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According to the St. Paul Medical Journal (1904, vi., pp. 206207), the library of the Ramsey County Medical Society now contains upwards of 4,500 volumes and receives about 125 medical journals regularly. A permanent home for the library is already assured. The society has established a building fund and, when sufficient amount of money has been secured, intends to buy a piece of ground and erect a building.
Other medical libraries, with an income inadequate to provide the large number of special journals necessary to every wellequipped working library, will profit by adopting the same measures. It means a number of public-spirited physicians who are willing to contribute more than their share for the benefit of all.
Library associations are being organised in many of the southern cities, notably, Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala.
What is Buffalo doing with this movement which has taken such firm hold on the profession and which bids fair to increase in the next decade to a greater degree even than in the last? To this question we can only reply that as yet we are only watching the movement and have not as yet taken our place in the procession among the leaders where we justly belong. I have the honor to present to you an inventory of our library facilities, kindly prepared by Miss Emma L. Chappell, of the University library and Mr. E. P. Van Duzee, of the Grosvenor library.
At the present time there are in Buffalo existing under separate management the library of the medical department of the University of Buffalo, the medical library of the Grosvenor reference library, the medical library of the Buffalo Library Association, the library of the Erie County Medical Society, and the library of the Buffalo Academy of Medicine.
This list does not include the libraries of the Buffalo State Hospital for the Insane, numbering 1,000 volumes, nor the library of the German Hospital, numbering 400 volumes, nor that of the Buffalo General Hospital, numbering—volumes, nor the State Cancer Laboratory, containing 250 volumes.
Medical library, University of Buffalo, number of volumes, January 1, 1905, 6,896. Number of files complete of (1) American journals, 11; (2) foreign journals, 12. Number of files incomplete, (1) American journals, 122; (2) foreign, 32. Number of additions annually to library, 279. Amount appropriated for purchase of medical books, state, $100.00; medical department, $200.00; total, $300.00. Number of journals subscribed for (1) American, 13; (2) foreign, 32; contributions : Dr. Geo. N. Burwell, interest on $2,500.00 and medical library containing 719 volumes.
Grosvenor Library-medical department.—Total number of volumes, 6,432; total number of pamphlets, about 1,200; complete files of American periodicals, 14; complete files of foreign periodicals (Lancet), 1; incomplete files of American periodicals, 265; incomplete files of foreign periodicals, 52; number of additions, manuals and other books not periodicals, 150; amount expended annually for books not periodicals, $300.00 to $400.00; principal donors: Dr. Theo. G. Lewis, in addition to his original gift of about 700 volumes of dental books he has kept up the sets of periodicals and secured for the library the new dental books as they have appeared. The New York Academy of Medicine has given the library about 1,000 volumes, mostly periodicals; Mrs. F. W. Abbott, about 200 volumes ; Mrs. H. A. Foster, about 100 volumes ; Dr. H. D. Ingraham, Mrs. A. R. Wright, about 150 volumes ; Dr. Roswell Park, 125 or more volumes; Dr. Alvin A. Hubbell, 100 or more volumes ; Dr. Benedict, Dr. Carpenter, Dr. King, Dr. William C. Krauss, and Dr. Lucien Howe and many others have given to the library valuable additions in books and periodicals. Special mention should be made of Dr. William Warren Potter, who keeps the library supplied with many files of periodicals regularly, besides contributing many books and reports of much value.
The library of the Erie County Medical Society is housed temporarily at the university library and consists of about 800 volumes.
The library of the Academy of Medicine, donated by Dr. F. W. Bartlett, is housed temporarily at the Grosvenor Library and consists of 186 bound volumes and 1,063 unbound periodicals and pamphlets.
Among the private libraries of large proportion in Buffalo may be mentioned those of Dr. William Warren Potter on general medicine and gynecology ; Dr. Roswell Park on surgery ; Dr. Lucien Howe on ophthalmology; Dr. Alvin A. Hubbell on ophthalmology; Dr. Charles G. Stockton on general medicine; Dr. Ernest Wende on dermatology and microscopy ; Dr. M. D. Mann on gynecology.
The questions pertinent to the hour, it seems to me, are: (1) shall Buffalo have a medical library worthy of its importance as a medical center? (2) shall this library be accomplished through consolidation of the existing libraries? (3) what library offers enough advantages over the others to be selected as the depository for the books ? (4) shall a medical library association be formed in Buffalo, patterned after those so successful in other cities? (5) is a medical home necessary or desirable to house such a library in case no existing library is acceptable?
Shall Buffalo have a medical library worthy of its importance as a medical center?
This question will scarcely call for debate. There are always two things which challenge admiration in a medical center by the profession as a whole: first, the medical home, and second, the medical library.
Take for instance the New York Academy of Medicine, housed in its own beautiful building, with a library containing over 80,000 bound volumes, about 36,000 pamphlets, and which subscribes regularly to more than 1,200 current periodicals, comprising nearly all the medical journals, transactions of medical societies, hospital and boards of health reports published throughout the world.
The medical investigator in New York has little need to call to his assistance the resources of the surgeon-general's library of Washington. New York physicians may justly feel proud, as they indeed do, and their efforts should be emulated by the physicians of other cities.
Shall this library be accomplished through the consolidation of the existing libraries ?
If practicable this would be the ideal plan. It would result in a library of about 15,000 volumes. It would mean the expenditure of $700.00 for new books and periodicals. It would mean the filling out of incomplete files of American and foreign periodicals. It would avoid duplication in books and periodicals. It would mean a considerable saving in cost of management. It would save time and trouble to the physician in looking up his references.
These books need not be given outright, but held in trust by the receiving library, or they may be sold as was done by the physicians of the German Hospital and Dispensary, of New York, who after striving for over thirty years to collect valuable medical books, decided that it was best to dispose of the library. It was accordingly sold to the King's County Medical Society for $3,000, and this 'sum was then presented to the New York Academy of Medicine, with the understanding that it should be known as the German Hospital and Dispensary Library Fund.
What library possesses advantages sufficient to be selected as the depository of the books?
But two libraries can be considered. The library of the University of Buffalo is not a public library in the true sense of the word. Its hours are restricted, and its accommodations are limited. The attendants, Miss Chappell and Miss Staffeldt, are most courteous and obliging. It possesses one great advantage over
the Grosvenor, in that books and periodicals may be taken from the building.
The Grosvenor Library is located centrally and is therefore very accessible. The library is open from 9 a. m. to 10 p. m. during the week and from 2 to 6 p. m. on Sundays. It is well lighted and evenly heated. The attendants are equally courteous and obliging. The facilities of the library are greater, the resources larger and the growth more vigorous than the university library. It has the backing of the city government and the moral support of the whole profession.
In order to make it more useful, especially to those who wish to undertake the investigation of any subject, as in the preparation of a paper, it has sent out cards, giving name, address, and the subject on which material is desired, and the library attendants will look up the matter in advance, so the resources of the library on this subject will be at the disposal of the physician at the time named.
Is the organisation of a library association desirable ?
If we desire to make progress along the lines indicated, such an association is not only desirable but necessary. If these associations are successful in Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati and other cities, why not in Buffalo?
Is a medical home necessary or desirable to house such a library, in case no existing library is acceptable ?
There are two requisites for the establishment and permanent success of a medical library: first, a desire on the part of the local profession to have a library ; second, the control of that library, wherever the books are housed, by the medical profession. Browning, in an admirable paper on the subject, contends “that experience so far shows the independent medical library to offer the most promise of permanency and usefulness. There can be no question but that, whenever practicable, this particular form of special library will be more successful and permanent if conducted as a separate library and under the auspices of some general medical organisation.” What can be done by a county medical society is evidenced by the Medical Society of the County of Kings (700 members) which owns its own building, valued at $100,000, in which is housed one of the leading medical libraries of the world.
At the 1904 meeting of the Association of Medical Librarians this subject was warmly debated by Canadians and Americans, and the consensus of opinion was that wherever the medical library was housed, or however it was supported, the time would eventually come when it would become necessary for the medica!
profession itself to take care of the medical library in order to ensure its lasting success.
I am happy to state that the Buffalo Academy of Medicine has a building fund amounting to $2,700.00 available for this purpose. In time possibly the solution of this whole question may be accomplished in this way.
If no consolidation is feasible, and the organisation of a library association not advisable at this time, then a sort of community of interest plan might be followed, such as a (1) card index catalogue of not only the public libraries, but of the private libraries as well, this to include especially the foreign periodicals, copies of the old classics, first editions of the old masters, and the early American contributions to medicine; this catalogue to be not only a subject-card catalogue, but author catalogue as well, and each library, i. e., the University and Grosvenor to be supplied with one; (2) some arrangement whereby the periodicals subscribed for, especially the foreign, will not be duplicated thus extending the list of periodicals to nearly double of what it is at the present time; (3) the development of each library along certain lines adapted to the wants of those frequenting them; for instance, the University Library in the textbook line, the Grosvenor in reference bibliography and biography; (4) acquainting the profession with a better understanding of the use of the Index Medicus and the Index Catalogue of the library of the surgeon-general's office; the librarian of the Grosvenor Library will be pleased at any time to send for books, the physician paying the actual express charges only to and from Washington; (5) to preserve, as far as possible, the literary efforts of the Buffalo and Erie county profession, all publications should be deposited either in the Grosvenor or both libraries by the respective authors. Reprints of all publications by the local profession should be sent to the Grosvenor, where they will be bound and stored, a separate section being devoted to these volumes.
479 DELAWARE AVENUE.
The hypodermic injection of brandy, whiskey or sulphuric ether is one of the best methods of combating intense shock and collapse, but the surgeon should always remember to inject them deep into the muscles, as they may cause sloughing of the skin if injected beneath it, and they should not be introduced in the neighborhood of any important nerve, as they•have been known to cause paralysis or neuritis.—Jour. Medicine and Science.