Civil War Era Medical Text-Books
Purchased by the U. S. Army Medical Department
From the article by Miles on the creation of the Surgeon' General's Library
Surgeon General's Office Library 1861 SGO's library years later in the Ford Theater
Surgeons at Union hospitals and posts received the same as above, plus:
Under the direction of the new surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes, the library was expanded and the following texts listed below were ordered from publishers. .
Barnes, who had been in the Army since 1840, was appointed Surgeon General on August 22, 1864. He retained, with few exceptions, the same standard medical books chosen by his predecessor for distribution.
The Surgeon General's Library, the collection that would in 1956 become the National Library of Medicine, was arguably the Medical Department's most valuable and lasting contribution to medical science developed in the decades immediately following the Civil War. As new developments in the world of medical science began to grow in number with great rapidity, the nation's best-educated physicians came increasingly to rely on medical libraries, particularly the Surgeon General's Library, for the information that kept them abreast of the work of their colleagues around the world. Much of the library's growth in size and fame resulted from the work of Billings. Working aggressively and imaginatively to increase the library's holdings, he made the most of the meager funds allotted that institution by astute buying and by trading copies of the departments various publications for the books, journals, reports, manuscripts, letters, pamphlets, and portraits he believed it should have. By 1875 the library had copies of about 75 percent of the available periodical literature and the largest collection of pamphlets in the country. To classify the collection, after some experimentation, Billings adopted a revised version of the system used by the Royal College of Physicians in London, employing a series of 5" by 7" cards to keep track of the library's holdings.
A large number of these medical texts were purchased during the war:
(The numbers are how many were ordered for distribution to the hospitals and surgeons during the War) Click here information on the SGO Library by Wyndam Miles
and lesser quantities of: McLeod's Surgical Notes, Virchow's Pathology, Jones' Diseases of the Eye, Bedford's Mid-wifery, Toynbee's Diseases of the Ear, Wilson's Diseases of the Skin, and Guthrie's Commentaries
The above text books may or may not be marked for the Army Hospital Department or Medical Department