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11 January 2007

Exeter Medical Library

Exeter working papers in British book trade history
Exeter Medical Library. Minutes 1814-1815

Extracts from early minute books of the Exeter Medical Library show how the Library sought to "widen access to the knowledge base of healthcare" in the days before the internet. Negotiating discounts from booksellers, circulating lists of recent accessions, the provision of multiple access points to information through the application of "metadata" - all this is nothing new, and was accomplished without hiding fundamental library tasks under a cloak of jargon.

Committee minutes, 28 January 1814.

The Treasurer having communicated an offer from Mr Callow, bookseller, Crown-court, Soho, London to allow a discount of 15 per ct on the price of books purchased from him; Resolved that Mr. Callow's offer be accepted. Resolved that the London Medical Journal, London Medical Repository & Edinburgh Medical Journal be ordered from January 1st 1814 & regularly continued [ ... ]

Resolved that [ ... ] the following rules shall be established for their circulation. 1st the set of reviews & journals, intended to be circulated amongst the town-subscribers, shall be placed on the Library-table on the days specified in rule X; & in the intervals & as long after as may be necessary, shall be circulated amongst the physicians and surgeons of the Hospital, to be held only two days by each, & to be returned at the proper periods, to be marked on the cover of each volume.
Whoever detains such a review or journal beyond the time allowed shall forfeit 3d each day.
Whoever omits to mark the day on which he forwards it shall forfeit 1d
Whoever detains it or forwards it to any but the Librarian on the mornings on which it is directed to be returned to him, or forwards it to him after the time of the opening of the Library specified in rules IX and XX (printed regulations) shall forfeit 1d.
The same set of reviews & journals shall on, or as soon as possible after the third Monday following their receipt be circulated amongst the town-subscribers not belonging to the Hospital, the Librarian forwarding them the first in order. Each subscriber shall be allowed to keep such review or journal two days [ ... ]

The other set of reviews & journals shall, on the first Monday after the receipt of them, be delivered to any country subscribers who may apply for them [ ... ] and if two or more subscribers reside in the same town, they shall be at liberty to transfer each volume from one to the other [ ... ]
That on the cover of each review & journal intended for country subscribers be entered a list of the books purchased for the preceding month.

Resolved that, as soon as the extent of the Library makes it expedient, a catalogue of the books be printed.

General meeting of subscribers, 10 January 1814

The Treasurer reported that an offer had been made to the physicians & surgeons of the Hospital by the Revd. R.Welland as executor of the late Dr Parr, to entrust to them Dr Parr's medical books, to be deposited in the Hospital Library until his sons should arrive at years of discretion, but not to be taken out of the Library by subscribers.

The Treasurer reported that a request had been made by letter, in the name of several subscribers, to the Dean & Chapter of the Exeter Cathedral, that they would, as trustees under the late Dr Glass's will, permit the medical books, left in their custody, to be transferred to the Library of the Devon & Exeter Hospital.

Trustees meeting, 6 January 1815

Dr Blackhall, Treasurer of the Library, reported that the late Dr Glass's medical library, which had been bequeathed by him to the Dean & Chapter of Exeter for the use of the medical practitioners of the same, was now removed to the Hospital Library by their consent, for the better fulfilment of that bequest.
that the books had been repaired at the expence of the Society & together with those purchased during the preceding year, had been arranged in proper order; that an alphabetical catalogue of the same had been drawn out & that it was intended, as soon as possible, to make another catalogue of them, according to their places in the shelves.

This page last updated 10 Jan 2007
© Ian Maxted, 2003.