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The Michael E. DeBakey Papers

Letter from Michael E. DeBakey to William G. Reidy pdf (116,141 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Michael E. DeBakey to William G. Reidy
Number of Image Pages:
2 (116,141 Bytes)
1956-01-19 (January 19, 1956)
[DeBakey, Michael E.]
Reidy, William G.
United States Senate. Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. Professional Staff Member
MS C 47, National Library of Medicine (U.S.) Papers relating to the construction of a new medical library, 1874-1959, Modern Manuscripts Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine (USA).
Reproduced with permission of Katrin DeBakey.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Libraries, Medical
Exhibit Category:
Supporting the Medical Enterprise: DeBakey and National Library of Medicine
Metadata Record The Need and Significance of a National Library of Health [January 1956] pdf (110,322 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Michael E. DeBakey to William G. Reidy (January 3, 1956) pdf (47,960 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 16
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: [Materials gathered from outside the DeBakey Collection]
Folder: MS C 47 (Records relating to the Construction of a New Medical Library, National Library of Medicine)
January 19, 1956
Dear Mr. Reidy:
Thank you for your letter of January 4, 1956, along with a copy of the first draft of a bill to establish a National Library and Museum of Health. It is certainly a thoughtfully prepared document and I should like to commend you on its excellent preparation.
You have kindly asked for my comments and I should like to make them as follows:
Section 1: In regard to the members of the Board it would seem desirable to specify their length of tenure of office and to provide some formula for "staggering" them. I believe too that it would be preferable to avoid specifying the exact number of Board members to be drawn from each particular field and to indicate simply that the Board members would be drawn from these various fields.
Section 2(c): I believe it would be desirable to indicate that the Chancellor should be elected annually. This would specify his length of tenure and permit the Board to re-elect the presiding Chancellor or to elect a new one.
Section 4(a)(1): This is a particularly important section of the bill since it is concerned with the primary function of the library. For this reason I believe it would be desirable to phrase it as specifically as possible in terms of the function of the library but at the same time in sufficiently broad terms to permit flexibility of activities in order to achieve the desired objectives. Accordingly I would like to suggest phrasing this section along the following lines:
"It shall be the primary function of the National Library of Health (1) to acquire and preserve pertinent medical literature from all available sources including books, monographs, periodicals, journals, prints, films, recordings and the like; (2) to organize, catalogue, and index these materials to provide adequate and current bibliographic control; (3) to make available these catalogues, indexes and bibliographic listings by regular and current publications (4) and to make these materials available upon request through loans or copying procedures as well as to provide references and research assistance."
I am enclosing a statement concerning the function and value of the Library which I hope will be useful to you in preparing a preamble to the bill.
Thank you again for this opportunity of expressing my thoughts on the matter and with best wishes, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Michael E. DeBakey, M.D.
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