Medical Library Association of Great Britain and Ireland




The Medical Library Association of Great Britain and Ireland was founded in 1908 and held two annual meetings,  Its first formal meeting was held in Belfast in July 1909 (during the meetings of the British Medical Association) and its second, in London, in 1910 (also in conjunction with the meetings of the British Medical Association.)  No written record of its activities after 1911 has been found.

William Osler was one of the founders, in 1898, of the Medical Library Association in North America (initially called the Association of Medical Librarians) and served as its President from 1901-04.    Osler moved to England in 1905 as he had been appointed Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.   Shortly after his arrival he was also involved in the formation of the short-lived British equivalent and he was elected the new Association's President in 1909.

The Proceedings of the Association's 1909 meeting were published as a separate publication but are difficult to find and the following are the eight pages of the first part of  Volume 1 of the Proceedings of the Medical Library Association of Great Britain and Ireland. They were scanned from the copy in the Osler Library of McGill University in Montreal where they are Osler 7206. Part 2 of Volume 1of the Proceedings (pp. 9-19) is the Presidential Address by William Osler  (Osler 3576  No. 286).  Osler's Presidential Address - entitled "The medical library in post-graduate work" - was originally published in the British Medical Journal, October 2, 1909, pp. 925-8. The final page reproduced below did not appear in the BMJ but is the final page of the separately  issued Address. No further issues of the Proceedings were published.

It appears that the Osler Library copy of the Proceedings of the MLA-GBI may be a final proof copy - it is initialled by Cuthbert Clayton, the Association's Secretary - and it contains proof-reader's corrections but, to date, no other copy has been found for comparison. It is possible that it was never formally published.

A brief article by David Crawford on this short-lived Association  appears in Health Information and Libraries. Volume 21:4  December 2004, pp 266-68