A History of Medical Libraries and Medical Librarianship
From John Shaw Billings to the Digital Era
Michael R. Kronenfeld, Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld
A History of Medical Libraries and Librarianship in the United States: From John Shaw Billings to the Digital Era presents a history of the profession from the beginnings of the Army Surgeon General’s Library in 1836 to today’s era of the digital health sciences library. The purpose of this book is not only to make this history available to the profession’s practitioners, but also to provide context as medical librarians and libraries enter a new age in their history as the digital information environment has undercut the medical library’s previous role as the depository of the print based KBI/information base.
The book divides the profession’s history is divided into seven eras:
1. The Era of the Library of the Office of the Army Surgeon General and John Shaw Billings – 1836 – 1898
2. The Era of the Gentleman Physician Librarian – 1898 to 1945
3. The Era of the Development of the Clinical Research Infrastructure (NIH), the Rapid Expansion in Funded and Published Clinical Research and the Emergence of Medical Librarianship as a Profession – 1945 – 1962
4. The Era of the Development of the National Library of Medicine, Online digital Subject Searching (Medline) and the Creation of the National Health Science Library Infrastructure– 1962 – 1975
5. The Medline Era – A Golden Age for Medical Libraries – 1975 – 1995
6. The Era of Universal Access to Information and the Transition from Paper to Digitally Based Medical Libraries – 1995 – 2015
7. The Era of the Digital Health Sciences Library – 2015 –
Each era is reviewed through discussing the developments in the field and the factors which drove those developments. The book will provide current and future medical librarians and information specialists an understanding of the development of their profession and some insights into its future.