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Anyone who has spent time in a library looking up some medical problem, be it commonplace or esoteric, has a vague awareness of the complexity of various methods of indexing medical information, the amount of money and effort that goes into them, and the increasing difficulty encountered in such areas because of the continuing propagation of medical "literature." He knows much or at least something of the massive contribution of Billings and the Surgeon General's Index, the Index Medicus, the Quarterly Cumulative Index, and the more recent efforts at trying to ride herd on this monster. All are parts of a well-known continuum out of which has developed the Current List of Medical Literature and the new Index Medicus system. John Shaw Billings brought out the first volume of the Index Medicus in 1879, and the next year the first volume of Series One of the Index-Catalogue of the Library
Bean WB. The National Library of Medicine Index Mechanization Project July 1, 1958-June 30, 1960. Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(4):646–647. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620100138021
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