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The Michael E. DeBakey Papers

The Need and Significance of a National Library of Health pdf (110,322 Bytes) transcript of pdf
The Need and Significance of a National Library of Health
This statement was enclosed with a letter from Michael E. DeBakey to William G. Reidy on January 19, 1956, and was referred to in that letter as 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."
Number of Image Pages:
2 (110,322 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
January 1956
[DeBakey, Michael E.]
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 Letter from Michael E. DeBakey to William G. Reidy (January 19, 1956) pdf (116,141 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 16
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
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)
The Need and Significance of a National Library of Health
The fundamental need for the establishment of a National Library of Health lies in the essential purposes it serves in preserving, supporting, and advancing the health of the nation. These purposes are achieved through its function of providing ready accessibility to recorded knowledge in all phases of medicine and related fields of endeavor. To carry out this function it must collect, house, and index publications in medicine and allied sciences from every available source including book, monographs, journals, periodicals, and other documents. By maintaining such a repository of medical and health literature and with appropriate cataloging and indexing to provide adequate bibliographic control this knowledge becomes readily available for both research and educational purposes to advance the medical and health standards of the nation.
Access to this recorded literature and the ready dissemination of this scientific information are of vital concern to research workers. Progress in medical research is dependent upon the development of new ideas and hypotheses and new techniques as well as the provision of scientific data. As these are recorded in current medical scientific literature they become available to research workers but the availability of this recorded material is dependent upon adequate indexing or bibliographic control. This then becomes a vital and essential function of the library for through this activity research workers can easily find and quickly obtain current scientific information on new ideas, techniques and other experimental developments which may be drawn upon and incorporated in their own studies to advance the frontiers of medical science.
Similarly in the practice of medicine and in the application of new knowledge to provide a better understanding of disease and its effective control, the library serves an essential purpose. By collecting and indexing current medical literature the latest information on disease processes and their effective treatment becomes currently available for clinical application by medical practitioners in their efforts to promote and elevate the health of our people.
Still another and highly important function of a National Library of Health lies in its usefulness for intelligence purposes. By collecting medical publications from all countries and in all languages it becomes possible to draw inference regarding the state of medicine in these countries and their health resources, as well as special disease problems that may be indigenous to particular areas. Such information is of value in estimating the basic economic situation of a country as well as their level of scientific development.
These and other important activities of a National Library of Health emphasize its highly important function in preserving and promoting the health of the nation. It is, therefore, essential that our government establish and support such an institution.
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