Record of Bibliography and Library Literature
Revue international de Bibliograpbie medicale, pharmaceutique et veterinaire, dirigee par le Docteur Jules Rouvier. No. i, Avril, 1890. pp. iv., 284. 8vo. Paris et Beyrouth. It is somewhat difficult to understand the raison d'etre of this publication. In his preface Dr. Rouvier speaks of the necessity for keeping abreast of the professional literature of the day, and regrets the absence of any guide for this purpose. To supply ceite lacune de noire literature t/iSdica/e, is the task Dr. Rouvier
... he task Dr. Rouvier has set himself. Before starting on such an arduous undertaking it would have been well had the editor taken pains to get definite information as to the real want of such a publication. He surely cannot be acquainted with the Index Medicus, published monthly by Drs. Billings and Fletcher, or with the Medicinischc Bibliographie issued weekly under the editorship of Dr. Wiirzburg, as either of these publications covers a much wider field than that Dr. Rouvier proposes for himself. These two publications come out with commendable regularity, and were the work now under notice as well done or as complete as either of these, the fact that it is only to appear quarterly would be fatal to its success. There can be no room for a publication of this kind issued in April, and giving references to the literature of the three last months of the previous year. In looking at the necessity for this work, it must also not be forgotten that each branch of medicine and surgery has its own Centralblatt, appearing for the most part weekly, and giving a full account of the literature of all countries. But even if it could be shown that there was an opening for this new venture, it would still be. impossible to say that the number before us gave promise of success. In the first place the number of journals indexed is so meagre as to make the book well nigh useless :-e.g., the transactions of the London medical societies are not noticed, although their current volumes were issued during the period this number is supposed to embrace. Again, the references arc given in so unscientific a manner as to make them difficult, and in some instances almost impossible, of identification. We emphatically protest against the plan Dr. Rouvier has adopted of translating the titles of papers into French ; by this plan books and papers are referred to which have no real existence, and this causes both reader and librarian endless trouble and annoyance. Not only arc the titles of the papers given in French instead of the language in which they were written, but in many instances the title of a journal is rendered in French in such a way as to make it unrecognisable. For instance we get Congrcs de Leeds, which really refers to the meeting of the llritish Medical Association at Leeds. On another pajje we find Soc. J'nt/iol., Manchester, Nov. Here is an instance of Dr. Rouvier giving a detinue reference to a book which has no existence, as this society issues no transactions, the papers read at its meetings being generally published in the medical journals. Instances of this kind may be met with on nearly every page. The references, too, are given so clumsily that they occupy much more space than is really necessary, e.<;., p. --M, Union ATMic. 4//1 Juin, itf/i JuilL, $t/t Oct., zdf'/i Oct., $t/i it 2St/t IK',. 1 J P-75> 5°°' 6°°> 796> 9°2-Much more might be said as to the unscientific character of this bibliography, but enough lias been said to show that if the want really exists, Dr. Rouvier has not been successful in filling it.