Skip Navigation Bar
National Library of Medicine. Office of the Director. Deputy Director Records 1936-1969
full text File Size: 19 K bytes | Add this to my bookbag

Collection Scope and Content Note


Primarily correspondence emanating from, and received by, NLM's Deputy Director's Office during the tenure of Scott Adams during an important transitional period in NLM's history as it evolved from being the Army Medical Library. Topics in the first series of subject files include debates about federal scientific and medical information policy and NLM's role in indexing, computer systems, and information dissemination. Correspondence from various interest groups share their opinions about ongoing policy development, the growing information boom, and NLM's important role as a content provider, literature indexer, and information clearinghouse. Another major topic is NLM's recently established extramural grants program and its anticipated impact on medical publishing and informatics research. Related to both these topics are the folders titled "MEDLARS," which describe the earliest conceptualizations for a medical information indexing and retrieval system, "Publications Support" and "Research and development" and "National Research Council reports", all of which contain various correspondence, reports and analysis data. Of special note is the relationship between NLM and the National Research Council's Committee on the Army Medical Library ("Reports" folder), Charles Bernier's technical analysis of the original MEDLARS system, and the PHS Advisory Committee on Scientific Publications ("PHS Advisory Committee" folder).

Much of these debates also involved the physical and administrative transfer of the AML. The "Army Medical Library" and "AML transfer" folders document the significant debates over the transfer of the AML out of the Department of Defense. The AML administration did not favor a reorganization and created the Association of Honorary Consultants to the Army Medical Library as a lobbying group to keep the AML within the Army. Chauncey Leake headed the group and important thoughts on the topic are contributed by Michael DeBakey, Joseph McNinch and Harold W. Jones. A transfer to the Public Health Sevice was strongly opposed, with one alternative being incoprporation under the Smithsonian Institute. Other topics here important to NLM's evolution are debates over choosing Frank Rogers as Director, the proposed site move to Capital Hill, and the formation of NLM's Board of Trustees.

Within the earlier dated AML folders are internal library division annual reports, division chief meeting minutes, and general reference correspondence. The History of Medicine Division is also most widely documented in these early years with correspondence from Thomas Keys, Officer in Charge, Cleveland Branch, and Max Fisch, HMD Division Chief. The AML/NLM folders dated later primarily consist of Dorothy Schullian correspondence related to her writing a history of the Army Medical Library and John Shaw Billings, as well as HMD collection development correspondence.

Show all series level scope and content notes