The Library of the Surgeon General's Office
, later called the Army Medical Library
, was the institutional medical literature repository of the U.S. Army Surgeon General
from 1836 to 1956 when it was transformed into the National Library of Medicine
The 19th century
The Library of the Surgeon General’s Office was established in 1836 when Joseph Lovell
, then Surgeon General, purchased reference books and journals for his office. In 1840 the library published its first list of publications in a manuscript notebook. In 1864, the library printed its first catalog containing 2100 volumes.
In 1867, the Library, along with the new Surgeon General's office, was moved to Ford's Theater
, site of the tragic assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
in April 1865. (The theater had been closed and remodelled in the intervening two years.) The new Office/Library site was taken over by the U.S. Army to house a cluster of important post-Civil War medical activities of the Surgeon General's Office. The most significant were the archive of Civil War medical records (essential for verification of veterans' pension claims), the Army Medical Museum (now the National Museum of Health and Medicine
), the editorial offices for preparation of the multi-volume Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion
, and the Library of the Surgeon General's Office.
The library published its first list of bibliographies in 1869 and in 1871, the decided to develop its collection... Read More