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Author: Cummings, Martin Marc, 1920-2011
Title: Development of a National Medical Library Network, 1967 [I]
Occasion: Presented at the Subject Specialties Section, Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association, San Francisco, Calif.
MMC Commentary: I began this series of speeches on the development of a National Medical Library Network with the discussion of the history of the dissemination of information. The problem is not unique to current times. Modern-day scientists are not much better off than their counterparts two thousand years ago, when the physician discovered that the material he needed was in a library at Alexandria when he was conducting his research in Baghdad or Athens. Prior to the invention of the scientific journal in the 17th century, scientists communicated their observations and discoveries by word of mouth in coffee houses and by letter. The foundation of biomedical communications began with the idea of a great repository of medical information, a truly national library of medicine, and an all embracing "Index Catalogue," by John Shaw Billings. Adding to Billings' beginning efforts was the NLM MEDLARS system and the NLM development of a framework for a National Biomedical Communications Network.
Subject terms:
National Library of Medicine (U.S.)
History of Medicine
Access to Information
Computer Systems
Computer Communication Networks
Information Explosion
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
Billings, John S. (John Shaw), 1838-1913
Graphic Arts Composing Equipment (GRACE)
National Biomedical Communications Network
Medical Library Network
Center for Biomedical Communications
MEDLARS Evaluation Advisory Committee
National Biomedical Clearinghouse and Referral Unit