Medical Move Mondays: Technically Speaking

It’s week two of our series on the History of Medicine Collections‘ move from the Medical Center Library on Duke’s medical campus to the RBMSCL on West Campus. This week, we take a look at how we keep track of all of our books and collection materials and ensure that our researchers can find them when they need them.

Since March, Collection Development Assistant Jessica Janecki has been scanning barcodes for each and every book in the locked stacks collection. She’s also spent a lot of time working on problems and finding solutions, like pointing out books that have covers falling off. Working with a variety of staff and student workers from Perkins Technical Services, Jessica and others will change the collection codes so that when students, researchers, and others look for an item in the catalog, it will show an RBMSCL location rather than a Medical Center Library location.



Jessica said one of the most interesting aspects of this has been finding items like the report related to the Cocoanut Grove Burns. The Cocoanut Grove was a nightclub in Boston that burned in 1942, killing hundreds of people. A book titled Management of the Cocoanut Grove Burns at the Massachusetts General Hospital came across her barcode wand: a detailed report on how to deal with a disaster. Jessica was really taken with the level of detail and thought on how to manage a crisis. The book provides introductions from hospital administrators, case studies of the patients, and graphic color photographs of burn victims.

For photos of the move from start to finish, visit the “HOM Collections Move” set on the Duke University Libraries’ Flickr photostream.

Next week: Conservation steps in!

Post contributed by Rachel Ingold, Curator for the History of Medicine Collections.

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