More And Better
“The Memory of Medical Teaching throughout the Centuries – the Simão José Fernandes Holding”
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, the successor and natural heir to one of the first institutions of Portuguese university medical teaching, holds a very vast and valuable historical heritage. A substantial part of this heritage is to be found in the CDI-Library, including a documentary holding of considerable historical interest (with particular relevance for the nucleus of old books, with around 5,000 tomes), that we consider to be worthy of the institution’s efforts towards its preservation, conservation and divulging.
Considering the financial investment demanded by this project, the CDI-Library has directed its attention to the entities among us which promote and financially support projects for treating and divulging documentary holdings.
Thus, the CDI-Library decided to apply this year to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation “Projects for restoration, treatment and organization of documentary holdings with a relevant historical, cultural and scientific interest” competition. This candidature was entitled “The Memory of Medical Teaching throughout the Centuries – the Simão José Fernandes Holding”.
Simão José Fernandes, a doctor and philanthropist who lived between 1793 and 1845, carried out his activity at the Royal School of Surgery of Lisbon and at the University of Paris, and donated a considerable nucleus of old books to the institution, many of which are extremely rare and in a good state of conservation, bearing witness to his love for books and his devotion to the institution. Other relevant holdings include the legacies of Professors Eduardo Coelho, Caria Mendes, Henrique Vilhena and Xavier Morato.
Our candidature was approved, with the granting of €15,000, intended for the restoration and divulging of this nucleus. For us this a reason for rejoicing and a motive for increased responsibility.
The present moment is one of a coordination of efforts so as to make our documentary holding, and particularly our collection of old books, known to an already vast universe of users. This presupposes the coordinating of several different activities: evaluation, computerised cataloguing and digitalisation, in order to make it available on the collective catalogue of the University of Lisbon, the SIBUL.
Using the vast potential that the Information and Communication Technologies provide today, we can create links to images of a work, a complete text or other relevant information, in this manner avoiding handling the originals, as a form of preventive conservation.
This is now a policy followed by several different institutions, namely the National Libraries, (see the Biblioteca Nacional Digital) besides other projects that provide a large quantity of works with their complete texts (Google Books), as well as support documentation for students and researchers.
Tel.: 21 798 51 32 | Ext.: 44 172