Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Times past or have you washed your books today?

In cleaning up my office I came across something I have had for a number of years. Its a Western novel, a genre I have never read. Why I bought it is because its got a bookplate from the "Hygienic Lending Library" in St. Peters, Adelaide. It was last borrowed in 1948 (I hope its not overdue!!) I have always assumed that hygienic libraries came about because of such concerns as tuberculosis etc.
Book plate from Hygienic Lending library
I did a bit of research and found this article in the Medical Journal of Australia from 2001
"Books as carriers of disease In the early years of bacteriology, librarians, microbiologists and public health physicians were much exercised by the question of whether books could transmit infectious diseases."which pointed me back to an evidenced-based review that appeared in 1912 in the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association

1 comment:

David J said...

Great post Stephen. Wow!
I wonder what we've been handling?