In recognition of Medical Librarians Month, I thought I would share an interesting address delivered at the January, 1905 annual meeting of the Medical Society of the County of Erie held in Buffalo, New York. Dr. William C. Krauss, a prominent Buffalo physician, discussed his thoughts on the importance of having a “consolidated” medical library in the community that would serve as “an important adjunct to a medical center.” He believed that “the library is practically a storehouse of medical literature with the advantage that all material is arranged and cared for so as to be available at a moment’s notice and that “the value of the medical library as a factor in medical education cannot be overestimated,…” He also discusses the importance of professional medical library associations, specifically mentioning the Association of Medical Librarians, now the Medical Library Association, founded in 1898 by Sir William Osler, MD, George Milbry Gould, and Margaret Ridley Charlton. According to Dr. Krauss, the purpose of these organizations was to foster “medical libraries and the maintenance of an exchange of medical literature among its members…”
While Krauss felt strongly that the ideal scenario for medical knowledge acquisition would involve both a consolidated medical library and a professional medical library organization, he did mention an interesting alternative, a “sort of community of interest plan.” The five pillars of which included (for the Buffalo region):
1) Card index catalog of all participating public and private libraries
2) Periodicals across institutions would not be duplicated to allow for more extensive coverage of medical topics across the community
3) The development of each library’s collection to best serve their main constituents
4) Acquainting the profession with the Index Medicus and the Index Catalog of the Surgeon General Office, while fostering inter-library loan activities
5) To preserve the literary efforts of the Buffalo and Erie County medical profession in a central location.
Curious for more? The link to the article is below…I believe that it is well worth reading!
Buffalo Medical Journal Vol. 60 1904/1905
Dr. William Chrisopher Krauss himself was an interesting individual. He received his MD from Bellevue in 1886 and another MD from Berlin in 1888. His specialty was neurology and he was the first to study the effects of high voltage on the brain. To read more about him follow this link:
http://bit.ly/1DfWCUg Obituary starts at bottom of page 378.
Buffalo Medical Journal Vol. 65, 1909/1910