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REPORT OF THE TREASURER.
THE Treasurer has the honor to report the balance in the Treasury at this date to be $570.59. The last annual meeting at Atlanta, Georgia, did not, in point of numbers, add very largely to the financial resources of the Association. In his last Report, the Treasurer called attention to the fact that a large number of the Permanent Members, who joined the Association in 1876, had not since exhibited any interest in it by the payment of annual dues. A special effort was made to procure the retention of membership by these gentlemen, but it was attended with very slight success.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
RICHARD J. DUNGLISON,
Richard J. Dunglison, Treasurer, in account with the American Medical Association.
June 1. Cash balance
1880. May 29.
May 20. Cash paid Dr. J. P. Logan, Chairman of Committee of
from Delegates and Permanent Members at Atlanta
meeting, less exchange
from Permanent Members to date
May 31. Cash balance
Dr. A. McLane Hamilton, Prize Essay, as per
Dr. Wm. Lee, Librarian, as per order of the
M. Lewis, per Secretary, for addressing wrap-
Dr. W. B. Atkinson, Secretary, as per order
Henry M. Barnes, services as Clerk
Audited and found correct.
600 00 50 00
THOMAS M. DRYSDALE,
SAMUEL D. GROSS,
Committee of Publication.
REPORT OF THE LIBRARIAN.
LIBRARY OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
From a quiet, but commodious and comfortable corner of the Smithsonian Institution-thanks to the courtesy of Prof. S. F. Baird, Secretary of that Institution, and of those associated with him-I have the honor to make this my annual report as Librarian. The accompanying catalogue will show that during the past year there have been added to the library 229 distinct titles, exclusive of yearly volumes of transactions of societies, reports of hospitals, boards of health, and volumes of medical journals, where these have been previously catalogued as such. This addition makes the library to consist at present of 1302 distinct titles, which comprehend, from a general estimate, about 3268 volumes, inclusive of pamphlets. A large proportion of these volumes have been received, as usual, in exchange, but there have been some donations which from their nature deserve especial mention here, as the library is indebted to Dr. E. C. Bright, of Eminence, Kentucky, for a large and valuable contribution of rare works; to Dr. G. S. Franklin, of Chillicothe, Ohio, for a similar contribution; to Dr. Wm. H. Sharp, of Chillicothe, Ohio, for a number of rare works, among which is to be found Vanguion's Surgery, edition of 1699; to Dr. D. N. Porter, of Eminence, Kentucky, Dr. Chas. E. Lining, of Evansville, Indiana, Dr. S. J. Radcliffe, of Washington, D. C., who, as heretofore, has materially assisted in completing sets of medical journals, etc.; and to Dr. J. Z. Gerhard, of Harrisburg, Pa. Other gentlemen have, as will be seen by the catalogue, contributed their own publications in a generous manner.
The question is so often asked, Of what use is this library? that it may not be out of place here to repeat what has been set forth in previous reports. The library serves a threefold purpose:
1st. It is intended as a repository for American medical literature, to gather in all, however important or insignificant, from the handsome quarto to the two-paged pamphlet, that is published in this country: it is doing this at present but very imperfectly; its files of medical journals and transactions of societies are in a fair way of being reasonably complete; its monographs and pamphlets are increasing in an encouraging manner, but for the more expensive publications that take rank as textbooks, it would seem that the library will have to wait until they become antiquated and out of date. Take this present meeting in New York, the great medical centre of this country, her representation of delegates, many of whom have been members of the Association from its earliest years, includes writers of works which stand before the profession to-day as valuable authorities on medical subjects, and which have gone through several editions, yet none of these works are to be found in the library-or if here and there a stray volume be found, it was obtained through some other than its author. As many members probably know to their cost, medical libraries form, to the individual, one of the least profitable of investments; as a collection of books their depreciation in money value becomes very great within a very short space of time-due in part to the rapid multiplying of succeeding editions of the same work, with revisions and additions which sometimes promise much more than they fulfil. As a consequence, the legacy of a library which the medical man leaves to his too often needy family, comes finally to be picked over here and there by the curious in the secondhand bookstore, or in the old rags, paper, and junk shops, where a once costly book, now coverless and torn, may be purchased for a quarter or so, at so much per pound.
2dly. This library is at the service for consultation of over 2000 medical men, members of the Association, and through them of their neighbors, provided they are willing to expend the cost of transportation and ready to make good any possible loss or damage. This cost of transportation at the present rates of book post is a mere nominal sum, and in this way the library is at the disposal of every country town or village throughout. the United States. Members at this meeting from distant parts of the country will, many of them, look with interest at the valuable and extensive collections of books which New York
and our other eastern cities possess, for this seems to be an era of libraries and the utilizing of the same through the perfected index; and they will probably go home somewhat dissatisfied with their own limited range of literature; yet they could assist in building up a library which, as has just been said, they would have the right to consult, without favor or obligation, while the libraries which they find among us are all, without exception, to serve a limited purpose when taken in this sense.
3dly. This library serves the purpose of sending abroad without cost, through the exchange system of the Smithsonian Institution, the Transactions of this Association to every foreign institution which appreciates the matter contained therein, and to those only, as evidenced by their willingness to return the compliment and send their own publications in exchange. How far this has been done with advantage to the library, can be readily shown by consulting the yearly catalogues, when it will be found that these valuable foreign publications comprise a large proportion of the books received.
I therefore ask that the members who read this, take into serious consideration the expediency of sending copies of all of their own publications that are at their disposal, as well as all other medical publications of which they have duplicates, or which no longer serve the purpose of a library for consultation; and would especially call the attention of editors of medical journals to this request, in consideration of the large mass of material which accumulates in their offices. Some of this mat ter might prove to be in duplicate, but duplicates are always very useful to a library, and the library cheerfully pays the cost of transportation for all such.
I have no new suggestions to offer for this year, assuming that the home and foreign exchanges will be allowed to go on as usual: last year's appropriation is being utilized for the purposes for which it was intended; the price of binding material having been raised, the cost of binding is correspondingly greater, being now 50 cents instead of 45 cents per volume. To enable the librarian to continue this work throughout the coming year, and to purchase such periodicals and society transactions as are necessary to complete sets, and having become rare are not obtainable in any other way, I would ask for the appropriation of $200.