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Beatty, William K.*

MLA Elected Offices and Committee Chair Appointments

  • Nominating Committee, Member, 1976
  • Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, Editorial Committee, Member, 1975–1985
  • Supplements to Medical Reference Works, Editorial Committee, Member, 1966, 1972
  • Program Committee, Annual Meeting, Member, 1960, 1962; Chair, 1969
  • Board of Directors, Member, 1966–1969
  • Finance Committee, Member, 1966–1969
  • American Library Association, Committee on Bibliography, Member, 1957–1961
  • Committee on Periodical and Serial Publications, Chair, 1955–1961
  • History of Medicine Group, Vice-chair, 1955; Chair, 1979
  • Philadelphia Chapter, Nominating Committee, Member, 1954

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, 1997
  • Virginia L. and William K. Beatty MLA Volunteer Service Award, established 2007
  • Special Award, 1990
  • Ida and George Eliot Prize for his work as editor of Vital Notes on Medical Periodicals, 1973
  • MLA Grade I certification
Other Awards
  • Society of Medical History and Humanities of Chicago, William K. Beatty Medical History Prize, established 2006 to honor the memory of William K. Beatty
  • University of Illinois, D. J. Davis Lecture in Medical History, 1974
  • Special Library Association, John Cotton Dana Lecture, 1968
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Contemporary Authors
Other Accomplishments and Activities
  • Served as co-archivist in preparing the MLA archives for deposit in the National Library of Medicine, 1979–1986
  • Consulted on developing programs and planning seventeen libraries in the United States and Canada
  • Vital Notes on Medical Periodicals, Editor, 1955–1976
  • Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, "Winnowings" and "Journal Notes," Contributor, 1959–1990
  • Institute of Medicine of Chicago, Board of Governors,1986–1991
  • "Selective Information Systems for Medical Libraries"workshop in the People’s Republic of China, Beijing, Faculty, 1982
  • MEDLARS and Index Medicus, Selector, 1965–1987
  • Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, 25th and 26th editions, consultant, for history/biography and etymology
  • Special Libraries Association, Philadelphia Council, Board of Directors, Member, 1964–1967; Employment Chair, 1953–1956
  • Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Editor
  • Ad Hoc Joint Committee on National Library Information Systems, Member,1967–1970
  • Association of Hospital and Institution Libraries (AHIL), President, 1965

Publications (5 representative)

Articles published in the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association or Journal of the Medical Library Association are available via PMC.

  • Beatty WK. The bright thread: the Bulletin's 75th anniversary. Bull Med Lib Assoc. 1986 Jul;74(3):191–204. (Reprinted: Bull Med Lib Assoc. 1998 Apr;86(2):237–48. [cited 14 Sep 2012].
  • Beatty WK. When cholera scoured Chicago. Chicago History. 1982 Spring;11(1):2–13.
  • Beatty WK. Searching the literature and computerized services in medicine, guides and methods for the clinician. Ann Intern Med. 1979 Aug;91(2):326–32.
  • Marks G, Beatty WK. Epidemics. New York, NY: Scribner; 1976. (ALA Outstanding Sci-Tech book).
  • Beatty WK. Searching literature comes before writing literature–how clinicians can use printed bibliographies, tapes and computers. Ann Intern Med. 1973;79(6):917–24.


  • Volunteer Librarian/Archivist, Frances Willard Memorial Library, Evanston, IL, 1998–2002
  • Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University, 1996–2002
  • Professor of Medical History and Archival Associate, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1974–1996
  • Professor of Medical Bibliography and Medical Librarian, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1962–1974
  • Associate Librarian and Assistant Professor of Medical Bibliography, University of Missouri–Columbia, 1956
  • Assistant Librarian, College of Physicians, Philadelphia, PA
  • Circulation Librarian, College of Physicians, Philadelphia, PA

MLA published statements about the fellow


  • Medical librarianship course, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1955
  • BA, Classical Languages and Literature, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1961
  • MS, Library Science, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1952

 Contributed by James Shedlock and Diane McKenzie

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