services, including hospitals, physicians and surgical dentists, must be insured.
    Universality: All insured residents are entitled to the same level of health care.
    Canada Geographically larger than the United States Smaller in population Settled by the French and English 1867 Provincial and territorial boundaries, government model a result of the British North America (BNA) Act BNA Act relinquished responsibility for governance of health and education to the provinces and territories Universal coverage for medically necessary health care services provided on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay

    The Canada Health Act * Objective is to protect, promote and restore the physical & mental well-being of Canadians * Facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial barriers *Establishes criteria and conditions for health insurance plans that must be met by provinces and territories to receive federal funds. *Discourages extra-billing and user fee.
  • 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
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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

    1. 1. LIBR534 - Health information sources & services, Giustini LIBR 534 Health informationsources & services • Structure of tonight’s class #2 – “Introduction to history of medicine, sources of information” – 5000+ years of medical bibliography from antiquity to present • Guest: Charlotte Beck, Woodward Reference Librarian, Rehabilitation Sciences (and more!) and….history of medicine librarian Contact: • Break at 7:00-7:15pm • Announcements – all
    2. 2. Short 5 min. video by Dr. Ben Newmark describing their influence in medicine Hippocrates of Cos 460-370 Galen 129 – 201 AD
    3. 3. Andreas Vesalius (1514 — 1564), Flemish anatomist, physician and author of 1543 book on human anatomy De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Andreas Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (1514 — 1564) Flemish anatomist, physician, author of 1543 book on human anatomy
    4. 4. Roland’s article “History of Medicine to 1950” Discussion & answering questions
    5. 5. US National Library of Medicine IMPORTANT DATES: 1836: Library of the Surgeon General 1879: John Shaw Billings “Index Medicus” 1922: Army Medical Library 1956: National Library of Medicine established by legislation NLM Classification is already is use 1960s: work on creating modern Index Medicus 1966-present: Medline 1997: PubMed, free to the public 1998: MedlinePLUS 2000: PubMedCentral, repository of articles (~3 million articles as of 2017)
    6. 6. US National Library of Medicine SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES AT THE NLM: • Total items in collection (book and nonbook) – 27,846,111 • Items catalogued last year – 24,897 • Active serial subscriptions – 17,556 • Articles indexed for MEDLINE – 806,326 • Circulation requests processed – 309,817 • Interlibrary loans – 180,733 • Computerized searches (MEDLINE/PubMed) – 2,796,260,949 • Includes MedlinePLUS & PubMedCentral • Budget authority – $337 M • Staff – 1,741 Annual Statistical Profile of NLM (Fiscal Year 2015) ~NLM, Bethesda MD
    7. 7. Garrison-Morton now available online: ONLINE:
    8. 8. IndexCat (antiquity – 1950) • The Index-Catalogue collection covers materials from Antiquity through 1950 imprints. • The Index-Catalogue collection contains online references to over 3.7 million bibliographic items – • 2.5 million items are journal articles; 616,000 items are monographs (books, pamphlets, and reports) • 471,000 items are dissertations (theses); and 32,000 are journal titles.
    9. 9. Zeros McGill’s Osler Library
    10. 10. Zeros Who was William Osler?
    11. 11. David Crawford’s bibliographies
    12. 12. • Origins can be traced back to the early 20th c. • 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
    13. 13. • No health libraries act in Canada (as in the US) • No national library of medicine • National Research Council Canada, National Science Library • Formerly: CISTI (Canadian Institute for Science & Technical Information) 1966- • 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
    14. 14. • UBC health libraries • Serves UBC health community at multiple locations • Was once the largest network in Western Canada • HLABC (Health Libraries Association of BC) • ~100 members; a chapter of the CHLA/ABSC • 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
    15. 15. • John Shaw Billings, MD - His Role – Led U.S. Surgeon General’s Library - 1865-1883 – His role in indexing the “medical knowledge” of his day • 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 & Canada & medicine Margaret Ridley Charlton (1858-1931)
    16. 16. 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
    17. 17. • 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” A sense of medical history reveals …
    18. 18. “…the history of medical libraries is related to the actual history of medicine” Birchette, 1973 The historical roots of healthlibrarianship
    19. 19. In his book, Roy Porter, medical historian, says: “ “ (Porter, pg. 30)
    20. 20. • 3000 BC forward • Greeks refute claims disease by demons; science based on logic, reason, philosophy 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”
    21. 21. • Hippocrates 460-377 BC • The “Father of Medicine” • Made many contributions to medicine • Hippocratic oath Greek physicians in antiquity
    22. 22. • Fall of Rome precipitates the “dark ages” • Political & religious turmoil; diseases “God sent” • Bubonic plague(s), massive loss of life (60 million) • Madness, insanity, leprosy; hospitals in 11th C. • Medicine in the medieval Islamic world thrives (750—1350 CE) Dark ages to ~1400 AD
    23. 23. Avicenna, the Persian polymath
    24. 24. 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+
    25. 25. • 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
    26. 26. 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
    27. 27.
    28. 28. • 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
    29. 29. 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.
    30. 30. 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
    31. 31. LIBR534 - Health information sources & services, Giustini Immerse yourself in the culture of medicine