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Honoring Our Past

Alfred N. Brandon, former MLA president and editor of the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association from 1961–1968, wrote an editorial deploring the borrowing of common journal titles or seeking of help on reference questions from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) [1]. Most of the common titles were available in local regions, and it was obvious that the library staff did not utilize the Union Lists of Serials that provided the location of the journals. Brandon suggests that NLM should return requests for journal articles or for assistance with a question whether the home library had not been contacted first to find the work.

He also pointed out that physicians and researchers who depended upon the free NLM photocopy to build their reprint collections should be discouraged by their librarians and such requests be denied. Of course, this was long before libraries had interlibrary loan and DOCLINE. Hard to believe it was over fifty years ago that the editorial appeared! Does anyone have reprint collections today?


  1. Brandon AN. A national problem. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1964 Apr;52(2):442.

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