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Life sciences and healthcare

From fossil DNA to proteomics, from ancient medicine to the major challenges facing 21st century healthcare.

Healthcare and medicine

The largest collections in the healthcare and medical science fields consist of books and reviews in both paper and electronic form. These collections are rounded out by an extensive range of audiovisual and multimedia materials which can be used to approach the topic in a different way.

Books and journals

Doctor examining a patient, 19th century

Doctor examining a patient, 19th century

Collections of books and journals on healthcare and medicine, located in the Science and Technology Department, cover the following fields:

  • human biology
  • medicine and medical specialties
  • pharmaceutical science
  • hygiene, preventive and social medicine, and epidemiology
  • nursing
  • paramedical activities

A selection of bibliographies (Medline, Embase, etc.) and journals in paper form covering all fields, supplemented by a wide range of online journals, are available in the Reference and Research libraries.

The Reference library offers introductory works and material on current developments, dictionaries, encyclopedias such as the Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, fundamental treatises, and summary works. Most of these are in French.

Human anatomy and physiology, pathology, therapeutics, medical specialties including psychiatry, and the paramedical field are all amply represented.

The Research library’s open-access collections place the emphasis on current medical and pharmaceutical research and its applications. They offer a selection of reference works (Encyclopedia of Medical Genomics and Proteomics, Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering, etc.), treatises (Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, The Thalamus, etc.), periodical summaries (Advances in…, Annual reports, Progress in…, etc.), and conference papers, most of which are in English.

The closed-stack collections include around 150,000 books and journals and 100,000 theses. As well as reflecting current French editorial output, they recount the history of medical science, the evolution of discoveries, and major trends in medical thinking.

Audiovisual and multimedia materials

The Research library’s closed-stack collections of audiovisual and multimedia materials on medicine reflect trends in French publishing in the field.

Most of the medical CD-ROMS and video materials are published both by and for healthcare professionals. In particular, pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and Fournier have published large amounts of applied research material, often aimed at doctors who prescribe their medicines (e.g. Fragmine : la réponse adaptée by Bernard Tibika).

The collections are categorized according to the various medical specialties found in hospitals. Surgery, odontology, and stomatology are among the best represented specialties, whether in the form of videos of operations, reports on technical developments, or material on the history of these disciplines.

The role of hospitals in producing educational materials on medicine should be emphasized. University hospitals, regional hospitals, clinics, and other hospitals – such as the Assistance publique des Hôpitaux de Paris – have developed training materials for use by nurses, doctors, and health center accountants.

Universities also publish videos and CD-ROMs, an example being the Audiovisual Communications Department at the University of Bordeaux 2 (Histologie : observations au microscope : travaux pratiques by Professor Raphaël Darboux). Hospitals in the French military hospitals network have produced specialized training videos, particularly on tropical diseases, in which the army has come to specialize.

Videos and CD-ROMs play an essential role not only in teaching through image and gesture, but also as information media for the general public. In this regard, preventive material constitutes a fascinating collection on the history of views on public healthcare. For example, AIDS prevention campaigns, supported by health insurance bodies and associations, represent a remarkable example of how our society sees the relationship between AIDS patients and the disease itself.

Psychiatry at BnF

The Library’s psychiatry collections, located in the Science and Technology Department, occupy a special place within its medical science collections.
The Reference library’s open-access materials on the topic consist of 2,550 books together with 11 French language journals, such as l’Information psychiatrique.Psychiatry is given equal importance in the Research library, with a predominance of English language material: 3,140 books and 51 essential journals such as Archives of General Psychiatry and Journal of Experimental Psychology.
As well as French output, the closed-stack collections amply cover international material, including around a hundred journals and works by foreign schools of thought such as the German school of psychiatry.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

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