The only comprehensive list of British medical libraries hitherto available has been that in The Aslib directory 1928, and there is an extended account of those in London in Reginald Rye, The students' guide to the libraries of London (3rd ed., 1927), pp. 362–77. The new list, here put forward, is intended to bring the information from those two books of reference up to date, after nearly twenty years. British libraries are briefly listed among ‘Medical libraries outside North America’ in the Medical Library Association's A handbook of medical library practice, ed. Janet Doe, Chicago, American library association 1943, chapter 1, appendix 2, pages 41–64. The meagre information in that list, if contrasted with the detailed documentation of American and Canadian libraries in successive issues of the American medical directory, accentuates the need for us to know ourselves better. Several, perhaps many, medical librarians have had to compile lists of kindred libraries for their own convenience. A list which I had thus prepared seemed to Aslib to offer adequate basis for a Directory of British medical libraries, and in order to complete it Aslib issued a questionnaire in the autumn of 1944 to libraries known to possess medical collections and to hospitals, medical societies, and medical institutions throughout the British Isles. The information obtained from the generous response to this questionnaire is epitomized in the list which follows. I am responsible for all omissions and errors and I hope that those who detect any will supply corrections and additions so that this preliminary list may be revised and become a definitive Directory.
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