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John Shaw Billings Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS C 81

Abstract

Primarily consists of Billings' correspondence during his time as head of the Library of the Surgeon General (1868-1895). Also includes some biographical information, a collection of Billings' reprints, speech texts, scrapbooks, and clippings.

Dates

  • 1841-1975

Extent

17.64 Linear Feet (43 boxes)

Creator

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Language of Materials

Colledction materials primarily in English.

Restrictions

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Copyright status is unknown. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Biographical Note

John Shaw Billings (1838-1913) was born in Allensville near Vevay, Indiana. He graduated from Miami University and the Medical College of Ohio. In 1862 he joined the U.S. Army Medical Department. During the American Civil War he organized hospitals in Washington, D.C. He served in the field at the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, during the Wilderness Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg.

Staying in the Army Medical Corps after the war, Billings organized the Library and Museum of the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States Army and other army records. This organizational work led to his service with the United States Census. He was also active with the National Board of Health during this period.

Known as an expert in planning hospitals, Billings was asked to plan the hospital for Johns Hopkins University. Later he planned the six other medical institutions and was a professor of Hygiene at the University of Pennsylvania. He was chairperson of the Board of the Carnegie Institution for ten years.

Best known for his work in libraries and bibliographies Billings built the collection of the Office of the Surgeon into the world renowned National Library of Medicine; supervised the publication of the Index Catalogue of the Library of the Office of the Surgeon General and Index Medicus, parent of the computer medical index MEDLINE; and planned the New York Public Library.

Excerpted from: http://www.medlib.iupui.edu/hom/billings.html.

Collection Summary

The papers consist chiefly of official library correspondence for the years 1868-1895 when Billings was in charge of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office. Other items in the collection include genealogy information, diplomas and certificates, draft of History and literature of surgery, copies of letters in the New York Public Library, scrapbooks, and latter-20th century materials produced within NLM that are related to the collection.

Abstract

Primarily consists of Billings' correspondence during his time as head of the Library of the Surgeon General (1868-1895). Also includes some biographical information, a collection of Billings' reprints, speech texts, scrapbooks, and clippings.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Provenance

Unknown.

General

Processed by
HMD Staff; Jim Labosier
Processing Completed
2003
Encoded by
Jim Labosier
Title
Finding Aid to the John Shaw Billings Papers 1841-1975
Status
Unverified Partial Draft
Author
HMD Staff; Jim Labosier
Date
2003
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement
1.0

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

Contact:
8600 Rockville Pike
Bldg 38/1E-21, MSC 3819
Bethesda MD 20894 US
1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)