Library Juice 7:6


1. Links...
2. ALA election endorsements
3. Boston Medical Library Dedicatory Address, 1878

Quote for the week:

"In the beginning was the press, and then the world appeared."
--Karl Kraus

Homepage of the week: Noelle Egan


1. Links...

----- Merchandise.... T-shirts, coffee mugs, mousepads, frisbees,
baby clothes, and special library-related intimate wear. Display
your colors and support the cause...


New URL for the Cuban Libraries Solidarity Group
(No longer on


The State of the News Media 2004
An Annual Report on American Journalism
From the Project for Excellence in Journalism
Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts

[ sent to PLGnet-L by Fiona Bradley ]


A Public Policy Report
The Free Expression Policy Project
a think tank on artistic and intellectual freedom

[ found surfing ]


Access for all?
EMBO reports 5, 3, 222-225 (2004)
By Les Grivell
"While initiatives for self-archiving and creating new open access
journals gain momentum, new questions about the legal and economic
basis of scientific publishing arise

[ from Library Link of the Day - ]


National Security Archive Joins Amicus Brief in Supreme Court
Versus Government Secrecy Around Energy Task Force

[ from Mark Rosenzweig to ALACOUN and Member-Forum ]


Fiction_L Archives (2004) - Deep Library Thoughts
(Discussion of the Library Juice paper topics)

[ sent to me by Kathleen Stipek ]


Electronic Frontier Foundation Comments to San Francisco Public Library

[ sent by Mark Rosenzweig to the ALA Council list ]


"COINTELPRO: The Untold Story" a paper presented at the World Conference on
Racism, 2001, Durban, South Africa

[ from Debbie Richards to the PLG list ]


ALA Awards 2004 James Madison Award to David Sobel

[ found surfing ]


ALA Awards 2004 Eli M. Oboler Award to Wendell Berry and David James Duncan

[ sent by Nanette Perez to IFRT-L ]


NY Pulled Comic [Ted Rall] Because of Conservative Protest

[ Mary Ann Meyers to ALA Member-Forum ]


A Librarian without a Library: Staying Professionally Active While
Unemployed... by Priscilla K. Schontz,

[ found in logs ]


Hands Off! That Fact Is Mine [Wired Magazine],1367,62500,00.html

[ Library Link of the Day - ]


Ironic Times

[ woke up in bed next to, quite surprised ]


Antarctica - Its People, Cities, History and Culture
(Useful for Information Literacy instruction?)

[ sent to multiple people by Jim Dwyer ]

2. ALA election endorsements

From Mark Rosenzweig:

My ALA election picks
Date: Monday 04:49:01 pm
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: "srrtac-l[at]" <srrtac-l[at]>,
plgnet-l <plgnet-l[at]>

People -- especially those relatively new to ALA -- often ask me who
I am recommending progressive's vote for in the ALA election. Here's
my list of personal picks...

for President...

for Council...
Samuel E. Trosow
Ann C. Sparanese
S. Michael Malinconico
Aureole Maria Johnstone
Michael J. McGrorty
Frederick W. Stoss
Bernadine E. Abbott Hoduski
Katia Roberto
Diane Fay

I urge those who want their vote to be maximally effective in
electing a progressive slate of candidates NOT to just 'use up' all
their allotted votes but to vote ONLY for those candidates they
really want. "Bullet voting" for just the above candidates would, in
my opinion, help elect friends of SRRT & PLG to Council and the

Mark Rosenzweig
ALA Councilor at large
SRRT Action Council member
Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG), founding member

PS: I'd like your vote for continuing on SRRT Action Council as an
'at large' member (see ballot for details)


Letter from Larry Romans to SRRT in support of Michael Gorman

[SRRTAC-L:13088] Michael Gorman for ALA President (Action Council Support)
Date: Monday 02:21:54 pm
From: Larry Romans <larry.romans[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
Reply to: srrtac-l[at]

Michael Gorman is running for ALA President, and the SRRT Action
Council has endorsed him with no dissenting votes. Like SRRT,
Michael works to make ALA more democratic with more progressive
priorities. He has focused on equal access to information, socially
responsible investment, intellectual freedom, pay equity and better
salaries, permanent no-fee public access to government information,
and diversity in library education. He introduced the amendment
that gave teeth to the ALA Patriot Act resolution, which has now
been endorsed by all fifty state associations. Not only has he
voted for our issues in ALA Council, but he has also publicly
spoken out to support our positions.

He is most well known as the editor of Anglo-American cataloguing
rules. 2nd ed. (AACR2), but his recent books on "Our Enduring
Values" and "The Enduring Library" have led to major discussions on
the direction of our profession. He has been President of ALA's
Library and Information Technology Association, and he is a member
of both ALA Council and its Executive Board.

Michael Gorman is the progressive candidate. We think that the more
you know about Michael Gorman and his positions on library issues,
the more likely you will join us in voting for Michael. You can
find his biography and platform at

This year's ALA election - which just began today (March 15) - will
be by online ballot for the first time, although paper ballots are
available on request. Ballots may be obtained now and must be
received (not postmarked) at ALA by APRIL 23. For more information
on the election schedule and procedures, including the URL for
voting, please go to

Among Michael Gorman's supporters:

Sue Dillinger, Action Council member
Elaine Harger, ALA Councilor-at-Large and Action Council member
Mark Hudson, Action Council member
Maria Jankowska, Action Council member
Marie Jones, Action Council member
Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor and Action Council member
Rory Litwin, SRRT Chair
Katia Roberto, Action Council member
Larry Romans, ALA Councilor-at-Large
Mark Rosenzweig, ALA Councilor-at-Large and Action Council member
Ann Sparanese, ALA Councilor-at-Large and former Action Council
Fred Stoss, Action Council member

Larry Romans
Head, Govt. Info. Services
Political Science Bibliographer
Central Library, Vanderbilt Univ.
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-2838; fax (615) 343-7451
larry.romans[at] (work)
larry.romans[at] (home)

3. Boston Medical Library Dedicatory Address, 1878


From Medical Essays - 1842-1882
By Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet)
(Not the Jurist O. W. Holmes, Jr.)

[Dedicatory Address at the opening of the Medical Library in Boston,
December 3, 1878.]

It is my appointed task, my honorable privilege, this evening, to
speak of what has been done by others. No one can bring his tribute
of words into the presence of great deeds, or try with them to
embellish the memory of any inspiring achievement, without feeling
and leaving with others a sense of their insufficiency. So felt
Alexander when he compared even his adored Homer with the hero the
poet had sung. So felt Webster when he contrasted the phrases of
rhetoric with the eloquence of patriotism and of self-devotion. So
felt Lincoln when on the field of Gettysburg he spoke those immortal
words which Pericles could not nave bettered, which Aristotle could
not have criticised. So felt he who wrote the epitaph of the builder
of the dome which looks down on the crosses and weathercocks that
glitter over London.

We are not met upon a battle-field, except so far as every laborious
achievement means a victory over opposition, indifference,
selfishness, faintheartedness, and that great property of mind as
well as matter,--inertia. We are not met in a cathedral, except so
far as every building whose walls are lined with the products of
useful and ennobling thought is a temple of the Almighty, whose
inspiration has given us understanding. But we have gathered within
walls which bear testimony to the self-sacrificing, persevering
efforts of a few young men, to whom we owe the origin and development
of all that excites our admiration in this completed enterprise; and
I might consider my task as finished if I contented myself with
borrowing the last word of the architect's epitaph and only saying,
Look around you!

The reports of the librarian have told or will tell you, in some
detail, what has been accomplished since the 21st of December, 1874,
when six gentlemen met at the house of Dr. Henry Ingersoll Bowditch
to discuss different projects for a medical library. In less than
four years from that time, by the liberality of associations and of
individuals, this collection of nearly ten thousand volumes, of five
thousand pamphlets, and of one hundred and twenty-five journals,
regularly received,--all worthily sheltered beneath this lofty roof,
--has come into being under our eyes. It has sprung up, as it were;
in the night like a mushroom; it stands before us in full daylight as
lusty as an oak, and promising to grow and flourish in the perennial
freshness of an evergreen.

To whom does our profession owe this already large collection of
books, exceeded in numbers only by four or five of the most extensive
medical libraries in the country, and lodged in a building so well
adapted to its present needs? We will not point out individually all
those younger members of the profession who have accomplished what
their fathers and elder brethren had attempted and partially
achieved. We need not write their names on these walls, after the
fashion of those civic dignitaries who immortalize themselves on
tablets of marble and gates of iron. But their contemporaries know
them well, and their descendants will not forget them,--the men who
first met together, the men who have given their time and their
money, the faithful workers, worthy associates of the strenuous
agitator who gave no sleep to his eyes, no slumber to his eyelids,
until he had gained his ends; the untiring, imperturbable, tenacious,
irrepressible, all-subduing agitator who neither rested nor let
others rest until the success of the project was assured. If,
against his injunctions, I name Dr. James Read Chadwick, it is only
my revenge for his having kept me awake so often and so long while he
was urging on the undertaking in which he has been preeminently
active and triumphantly successful.

We must not forget the various medical libraries which preceded this:
that of an earlier period, when Boston contained about seventy
regular practitioners, the collection afterwards transferred to the
Boston Athenaeum; the two collections belonging to the University;
the Treadwell Library at the Massachusetts General Hospital; the
collections of the two societies, that for Medical Improvement and
that for Medical Observation; and more especially the ten thousand
volumes relating to medicine belonging to our noble public city
library,--too many blossoms on the tree of knowledge, perhaps, for
the best fruit to ripen. But the Massachusetts Medical Society now
numbers nearly four hundred members in the city of Boston. The time
had arrived for a new and larger movement. There was needed a place
to which every respectable member of the medical profession could
obtain easy access; where, under one roof, all might find the special
information they were seeking; where the latest medical intelligence
should be spread out daily as the shipping news is posted on the
bulletins of the exchange; where men engaged in a common pursuit
could meet, surrounded by the mute oracles of science and art; where
the whole atmosphere should be as full of professional knowledge as
the apothecary's shop is of the odor of his medicaments. This was
what the old men longed for,--the prophets and kings of the
profession, who

               "Desired it long,
     But died without the sight."

This is what the young men and those who worked under their guidance
undertook to give us. And now such a library, such a reading-room,
such an exchange, such an intellectual and social meeting place, we
be hold a fact, plain before us. The medical profession of our city,
and, let us add, of all those neighboring places which it can reach
with its iron arms, is united as never before by the commune
vinculum, the common bond of a large, enduring, ennobling, unselfish
interest. It breathes a new air of awakened intelligence. It
marches abreast of the other learned professions, which have long had
their extensive and valuable centralized libraries; abreast of them,
but not promising to be content with that position. What glorifies a
town like a cathedral? What dignifies a province like a university?
What illuminates a country like its scholarship, and what is the nest
that hatches scholars but a library?

The physician, some may say, is a practical man and has little use
for all this book-learning. Every student has heard Sydenham's reply
to Sir Richard Blackmore's question as to what books he should read,
--meaning medical books. "Read Don Quixote," was his famous answer.
But Sydenham himself made medical books and may be presumed to have
thought those at least worth reading. Descartes was asked where was
his library, and in reply held up the dissected body of an animal.
But Descartes made books, great books, and a great many of them. A
physician of common sense without erudition is better than a learned
one without common sense, but the thorough master of his profession
must have learning added to his natural gifts.

It is not necessary to maintain the direct practical utility of all
kinds of learning. Our shelves contain many books which only a
certain class of medical scholars will be likely to consult. There
is a dead medical literature, and there is a live one. The dead is
not all ancient, the live is not all modern. There is none, modern
or ancient, which, if it has no living value for the student, will
not teach him something by its autopsy. But it is with the live
literature of his profession that the medical practitioner is first
of all concerned.

Now there has come a great change in our time over the form in which
living thought presents itself. The first printed books,--the
incunabula,--were inclosed in boards of solid oak, with brazen clasps
and corners; the boards by and by were replaced by pasteboard covered
with calf or sheepskin; then cloth came in and took the place of
leather; then the pasteboard was covered with paper instead of cloth;
and at this day the quarterly, the monthly, the weekly periodical in
its flimsy unsupported dress of paper, and the daily journal, naked
as it came from the womb of the press, hold the larger part of the
fresh reading we live upon. We must have the latest thought in its
latest expression; the page must be newly turned like the morning
bannock; the pamphlet must be newly opened like the ante-prandial

Thus a library, to meet the need of our time, must take, and must
spread out in a convenient form, a great array of periodicals. Our
active practitioners read these by preference over almost everything
else. Our specialists, more particularly, depend on the month's
product, on the yearly crop of new facts, new suggestions, new
contrivances, as much as the farmer on the annual yield of his acres.
One of the first wants, then, of the profession is supplied by our
library in its great array of periodicals from many lands, in many
languages. Such a number of medical periodicals no private library
would have room for, no private person would pay for, or flood his
tables with if they were sent him for nothing. These, I think, with
the reports of medical societies and the papers contributed to them,
will form the most attractive part of our accumulated medical
treasures. They will be also one of our chief expenses, for these
journals must be bound in volumes and they require a great amount of
shelf-room; all this, in addition to the cost of subscription for
those which are not furnished us gratuitously.

It is true that the value of old scientific periodicals is, other
things being equal, in the inverse ratio of their age, for the
obvious reason that what is most valuable in the earlier volumes of a
series is drained off into the standard works with which the
intelligent practitioner is supposed to be familiar. But no extended
record of facts grows too old to be useful, provided only that we
have a ready and sure way of getting at the particular fact or facts
we are in search of.

And this leads me to speak of what I conceive to be one of the
principal tasks to be performed by the present and the coming
generation of scholars, not only in the medical, but in every
department of knowledge. I mean the formation of indexes, and more
especially of indexes to periodical literature.

This idea has long been working in the minds of scholars, and all who
have had occasion to follow out any special subject. I have a right
to speak of it, for I long ago attempted to supply the want of
indexes in some small measure for my own need. I had a very complete
set of the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences;" an entire set
of the "North American Review," and many volumes of the reprints of
the three leading British quarterlies. Of what use were they to me
without general indexes? I looked them all through carefully and
made classified lists of all the articles I thought I should most
care to read. But they soon outgrew my lists. The "North American
Review" kept filling up shelf after shelf, rich in articles which I
often wanted to consult, but what a labor to find them, until the
index of Mr. Gushing, published a few months since, made the contents
of these hundred and twenty volumes as easily accessible as the words
in a dictionary! I had a, copy of good Dr. Abraham Rees's
Cyclopaedia, a treasure-house to my boyhood which has not lost its
value for me in later years. But where to look for what I wanted? I
wished to know, for instance, what Dr. Burney had to say about
singing. Who would have looked for it under the Italian word
cantare? I was curious to learn something of the etchings of
Rembrandt, and where should I find it but under the head "Low
Countries, Engravers of the,"--an elaborate and most valuable article
of a hundred double-columned close-printed quarto pages, to which no
reference, even, is made under the title Rembrandt.

There was nothing to be done, if I wanted to know where that which I
specially cared for was to be found in my Rees's Cyclopaedia, but to
look over every page of its forty-one quarto volumes and make out a
brief list of matters of interest which I could not find by their
titles, and this I did, at no small expense of time and trouble.

Nothing, therefore, could be more pleasing to me than to see the
attention which has been given of late years to the great work of
indexing. It is a quarter of a century since Mr. Poole published his
"Index to Periodical Literature," which it is much to be hoped is
soon to appear in a new edition, grown as it must be to formidable
dimensions by the additions of so long a period. The "British and
Foreign Medical Review," edited by the late Sir John Forties,
contributed to by Huxley, Carpenter, Laycock, and others of the most
distinguished scientific men of Great Britain, has an index to its
twenty-four volumes, and by its aid I find this valuable series as
manageable as a lexicon. The last edition of the "Encyclopaedia
Britannica" had a complete index in a separate volume, and the
publishers of Appletons' "American Cyclopaedia" have recently issued
an index to their useful work, which must greatly add to its value.
I have already referred to the index to the "North American Review,"
which to an American, and especially to a New Englander, is the most
interesting and most valuable addition of its kind to our literary
apparatus since the publication of Mr. Allibone's "Dictionary of
Authors." I might almost dare to parody Mr. Webster's words in
speaking of Hamilton, to describe what Mr. Gushing did for the solemn
rows of back volumes of our honored old Review which had been long
fossilizing on our shelves: "He touched the dead corpse of the 'North
American,' and it sprang to its feet." A library of the best
thought of the best American scholars during the greater portion of
the century was brought to light by the work of the indexmaker as
truly as were the Assyrian tablets by the labors of Layard.

A great portion of the best writing and reading literary, scientific,
professional, miscellaneous--comes to us now, at stated intervals, in
paper covers. The writer appears, as it were, in his shirt-sleeves.
As soon as he has delivered his message the book-binder puts a coat
on his back, and he joins the forlorn brotherhood of "back volumes,"
than which, so long as they are unindexed, nothing can be more
exasperating. Who wants a lock without a key, a ship without a
rudder, a binnacle without a compass, a check without a signature, a
greenback without a goldback behind it?

I have referred chiefly to the medical journals, but I would include
with these the reports of medical associations, and those separate
publications which, coming in the form of pamphlets, heap themselves
into chaotic piles and bundles which are worse than useless, taking
up a great deal of room, and frightening everything away but mice and
mousing antiquarians, or possibly at long intervals some terebrating

Arranged, bound, indexed, all these at once become accessible and
valuable. I will take the first instance which happens to suggest
itself. How many who know all about osteoblasts and the experiments
of Ollier, and all that has grown out of them, know where to go for a
paper by the late Dr. A. L. Peirson of Salem, published in the year
1840, under the modest title, Remarks on Fractures? And if any
practitioner who has to deal with broken bones does not know that
most excellent and practical essay, it is a great pity, for it
answers very numerous questions which will be sure to suggest
themselves to the surgeon and the patient as no one of the recent
treatises, on my own shelves, at least, can do.

But if indexing is the special need of our time in medical
literature, as in every department of knowledge, it must be
remembered that it is not only an immense labor, but one that never
ends. It requires, therefore, the cooperation of a large number of
individuals to do the work, and a large amount of money to pay for
making its results public through the press. When it is remembered
that the catalogue of the library of the British Museum is contained
in nearly three thousand large folios of manuscript, and not all its
books are yet included, the task of indexing any considerable branch
of science or literature looks as if it were well nigh impossible.
But many hands make light work. An "Index Society" has been formed
in England, already numbering about one hundred and seventy members.
It aims at "supplying thorough indexes to valuable works and
collections which have hitherto lacked them; at issuing indexes to
the literature of special subjects; and at gathering materials for a
general reference index." This society has published a little
treatise setting forth the history and the art of indexing, which I
trust is in the hands of some of our members, if not upon our

Something has been done in the same direction by individuals in our
own country, as we have already seen. The need of it in the
department of medicine is beginning to be clearly felt. Our library
has already an admirable catalogue with cross references, the work of
a number of its younger members cooperating in the task. A very
intelligent medical student, Mr. William D. Chapin, whose excellent
project is indorsed by well-known New York physicians and professors,
proposes to publish a yearly index to original communications in the
medical journals of the United States, classified by authors and
subjects. But it is from the National Medical Library at Washington
that we have the best promise and the largest expectations. That
great and growing collection of fifty thousand volumes is under the
eye and hand of a librarian who knows books and how to manage them.
For libraries are the standing armies of civilization, and an army is
but a mob without a general who can organize and marshal it so as to
make it effective. The "Specimen Fasciculus of a Catalogue of the
National Medical Library," prepared under the direction of Dr.
Billings, the librarian, would have excited the admiration of Haller,
the master scholar in medical science of the last century, or rather
of the profession in all centuries, and if carried out as it is begun
will be to the nineteenth all and more than all that the three
Bibliothecae--Anatomica, Chirurgica, and Medicinae-Practicae--were to
the eighteenth century. I cannot forget the story that Agassiz was
so fond of telling of the king of Prussia and Fichte. It was after
the humiliation and spoliation of the kingdom by Napoleon that the
monarch asked the philosopher what could be done to regain the lost
position of the nation. "Found a great university, Sire," was the
answer, and so it was that in the year 1810 the world-renowned
University of Berlin came into being. I believe that we in this
country can do better than found a national university, whose
professors shall be nominated in caucuses, go in and out, perhaps,
like postmasters, with every change of administration, and deal with
science in the face of their constituency as the courtier did with
time when his sovereign asked him what o'clock it was: "Whatever hour
your majesty pleases." But when we have a noble library like that at
Washington, and a librarian of exceptional qualifications like the
gentleman who now holds that office, I believe that a liberal
appropriation by Congress to carry out a conscientious work for the
advancement of sound knowledge and the bettering of human conditions,
like this which Dr. Billings has so well begun, would redound greatly
to the honor of the nation. It ought to be willing to be at some
charge to make its treasures useful to its citizens, and, for its own
sake, especially to that class which has charge of health, public and
private. This country abounds in what are called "self-made men,"
and is justly proud of many whom it thus designates. In one sense no
man is self-made who breathes the air of a civilized community. In
another sense every man who is anything other than a phonograph on
legs is self-made. But if we award his just praise to the man who
has attained any kind of excellence without having had the same
advantages as others whom, nevertheless, he has equalled or
surpassed, let us not be betrayed into undervaluing the mechanic's
careful training to his business, the thorough and laborious
education of the scholar and the professional man.

Our American atmosphere is vocal with the flippant loquacity of half
knowledge. We must accept whatever good can be got out of it, and
keep it under as we do sorrel and mullein and witchgrass, by
enriching the soil, and sowing good seed in plenty; by good teaching
and good books, rather than by wasting our time in talking against
it. Half knowledge dreads nothing but whole knowledge.

I have spoken of the importance and the predominance of periodical
literature, and have attempted to do justice to its value. But the
almost exclusive reading of it is not without its dangers. The
journals contain much that is crude and unsound; the presumption; it
might be maintained, is against their novelties, unless they come
from observers of established credit. Yet I have known a
practitioner,--perhaps more than one,--who was as much under the
dominant influence of the last article he had read in his favorite
medical journal as a milliner under the sway of the last fashionplate.
The difference between green and seasoned knowledge is very
great, and such practitioners never hold long enough to any of their
knowledge to have it get seasoned.

It is needless to say, then, that all the substantial and permanent
literature of the profession should be represented upon our shelves.
Much of it is there already, and as one private library after another
falls into this by the natural law of gravitation, it will gradually
acquire all that is most valuable almost without effort. A scholar
should not be in a hurry to part with his books. They are probably
more valuable to him than they can be to any other individual. What
Swedenborg called "correspondence" has established itself between his
intelligence and the volumes which wall him within their sacred
inclosure. Napoleon said that his mind was as if furnished with
drawers,--he drew out each as he wanted its contents, and closed it
at will when done with them. The scholar's mind, to use a similar
comparison, is furnished with shelves, like his library. Each book
knows its place in the brain as well as against the wall or in the
alcove. His consciousness is doubled by the books which encircle
him, as the trees that surround a lake repeat themselves in its
unruffled waters. Men talk of the nerve that runs to the pocket, but
one who loves his books, and has lived long with them, has a nervous
filament which runs from his sensorium to every one of them. Or, if
I may still let my fancy draw its pictures, a scholar's library is to
him what a temple is to the worshipper who frequents it. There is
the altar sacred to his holiest experiences. There is the font where
his new-born thought was baptized and first had a name in his
consciousness. There is the monumental tablet of a dead belief,
sacred still in the memory of what it was while yet alive. No
visitor can read all this on the lettered backs of the books that
have gathered around the scholar, but for him, from the Aldus on the
lowest shelf to the Elzevir on the highest, every volume has a
language which none but be can interpret. Be patient with the bookcollector
who loves his companions too well to let them go. Books
are not buried with their owners, and the veriest book-miser that
ever lived was probably doing far more for his successors than his
more liberal neighbor who despised his learned or unlearned avarice.
Let the fruit fall with the leaves still clinging round it. Who
would have stripped Southey's walls of the books that filled them,
when, his mind no longer capable of taking in their meaning, he would
still pat and fondle them with the vague loving sense of what they
had once been to him,--to him, the great scholar, now like a little
child among his playthings?

We need in this country not only the scholar, but the virtuoso, who
hoards the treasures which he loves, it may be chiefly for their
rarity and because others who know more than he does of their value
set a high price upon them. As the wine of old vintages is gently
decanted out of its cobwebbed bottles with their rotten corks into
clean new receptacles, so the wealth of the New World is quietly
emptying many of the libraries and galleries of the Old World into
its newly formed collections and newly raised edifices. And this
process must go on in an accelerating ratio. No Englishman will be
offended if I say that before the New Zealander takes his stand on a
broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's in the
midst of a vast solitude, the treasures of the British Museum will
have found a new shelter in the halls of New York or Boston. No
Catholic will think hardly of my saying that before the Coliseum
falls, and with it the imperial city, whose doom prophecy has linked
with that of the almost eternal amphitheatre, the marbles, the
bronzes, the paintings, the manuscripts of the Vatican will have left
the shores of the Tiber for those of the Potomac, the Hudson, the
Mississippi, or the Sacramento. And what a delight in the pursuit of
the rarities which the eager book-hunter follows with the scent of a

Shall I ever forget that rainy day in Lyons, that dingy bookshop,
where I found the Aetius, long missing from my Artis bledicae
Principes, and where I bought for a small pecuniary consideration,
though it was marked rare, and was really tres rare, the Aphorisms of
Hippocrates, edited by and with a preface from the hand of Francis
Rabelais? And the vellum-bound Tulpius, which I came upon in Venice,
afterwards my only reading when imprisoned in quarantine at
Marseilles, so that the two hundred and twenty-eight cases he has
recorded are, many of them, to this day still fresh in my memory.
And the Schenckius,--the folio filled with casus rariores, which had
strayed in among the rubbish of the bookstall on the boulevard,--and
the noble old Vesalius with its grand frontispiece not unworthy of
Titian, and the fine old Ambroise Pare, long waited for even in Paris
and long ago, and the colossal Spigelius with his eviscerated
beauties, and Dutch Bidloo with its miracles of fine engraving and
bad dissection, and Italian Mascagni, the despair of all would-be
imitators, and pre-Adamite John de Ketam, and antediluvian
Berengarius Carpensis,--but why multiply names, every one of which
brings back the accession of a book which was an event almost like
the birth of an infant?

A library like ours must exercise the largest hospitality. A great
many books may be found in every large collection which remind us of
those apostolic looking old men who figure on the platform at our
political and other assemblages. Some of them have spoken words of
wisdom in their day, but they have ceased to be oracles; some of them
never had any particularly important message for humanity, but they
add dignity to the meeting by their presence; they look wise, whether
they are so or not, and no one grudges them their places of honor.
Venerable figure-heads, what would our platforms be without you?

Just so with our libraries. Without their rows of folios in creamy
vellum, or showing their black backs with antique lettering of
tarnished gold, our shelves would look as insufficient and unbalanced
as a column without its base, as a statue without its pedestal. And
do not think they are kept only to be spanked and dusted during that
dreadful period when their owner is but too thankful to become an
exile and a wanderer from the scene of single combats between dead
authors and living housemaids. Men were not all cowards before
Agamemnon or all fools before the days of Virchow and Billroth. And
apart from any practical use to be derived from the older medical
authors, is there not a true pleasure in reading the accounts of
great discoverers in their own words? I do not pretend to hoist up
the Bibliotheca Anatomica of Mangetus and spread it on my table every
day. I do not get out my great Albinus before every lecture on the
muscles, nor disturb the majestic repose of Vesalius every time I
speak of the bones he has so admirably described and figured. But it
does please me to read the first descriptions of parts to which the
names of their discoverers or those who have first described them
have become so joined that not even modern science can part them; to
listen to the talk of my old volume as Willis describes his circle
and Fallopius his aqueduct and Varolius his bridge and Eustachius his
tube and Monro his foramen,--all so well known to us in the human
body; it does please me to know the very words in which Winslow
described the opening which bears his name, and Glisson his capsule
and De Graaf his vesicle; I am not content until I know in what
language Harvey announced his discovery of the circulation, and how
Spigelius made the liver his perpetual memorial, and Malpighi found a
monument more enduring than brass in the corpuscles of the spleen and
the kidney.

But after all, the readers who care most for the early records of
medical science and art are the specialists who are dividing up the
practice of medicine and surgery as they were parcelled out,
according to Herodotus, by the Egyptians. For them nothing is too
old, nothing is too new, for to their books of ail others is
applicable the saying of D'Alembert that the author kills himself in
lengthening out what the reader kills himself in trying to shorten.

There are practical books among these ancient volumes which can never
grow old. Would you know how to recognize "male hysteria" and to
treat it, take down your Sydenham; would you read the experience of a
physician who was himself the subject of asthma, and who,
notwithstanding that, in the words of Dr. Johnson, "panted on till
ninety," you will find it in the venerable treatise of Sir John
Floyer; would you listen to the story of the King's Evil cured by the
royal touch, as told by a famous chirurgeon who fully believed in it,
go to Wiseman; would you get at first hand the description of the
spinal disease which long bore his name, do not be startled if I tell
you to go to Pott,--to Percival Pott, the great surgeon of the last

There comes a time for every book in a library when it is wanted by
somebody. It is but a few weeks since one of the most celebrated
physicians in the country wrote to me from a great centre of medical
education to know if I had the works of Sanctorius, which he had
tried in vain to find. I could have lent him the "Medicina Statica,"
with its frontispiece showing Sanctorius with his dinner on the table
before him, in his balanced chair which sunk with him below the level
of his banquet-board when he had swallowed a certain number of
ounces,--an early foreshadowing of Pettenkofer's chamber and
quantitative physiology,--but the "Opera Omnia" of Sanctorius I had
never met with, and I fear he had to do without it.

I would extend the hospitality of these shelves to a class of works
which we are in the habit of considering as being outside of the pale
of medical science, properly so called, and sometimes of coupling
with a disrespectful name. Such has always been my own practice. I
have welcomed Culpeper and Salmon to my bookcase as willingly as
Dioscorides or Quincy, or Paris or Wood and Bache. I have found a
place for St. John Long, and read the story of his trial for
manslaughter with as much interest as the laurel-water case in which
John Hunter figured as a witness. I would give Samuel Hahnemann a
place by the side of Samuel Thomson. Am I not afraid that some
student of imaginative turn and not provided with the needful
cerebral strainers without which all the refuse of gimcrack
intelligences gets into the mental drains and chokes them up,--am I
not afraid that some such student will get hold of the "Organon" or
the "Maladies Chroniques" and be won over by their delusions, and so
be lost to those that love him as a man of common sense and a brother
in their high calling? Not in the least. If he showed any symptoms
of infection I would for once have recourse to the principle of
similia similibus. To cure him of Hahnemann I would prescribe my
favorite homoeopathic antidote, Okie's Bonninghausen. If that
failed, I would order Grauvogl as a heroic remedy, and if he survived
that uncured, I would give him my blessing, if I thought him honest,
and bid him depart in peace. For me he is no longer an individual.
He belongs to a class of minds which we are bound to be patient with
if their Maker sees fit to indulge them with existence. We must
accept the conjuring ultra-ritualist, the dreamy second adventist,
the erratic spiritualist, the fantastic homoeopathist, as not
unworthy of philosophic study; not more unworthy of it than the
squarers of the circle and the inventors of perpetual motion, and the
other whimsical visionaries to whom De Morgan has devoted his most
instructive and entertaining "Budget of Paradoxes." I hope,
therefore, that our library will admit the works of the so-called
Eclectics, of the Thomsonians, if any are in existence, of the
Clairvoyants, if they have a literature, and especially of the
Homoeopathists. This country seems to be the place for such a
collection, which will by and by be curious and of more value than at
present, for Homoeopathy seems to be following the pathological law
of erysipelas, fading out where it originated as it spreads to new
regions. At least I judge so by the following translated extract
from a criticism of an American work in the "Homoeopatische
Rundschau" of Leipzig for October, 1878, which I find in the
"Homoeopathic Bulletin" for the month of November just passed:
"While we feel proud of the spread and rise of Homoeopathy across the
ocean, and while the Homoeopathic works reaching us from there, and
published in a style such as is unknown in Germany, bear eloquent
testimony to the eminent activity of our transatlantic colleagues, we
are overcome by sorrowful regrets at the position Homoeopathy
occupies in Germany. Such a work [as the American one referred to]
with us would be impossible; it would lack the necessary support."

By all means let our library secure a good representation of the
literature of Homoeopathy before it leaves us its "sorrowful regrets"
and migrates with its sugar of milk pellets, which have taken the
place of the old pilulae micae panis, to Alaska, to "Nova Zembla, or
the Lord knows where."

What shall I say in this presence of the duties of a Librarian?
Where have they ever been better performed than in our own public
city library, where the late Mr. Jewett and the living Mr. Winsor
have shown us what a librarian ought to be,--the organizing head, the
vigilant guardian, the seeker's index, the scholar's counsellor? His
work is not merely that of administration, manifold and laborious as
its duties are. He must have a quick intelligence and a retentive
memory. He is a public carrier of knowledge in its germs. His
office is like that which naturalists attribute to the bumble-bee,--
he lays up little honey for himself, but he conveys the fertilizing
pollen from flower to flower.

Our undertaking, just completed,--and just begun--has come at the
right time, not a day too soon. Our practitioners need a library
like this, for with all their skill and devotion there is too little
genuine erudition, such as a liberal profession ought to be able to
claim for many of its members. In reading the recent obituary
notices of the late Dr. Geddings of South Carolina, I recalled what
our lamented friend Dr. Coale used to tell me of his learning and
accomplishments, and I could not help reflecting how few such medical
scholars we had to show in Boston or New England. We must clear up
this unilluminated atmosphere, and here,--here is the true electric
light which will irradiate its darkness.

The public will catch the rays reflected from the same source of
light, and it needs instruction on the great subjects of health and
disease,--needs it sadly. It is preyed upon by every kind of
imposition almost without hindrance. Its ignorance and prejudices
react upon the profession to the great injury of both. The jealous
feeling, for instance, with regard to such provisions for the study
of anatomy as are sanctioned by the laws in this State and carried
out with strict regard to those laws, threatens the welfare, if not
the existence of institutions for medical instruction wherever it is
not held in check by enlightened intelligence. And on the other hand
the profession has just been startled by a verdict against a
physician, ruinous in its amount,--enough to drive many a hardworking
young practitioner out of house and home,--a verdict which
leads to the fear that suits for malpractice may take the place of
the panel game and child-stealing as a means of extorting money. If
the profession in this State, which claims a high standard of
civilization, is to be crushed and ground beneath the upper millstone
of the dearth of educational advantages and the lower millstone of
ruinous penalties for what the ignorant ignorantly shall decide to be
ignorance, all I can say is

God save the Commonhealth of Massachusetts!

Once more, we cannot fail to see that just as astrology has given
place to astronomy, so theology, the science of Him whom by searching
no man can find out, is fast being replaced by what we may not
improperly call theonomy, or the science of the laws according to
which the Creator acts. And since these laws find their fullest
manifestations for us, at least, in rational human natures, the study
of anthropology is largely replacing that of scholastic divinity. We
must contemplate our Maker indirectly in human attributes as we talk
of Him in human parts of speech. And this gives a sacredness to the
study of man in his physical, mental, moral, social, and religious
nature which elevates the faithful students of anthropology to the
dignity of a priesthood, and sheds a holy light on the recorded
results of their labors, brought together as they are in such a
collection as this which is now spread out before us.

Thus, then, our library is a temple as truly as the dome-crowned
cathedral hallowed by the breath of prayer and praise, where the dead
repose and the living worship. May it, with all its treasures, be
consecrated like that to the glory of God, through the contributions
it shall make to the advancement of sound knowledge, to the relief of
human suffering, to the promotion of harmonious relations between the
members of the two noble professions which deal with the diseases of
the soul and with those of the body, and to the common cause in which
all good men are working, the furtherance of the well-being of their

NOTE.--As an illustration of the statement in the last paragraph but
one, I take the following notice from the "Boston Daily Advertiser,"
of December 4th, the day after the delivery of the address:
"Prince Lucien Bonaparte is now living in London, and is devoting
himself to the work of collecting the creeds of all religions and
sects, with a view to their classification,--his object being simply
scientific or anthropological."

Since delivering the address, also, I find a leading article in the
"Cincinnati Lancet and Clinic" of November 30th, headed "The
Decadence of Homoeopathy," abundantly illustrated by extracts from
the "Homoeopathic Times," the leading American organ of that sect.

In the New York "Medical Record" of the same date, which I had not
seen before the delivery of my address, is an account of the action
of the Homoeopathic Medical Society of Northern New York, in which
Hahnemann's theory of "dynamization" is characterized in a formal
resolve as "unworthy the confidence of the Homoeopathic profession."

It will be a disappointment to the German Homoeopathists to read in
the "Homoeopathic Times" such a statement as the following:
"Whatever the influences have been which have checked the outward
development of Homoeopathy, it is plainly evident that the
Homoeopathic school, as regards the number of its openly avowed
representatives, has attained its majority, and has begun to decline
both in this country and in England."

All which is an additional reason for making a collection of the
incredibly curious literature of Homoeopathy before that
pseudological inanity has faded out like so many other delusions.



ISSN 1544-9378

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