A LIST OF MEDICAL LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION BUREAUX IN THE BRITISH ISLES

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb026092
Pages119-146
Publication Date01 April 1946
AuthorW.R. LE FANU
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
The Journal
of
DOCUMENTATION
Edited
by
THEODORE
BESTERMAN
Volume
II
DECEMBER
1946 Number 3
A
LIST OF MEDICAL LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION
BUREAUX
IN THE BRITISH ISLES
by W. R. LE FANU
Librarian,
Royal College of
Surgeons
of
England
Introduction.
I.
London.
1.
Libraries.
2.
Information bureaux.
II.
Libraries and information bureaux outside
London.
Appendix:
Medical libraries holding periodicals registered
in
World list, and Union catalogue.
Index
of
special
collections
and
subjects.
Introduction
THE
only comprehensive list of British medical libraries hitherto available has
been that in The Aslib
directory
1928, and there is an extended account of those
in London in Reginald Rye, The
students'
guide to the
libraries
of London (3rd
ed., 1927), pp. 362-77. The new list, here put forward, is intended to bring
the information from those two books of reference up to date, after nearly
twenty years. British libraries are briefly listed among 'Medical libraries
outside North America' in the Medical Library Association's A handbook of
medical
library
practice,
ed. Janet Doe, Chicago, American library association
1943,
chapter 1, appendix 2, pages 41-64. The meagre information in that
list, if contrasted with the detailed documentation of American and Canadian
libraries in successive issues of the American medical
directory,
accentuates the
need for us to know ourselves better. Several, perhaps many, medical
librarians have had to compile lists of kindred libraries for their own con-
venience. A list which I had thus prepared seemed to Aslib to offer adequate
basis for a Directory of British medical libraries, and in order to complete it
Aslib issued a questionnaire in the autumn of 1944 to libraries known to
possess medical collections and to hospitals, medical societies, and medical
institutions throughout the British Isles. The information obtained from the
generous response to this questionnaire is epitomized in the list which follows.
I am responsible for all omissions and errors and I hope that those who detect
K
120 A LIST OF MEDICAL LIBRARIES AND
any will supply corrections and additions so that this preliminary list may be
revised and become a definitive Directory.
In a survey of medical library facilities in London, prepared for the
Rockefeller Foundation in 1938 and privately circulated, Miss Beatrice Simon
of McGill Medical Library, Montreal, suggested that an adequate directory of
London's medical libraries would be a useful step towards more efficient
mobilization of their resources. In countries so closely connected as those of
the British Isles, where the whole medical profession stands upon one official
register, correlation of the numerous, rich medical libraries is by no means an
impossible ideal. Only their periodical collections have been thus correlated
by means of union catalogues; see the Appendix to the present list.1 The
Central Medical Library Bureau, now being organized by the Royal Society
of Medicine, may help to mobilize these periodicals for general use by the
profession. Similar union catalogues could profitably be undertaken in
several other fields, for instance official publications, and series of doctoral
theses. British libraries are extraordinarily rich in historical medical books,
but singularly unexplored; a short-title union catalogue
is
much in need. Such
co-operative undertakings might stimulate closer liaison between research
workers and librarians, and lead to less haphazard methods for keeping the
supply of medical literature in step with all the research going forward.
These problems and projects are not peculiar to medicine; lawyers, I under-
stand, experience similar difficulty in obtaining adequate library facilities
outside London and a few other centres.
My intention has been to include in the list all medical libraries of potential
use to any group of medical practitioners or students. Special libraries of
pharmacy and veterinary medicine have been included, but not those of an-
thropology or the biological sciences, except anatomy and physiology, nor
in general the social sciences. Under the heading of Information bureaux
I have classed institutions without libraries, which have an active policy of
gathering and disseminating information.2
I. LONDON
1.
Libraries
ASSOCIATION FOR MORAL AND SOCIAL HYGIENE
Livingstone House, Broadway, S.W. 1.
Telephone:
Whitehall 4651. Secretary,
Miss E. M. Turner.
The library consists of books and documents on social hygiene, including a small
medical section, with special reference to the combating of State regulation of
vice and the promotion of reforms to encourage public and private morality.
Information provided and books lent to all genuine inquirers and to other
institutions.
1 R. T. Leiper,
Periodicals
of
medicine and the allied sciences
in
British
libraries,
London, British
Medical Association,
1923,
is not wholly superseded by the later union catalogues. The forth-
coming
British union catalogue
of
periodicals
will be comprehensive.
2 I am indebted to the President and Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England for
permission to compile this list.

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