On Thursday evening last week, I was privileged to attend the dedicatory lecture and reception for the newest library space at OHSU, the Herbert Rosenbaum Library of the Department of Neurology. Located on the 12th floor of the Hatfield Research Center in space formerly occupied by a waiting area for neurological surgery, the library is intended primarily as a study space for residents in neurology, and will contain some journals and monographs, as well as at least one computer workstation. Funding for the new library, and many of the materials it contains, were donated by Medical School alumnus Herbert Rosenbaum, M.D., now emeritus professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis.
Dr. Rosenbaum invited Washington University's special collections Librarian Lilla Vekerdy to deliver a talk on "Neurology and Rare Books" in honor of the event. Vekerdy began with a lengthy quote from Arnold Klebs to Harvey Cushing, extracted from one letter in the three-way correspondence between Klebs, Cushing, and J.F. Fulton which led to the formation of the Yale Medical Library Historical Library in 1941. She then talked about two issues affecting would-be collectors of neurological classics in particular: the comparatively late start of neurology as a specialty, and the relatively high cost of neurosciences titles in the rare book market. Washington University's Becker Library has been fortunate enough to have recently received a major donation of rare neurological texts from H. Richard Tyler--which they are still working on processing; they're at "S"--and so have one of the best collections of neurosciences titles in the country. If you'd like to check it out, you can read about their collections online here.