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March 31, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(13):1137-1141. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960480037009

HARVEY AND MEDICAL RESEARCH  Louis N. Katz, M.D., ChicagoOrdinarily, public meetings are held for the laying of cornerstones, the unveiling of paintings and statues, or the dedication of memorials of many kinds. A meeting to commemorate the addition of a book to a library is indeed an uncommon reason for a gathering, especially when the book was first published over 300 years ago; however, the book the Chicago Heart Association is presenting to the John Crerar Library, on the library's 60th anniversary of service, is not just another book. It is William Harvey's book on circulation, which some have said is the most important book in medical history. In 1628 an event of international import took place: William Harvey, an Englishman, published the first Latin edition, "Exercitationes de motu cordis et sanguinis," in Frankfurt, Germany, after years of study at Cambridge, England, capped by his sojourn at the great