An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15961 entries, 13944 authors and 1935 subjects. Updated: April 29, 2024


19 entries
  • 10448

Report on barracks and hospitals, with descriptions of military posts.

Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1870.

Describes military posts in all regions of the U.S., including the Western territories, with details of their hospitals, barracks, etc. In a 1928 talk at Mayo Clinic historian Fielding Garrison wrote about this work, "From 1869 to 1874 he [Billings] was borrowed from the Army by the Secretary of the Treasury to study the different stations of the Marine Hospital Service....In pursuance of this end, he was in every important city or locality in the whole length and breadth of the United States....While on this detail he rendered to the Surgeon General two important and massive reports on the barracks, hospitals and hygienic condition of the army (1870-1875)" (Fielding Garrison, Billings: A Maker of American Medicine. Lectures on the History of Medicine. A Series of Lectures at the Mayo Foundation. (Philadelphia ,1933) 187-200. Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link.

  • 11212

Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office, United States Army. 3 vols.

Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1873.

The first formal published catalogue of the ancestor of the US National Library of Medicine, prepared under the supervision of John Shaw Billings. Vols. 1-2 represented an author catalogue A-Z. Vol. 3: Supplement: Anonymous, transactions, reports, periodicals.

In his preface Billings wrote that the library contained "about 25,000 volumes, and 15,000 single pamphlets, and the present catalogue gives about 50,000 titles exclusive of cross-references...." Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link.

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Catalogues of Institutional Medical Libraries
  • 10652

Hospital plans. Five essays relating to the construction, organization & management of hospitals, contributed by their authors for the use of the Johns Hopkins Hospital of Baltimore.

New York: W. Wood & Co., 1875.

Essays influential on the planning and eventual operation of Johns Hopkins Hospital, which was innovative in its design and influential on the design of hospitals that followed. See Brieger, Gert, "The original plans for the Johns Hopkins Hospital and their historical significance," Bull. Hist. Med., 39 (1965) 518-528. Digital facsimile of the 1875 work from the Internet Archive at this link.

  • 6586

A century of American medicine 1776-1876. By Edward H. Clarke, H. J. Bigelow, S. D. Gross, T. Gaillard Thomas and J. S. Billings.

Philadelphia: H. C.Lea, 1876.

Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link.

  • 11261

Specimen fasciculus of a catalogue of the National Medical Library, under the direction of the Surgeon-General, United States Army at Washington, D. C.

Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1876.

This analystical subject-author catalogue was a 96-page preview of what became known four years later as the Index-Catalogue of the Library of Surgeon General's Office. Reflecting Billings' long term view of the institution, this may have been the first publication to refer to the Surgeon General's library at a "National Medical Library." Digital facsimile from the U.S. National Library of Medicine at this link.

  • 13160

International Exhibition of 1876. Medical Department, U.S. Army. Photographs illustrating rare books in the National Medical Library. Philadelphia, 1876. 2 vols.

Washington, DC: U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1876.

These two volumes include a series of original photographs of primarily the title pages of rare medical books in the National Medical Library pasted onto specially printed sheets with manuscript entries indicating their accession number at the NLM and their number in the sequence of images in the two volumes. Captions for the images are provided in printed lists in the preliminary leaves of each volume. Both volumes have printed title pages and give the impression of being privately printed books, vol. 1 including photographs 1-54, and vol. 2 photographs 55-104. Whether multiple copies of this set were distributed to other institutions after the exhibition was unclear. The selection of the works photographed for this set provides an indication of works regarded by the NLM as major classics at the time.

The first volume contained an explanatory statement by Billings in the form of a letter to General J. K. Barnes dated May 6, 1876 as follows:


"The photographs herewith submitted are intended to indicate some of the older and rare books in the National Medical Library, and are to be placed in the International Exhibition of 1876, in connection with the Catalogues of the Library, as the safest and most convenient means of showing what has been accomplished in the attempt made by this Department to form a collection of medical literature which should meet the demands of the physicians of the United States.

"The photographs have been prepared under the supervision of Assistant-Surgeon J. J. Woodward, U.S.A., and are unusually successful. It must be remembered that many of these books are yellow with age, and that all yellow spots or stains appear in the photograph as dark or black spots.

"The photographs may be considered as being arranged in three series.

"The first series is taken from early printed books, the so-called "Incunabulae," and from other works, which are are rare, at least in this country.

"The second series relates to Surgery, and especially Military Surgery; and the third series is from rare books and pamphlets connected with American Medical History.

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
John S. Billings,
Assistant-Surgeon, United States Army
In Charge of Library"

Digital facsimile of both volumes from U.S. National Library of Medicine at this link.

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Catalogues of Institutional Medical Libraries
  • 6762

Index Medicus. A monthly classified record of the current medical literature of the world. Vols. 1-21.

New York, 18791899.

"Functionally, however, the greatest difference between the two publications [Index Medicus and the Index-Catalogue] was that the Index-Catalogue was a government publication and Index Medicus was not. For its entire run, the Index-Catalogue was published by the Surgeon-General's Office of the US Army, while Index Medicus was privately published by a series of small publishers, who had difficulty making the work profitable. In this period (1879–1926), the Index-Catalogue had a secure source of funding, while Index Medicus was expected to be self-supporting. As Billings wrote in his introduction to the first volume of Index Medicus:

It has often been suggested that it is highly desirable that [the Index-Catalogue] should be supplemented by some current publication, which should show all recent works, together with articles in periodicals, arranged by subjects [emphasis in the original], but until quite lately no proper means have been available for such an undertaking. Now, however, Mr. F. Leypoldt, of New York City, proposes to undertake the publication of such a current medical bibliographical serial.

"The role of Leypoldt has been described in different ways, but it is undeniable that, between 1879 and 1926, Index Medicus had a number of publishers, including Leypoldt in New York, George Davis in Boston, and the Carnegie Foundation in Washington. There was even a period (1899–1902) when publication of Index Medicus ceased and was briefly replaced by a Paris publication called the Bibliographica Medica. There were also years, such as 1895–1899, when the title page mysteriously read only “Published by the Editors, New York and Boston.” Sometimes (as in 1879), publishers were listed for London, Paris, Leipzig, Amsterdam, and St. Petersburg, and would-be contributors were advised to submit their publications to these Europeans offices for inclusion in Index Medicus. A certain collection development objective is implied here: the introductory letter already cited made it clear that, after indexing, the publications would be added to the collections of the library" (S. J. Greenberg & P. E. Gallagher, "The great contribution: Index MedicusIndex-Catalogue, and IndexCat," J. Med. Libr. Assoc. 97(2009) 108–113).

A second series, edited by Fletcher and F. H. Garrison, vols. 1-6, 1921-27. In 1927 the Quarterly Cumulative Index to Current Medical Literature (12 vols., 1916-26) was amalgamated with the Index Medicus to form Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus (1927-56) which, with No. 6777, was superseded in 1960 by a new monthly Index Medicus with an annual Cumulated Index Medicus. The gap 1900-02 was partly filled by Bibliographia Medica, 3 vols., Paris, 1900-1903, and by Index Medicus Novus, Vienna, Nos. 1-12, 1899; Nos. 1-3, 1900. The first three series of Index Medicus were reprinted New York, Johnson Reprint, 1967. Bibliographia Medica was reprinted New York, Johnson Reprint, 1972.

  • 6763

Index-catalogue of the library of the Surgeon General’s Office. Vol. 1-16; 2nd ser., vol. 1-21; 3rd ser., vol. 1-10; 4th ser., vol. l-11(A-Mn); 5th ser., vol. 1-3.

Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 18801961.

In 1836 Surgeon General Joseph Lovell established a small collection of medical books for the use of his staff. This was the origin of the “Surgeon General’s Library.” John Shaw Billings did much to develop the library; he planned and started the Index Catalogue, the first large-scale subject index of any library, and the first truly comprehensive subject index of the published literature any science. Four years prior to the beginning of publication of the Index Catalogue Billings issued a Specimen Fasciculus of a Catalogue of the National Medical Library Under the Direction of the Surgeon-General, United States Army (Washington, 1876). In addition to showing the ambitious nature of his cataloguing plans, the fasciculus shows that Billings viewed the Library of the Surgeon General's Office as a national medical library. Series 1-4 indexes about 3,000,000 books, journal articles, and pamphlets. In the 5th series only monographs and theses are included. For continuation see Nos. 6784, 6786.9. In 1952 the name of the library was changed to Armed Forces Medical Library; it became the National Library of Medicine in 1956. See S. J. Greenberg & P. E. Gallagher, "The great contribution: Index MedicusIndex-Catalogue, and IndexCat," J. Med. Libr. Assoc. 97 (2009) 108–113.

The Index-catalogue is available online from the National Library of Medicine at this link.

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Catalogues of Institutional Medical Libraries, BIBLIOGRAPHY › Periodicals, BIBLIOGRAPHY › Reference Works Digitized and Online
  • 10809

Dedication of the New Building and Hall of the Boston Medical Library Association, 19 Boylston Place, December 3, 1878. Order of exercises. Address by the president, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. Report of the building committee. Remarks by Dr. J. S. Billings, Prof. Justin Winsor, Dr. George H. Lyman, Charles W. Eliot, Dr. David P. Smith, Dr. Calvin Ellis, Dr. Henry I. Bowditch.

Cambridge, MA: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1881.

The printed wrapper of this pamphlet has a different text:

Address delivered at the dedication of the Hall of the Boston Medical Library Association, December III., MDCCLXXVIII., by Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D., President. Report of C. P. Putnam, M.D. Remarks of J.S. Billings, M.D., Prof. Justin Winsor, C.H. Lyman, M.D., Pres. C. W. Lito, D.P. Smith, M.D., C. Ellis, M.D., H.I. Bowditch, M.D. Exhibition of medical portraits. Report of the librarian, James R. Chadwick, M.D. read at the sixth annual meeting, held on october IV, MDCCCLXXXI. Repot of F.C. Shattuck, M.D., on the directory for nurses.

Digital facsimile from the Hathi Trust at this link.

Holmes's address was first published in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 99 (1878) 745-774.

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Institutional Medical Libraries, Histories of, U.S.: CONTENT OF PUBLICATIONS BY STATE & TERRITORY › Massachusetts
  • 9754

Medical museums, with special reference to the Army Medical Museum at Washington. The president's address delivered before the Congress of American Physicians and Surgeons, September 20, 1888.

The Medical News, 53, 309-316., 1888.

An historical and comparative study promoting the value of medical museums. Digital facsimile from Google Books at this link.

Subjects: MUSEUMS › History of Museums, MUSEUMS › Medical, Anatomical & Pathological
  • 1705

On vital and medical statistics.

New York: Trow, 1889.

Subjects: DEMOGRAPHY / Population: Medical Statistics, Statistics, Biomedical
  • 1627

Description of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Baltimore, MD: I. Friedenwald, 1890.

Billings was responsible for the designing of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. “It marked a new departure in hospital construction…It was the most perfect and best equipped institution of its time” (Kelly & Burrage).

  • 13587

Rare medical books. Remarks made by Dr. John S. Billings at the meeting of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical Society, December 16th, 1889.

Johns Hopk. Hosp. Bull., 1, 29-31, 1890.

This three page paper is primarily a detailed bibliographical listing of a selection of rare books that Billings brought from the Army Medical Library for exhibition at Johns Hopkins Hospital. This was probably the first exhibition of rare medical books in the United States for which a catalogue was published. Billings preceded the catalogue with general observations on the nature of the market for rare medical books, including remarks on how different categories of rare medical books were priced. Digital facsimile from the Hathi Trust at this link

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Bibliographical Classics
  • 11267

Hospitals dispensaries and nursing. Papers and discussions in the International Congress of Charities, Correction and Philanthropy, Section III, Chicago, June 12th to 17th, 1893. Edited by John S. Billings and Henry M. Hurd.

Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press & London: The Scientific Press, Limited, 1894.

Includes almost 90 articles on all aspects of hospitals and nursing, by luminaries such Henry Burdett, Lavinia Dock, Cardinal Gibbons, Isabel Hampton, Henry Lyman, and Lewis Pilcher, among dozens of others. Florence Nightingale contributed a 20-page chapter on "Sick Nursing and Health Nursing." There are illustrations and floor plans of several hospitals, including 19 relating to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had opened just five years earlier. Billings had designed the hospital and Hurd was its superintendent. This book provides valuable insight into the dramatic changes in patient care taking place as hundreds of new hospitals were being built across the United States and in Europe. This was an age when hospitals were becoming a locus for active care, much of which would be delivered by nurses, rather than institutions that housed the poor and dying. The fifth chapter concerns "First Aid to the Injured", and begins with Ueber Blutlose Operationen by Friedrich von Esmarch.

Digital facsimile from Google Books at this link.

  • 5799

The history and literature of surgery. IN: System of surgery, edited by Frederic S. Dennis, assisted by John S. Billings. 1, 17-144.

Philadelphia: Lea Brothers & Co., 1895.

Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link.

Subjects: SURGERY: General › History of Surgery
  • 11627

Physiological aspects of the liquor problem. Investigations made by and under the direction of W. O. Atwater, John S. Billings, H. P. Bowditch, R. H. Chittenden, and W. H. Welch Sub-Committee of the Committee of Fifty to Investigate the Liquor Problem. 2 vols.

Boston & New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1903.

Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link.

Subjects: PUBLIC HEALTH, TOXICOLOGY › Drug Addiction, TOXICOLOGY › Drug Addiction › Alcoholism
  • 9755

John Shaw Billings: A memoir.

New York & London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1915.

Digital facsimile from Google Books at this link.

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Institutional Medical Libraries, Histories of, BIOGRAPHY (Reference Works) › Biographies of Individuals
  • 11263

Selected papers of John Shaw Billings. Edited by Frank Rogers.

Baltimore, MD: Medical Library Association, 1965.

Reprints 24 articles by Billings in addition to a biographical sketch and his complete bibliography.

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Bibliographies of Individual Authors
  • 11262

Order out of chaos: John Shaw Billings and America's coming of age.

Canton, MA: Science History Publications, 1994.

Subjects: BIOGRAPHY (Reference Works) › Biographies of Individuals