The Medical Libraries of Boston

JAMES R. CHADWICK
1876 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
Before entering upon the true domain of this report I propose to pass in brief review the other collections of medical books that have existed in this city, or are held now by various institutions, for the purpose of allowing a few comparisons to be drawn between them and our own library at the end of its first year of existence. An attempt to trace these libraries to their sources lias, in many instances, proved as fruitless a task as did the early expeditions to discover the head-waters of
more » ... e head-waters of the Nile. Either the records are " lost, strayed, or stolen," or else there never were annual meetings, secretaries', treasurers', and librarians' reports, or other such laborious and often useless methods of recording progress. It is gratifying at the outset to learn that our association has adopted the name of almost the first extensive collection of medical books that was made in the city. It would be doubly pleasing could we spread a paternal wing over the books themselves. The Second Social or Boston Medical Library. In the year of our Lord 1805 Drs. John C. Warren and James Jackson formed a private medical society for mutual improvement, in conjunction with Drs. Dixwell, Coffin, Bullard, Shattuck, and Homans. The society came together once a week for the purpose of reading and listening to papers. The members continued to meet until death removed all in succession. From this society, and principally from the exertions of Drs. Warren and Jackson, sprang the Boston Medical Library.2 I havo boon unable to obtain any information about tho library except what little is contained in the catalogue of its books published in 1823, and tho vote whereby it was united with the Athenaeum, throe years later. From the former I learn that the annual assessment was ton dollars, a large sum for those days, ami om' which testifies to the high value set by our forefathers upon the advantage of having free access to
doi:10.1056/nejm187611090951901 fatcat:uormogrpbve5xddmsik32k74da