History of the library

Library is the temple
Where spirituality is born and preserved.
Remember that in an ancient times it was called “house of life”,
“shelter of wisdom”, “pharmacy for the soul”.
V. Sukhomlynskyy.

Libraries in higher education institutions contribute greatly to the formation of cultural and scientific potential of our society. The Scientific Library of Lviv Danylo Halytskyi National Medical University takes a rightful place among them. Library is an educational, scientific, informational and cultural subunit of the University that provides literature and information for University’s educational process and scientific research, assisting in the preparation of highly qualified professionals.

History of the Scientific Library is a part of the Alma mater record. It is considered that the history of the library goes back to 1939 when Medical faculty was separated from Lviv University and rearranged into Lviv State Medical Institute with the faculties of general medicine and pharmacy. So Scientific Library began its operations as a separate subunit of Lviv State Medical University.

27,000 volumes of medical literature mainly written in Polish, German, English and French were transferred from the library of the Lviv University to the library of Lviv State Medical University in December 1, 1939. They became the foundation funds of medical library.

Charitable support of numerous donors who gave literature from their own book collections also contributed to formation and replenishment of the fund. An important contribution was made by well known at that time doctors and researchers : professors A. Yurash, H. Kadyy, L. Rydygyer, B. Syeradzki, F. Shteher von Sebenitts, B. Zyembitski, A. Mars, R.C. Weigl, G. Dobzhanska, E. Kamyenski, V. Vladzimirski, V. Seidl, D. Kowalski, A. Dornfest, G. Halleho, J. Hausberh and others. Medical institutions and societies also transferred their books to the library, among them should be mentioned Seminarjum Historji i Filozofii Medycyny U. J. K. we Lwowie, Towarzystwo aptekarskie we Lwowie, Zaklad Historji Medycyny U.J.K. we Lwowie, Biblioteka Kliniki dziecięcej we Lwowie, Zaklad farmakologji Uniwersytetu Jana Kazimierza we Lwowie, Akademia Towarzystwa Medikὸw Ẑydowskich we Lwowie, C.K. Krajowy referent spraw zdrowia, Biblioteka Zygmunta Leszczynskiego we Lwowie, Muzeum Historyi Medycyny w Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim, Towarzystwo Lekarzy Galicyjskich and others.

The first library building was located at the Charnetskoho str. 30 (formerly Radianska, modern Vynnychenko str.). In February 19, 1940, according to the Decree № 196 of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, the library has been recognized as Scientific and the building on the 3 of May str., 6 (formerly 17 of September, modern Sichovykh Striltsiv str.) was given.

The subsequent history of the library is closely connected with the name of Stanislav Henry Badeni, a lawyer and patron, in whose house it is still situated. The house, which belonged to the family of Count, was built in 1860 by the architect E. Kohlera and was located in the downtown area. The building was decorated in the style of Neo rococo. In 1941, the fund of the library increased to 35,000 volumes.

German occupation of Lviv, beginning on 30 June 1941, stopped university activities until 20 May 1942. Spacious building of the library, which at that time was located at the Radianska str. 30, was rearranged into a hospital for infectious diseases. The Scientific Library of LSMI was eliminated. During the War period part of the library collection was looted, burned and destroyed. Almost 20,000 volumes were saved thanks to the efforts of the librarians; these leavings were transferred back to the library of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Library equipment was preserved only in small quantity, part of it was looted during the war, some went to the hospital for infectious diseases and other to the libraries in the city (because of eliminating medical funds).

It should be noted that during World War II Scientific Library of the Lviv State Medical Institute, along with other libraries of higher educational institutions of the city, was part of the single administrative system – “National Library” (Staatsbibliothek Lemberg).

In 1944 Lviv State Medical Institute together with Scientific Library started its activities again. 20th of August (1 month after the German occupation) general reading room opened its doors. Because of lack of library equipment that was destroyed during the war, most medical books (mostly literature issued till 1939 in Polish, German, French and English) remained in storage at the library of Ivan Franko National University in Lviv and was available for use. Only medical fund of the reading room numbered of 639 volumes of the most valuable and most used books at that time, including foreign languages “Lectorium” was transported to the Scientific Library. It became the bases of improvised fund of general reading room of the library, which was constantly replenishing with latest medical books.

In 1944-1945 Scientific Library received 18 items of medical journals, 7 items of scientific journals, 4 items of political journals, also 23 newspapers in Ukrainian, Polish and Russian. Replenishment of the funds was accomplished mainly through buying of the new literature or exchange. The funds were enriching with the newest medical literature and with books from personal collections. The Scientific Library maintained a close relationship with Republic Medical Library, and Kharkiv State Medical Library. It contributed to enriching of its funds. Kharkiv State Medical Library donated to the Scientific Library 4,281 volumes of medical and political books, and periodicals. The Scientific Libraries donated from its funds 178 volumes of medical literature in Polish to the medical faculty of the University in Lublin. Department of interlibrary loan (IL) is taking its first steps.

In the postwar years, the Scientific Library occupied two floors (16 rooms) in two-stored building. It had several subunits: general reading room occupied 2 rooms, periodical reading room – 1, consulting division and working room for researchers – 1, library acquisition department – 2, catalog department – 1, loan department – 2, Directorate – 1.

In the years 1944-1945 11,258 visitors benefited from the general reading room services and circulation of the literature totaled 15,503 books. 4,068 visitors benefited from the periodicals reading room services and circulation totaled 3,407 items. 7,125 readers benefited from the loan department services (9,936 books were used). The library is used by faculty, students and other members of the medical school, also doctors and medical professionals from the city and the region. The library starts to use system of double catalogs – alphabetical and systematic catalog. It can be used by both readers and workers.

The library is becoming structurally independent, it provides reference services, regularly takes part in organizing exhibitions and montages dedicated to significant anniversaries.

At the time, some of the university departments also had their own libraries. The purpose of these libraries was to provide with services the faculty of the departments. They were completing with scientific literature and specialized magazines. In 1945, there were 20 departmental libraries, fund of each of them was about 1,000 volumes. According to the order of the Director of the Scientific Library Nestor Romanovych Rudnytskyy, the heads of departments were appointed to be heads of departmental libraries. In 1951, the Scientific Library was one of the largest libraries in Lviv. Its fund totaled 91,144 copies.

In 1952 the work of interlibrary loan was started. Close ties with many university and medical libraries of the country are being established. The Scientific Library is becoming a powerful educational information base and a treasury of scientific knowledge for future physicians.

An important subunit of the library is department of education literature, which was established in 1971. For students’s convinience this subunit is situated in the theoretical building of the University at the Shimseriv 3 str. (formerly Side Pekarska). The aim of the department of education literature is to provide the students of the University with quality textbooks and teaching materials. There are 2 reading rooms and 2 loan departments. In September 2002 loan department of the literature in English has been established. In 2007 reading room for foreign students started its work. The library expands its capabilities in providing access to Internet resources. The users of the library can have free unlimited use of Wi-Fi from their laptops or gadgets in reading rooms and library catalogs.

In 2001, the Scientific Library of the Medical University was included in the number of the libraries that are not taxed at the international book exchange.

Since beginning of its activity till our days the library managers were skilled professionals with high levels of educational and practical experience. Among them were Vitaliy Levitskyy (1939 – 1940 years), Pauline Efymivna Sushko (1940), Ioannina Frantsyshkivna Berger (1940 – 1941 years), Nestor R. Rudnytskyy (1941 – 1952 years), Abraham Hdalyevych Birman (1952 – 1961 years), Iryna Dmytrivna Ivanova (1961 – 1985 years), Natalia Mykolaivna Kurnat (1985 – 2011 years). In 2011, Marta Stepanivna Nadraga has been selected as a director of the Scientific Library by the Academic Council of the University.

In August 2003, by the Decree of the President of Ukraine, Danylo Halytskyi State Medical University in Lviv was granted the status of National. New status has set new demands to the Scientific Library. The changes currently taking place in the library are caused by improvement in user services, qualitative composition and demands of the users are rapidly changing. Today’s library users – are professionals of a new level with knowledge of foreign languages and computer technology.

In 2007, the Scientific Library was the venue of the conference “Medical Libraries of Ukraine on the way to the Knowledge Society” that was organized by Ministry of Health of Ukraine together with National Scientific Medical Library and Ukrainian Library Association. There were discussed problems of the current state of medical libraries and development trends towards the formation of knowledge society, the ways of providing Dataware in medicine and pharmacy, prospects for formation multifunctional medical electronic library.

Today diversified fund of the Scientific Library has 582,297 copies, including 283,000 copies of textbooks, 276,000 copies of scientific literature, 23,000 copies of fiction, textbooks and scientific literature in foreign languages – 53,000 copies. It is forming fund of electronic publications.

Creation of an electronic catalog contributes to the formation of electronic resources with fast access to the funds of the library. Entering information environment, permanent renewing of the library site, using special library information system – IRBIS-64 – all of these factors determine a new strategy for the further development of the library.

Free access to databases of WHO – HІNARI provides possibilities to obtain needed materials, full-text articles from more than 2,000 professional foreign magazines, books, compendiums, databases. Particularly we are given access to popular publications of the following publishers: Blackwell, Elsevier Science, the Harcourt Worldwide STM Group, Wolters Kluwer International Health and Science, Springer Verlag, John Wiley.

Search and ordering materials on the history of medicine and health care of Galicia are the main areas of research activity of the library. The library is searching for information about the development of medicine in Galicia and scientists (doctors, biologists, pharmacists) who worked in the XV-XIX centuries. Much attention is given to the life and activity of the prominent personalities whose experience has enriched medical science. Among the achievements it is worthy to mention creating bibliographies and virtual exhibitions, as well as lists of recommended literature. The last fundamental modifications in this area were bibliographies dedicated to Marian Ivanovych Panchyshyn and Adolf Beck.

As part of the cooperation agreement between Danylo Halytskyi LNMU and Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2012 was conducted bibliography research, 8 articles about famous Ukrainian, Austrian, Polish scientists were published during this year in the Austrian Biographical Lexicon – scientific publication of Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The library continues working on the state program “About organization of medical Ucrainica Fund as part of the documentary memory of Ukraine”. Among the most important and rare books are:

  • Octavvs Tomvs In Qvo Insvnt Libri Galeno Ascripti: Artis Totivs Farrago Varia. : eorum catalogum uerfa pagina oftendet. – Basileae, 1549.
  • Dispensatorium pharmaceuticum Austriaco-Viennese, in quo hodierna die usualiora medicamenta secundum artis regulas componenda visuntur. Cum Sacræ Cæfareæ Regiæque Catholicæ Majeftatis privilegio. Sumptibus Collegii Pharmaceutici Viennensis. – 1729.
  • Pharmacopoeia augustana renovata, revisa et appendice aliquot medicamentorum selectiorum aucta. – 1734.
  • Theden, Johann Christian Anton. Neue Bemerkungen und Erfahrungen zur Bereicherung der Wundarzneykunst und Arzneygelahrheit : Zweiter Theil. – Berlin, 1782.
  • Barth, Joseph. Anfangsgründe der Muskellehre. –Wien, 1786.
  • Vogel, Samuel Gottlieb. Handbuch der praktischen Arzneywissenschaft Zum Gebrauche für angehende Aerzte : Dritter Theil. – 1791.
  • Metzger, Johann Daniel. Kurzgefaßtes System der gerichtlichen Arzneywissenschaft. – Wien, 1811.
  • Gąsiorowski, Ludwik. Zbiór wiadomości do historyi sztuki lekarskiej w Polsce od czasów najdawniejszych, aż do najnowszych. Т. 1. – Poznań, 1839.

The library is always looking for partnership that would contribute to the formation of creative individuals and professional growth of its employees. Professional communication and partnership exchanges give new spirit to the work process, it also contributes to solving pressing problems and developing future goals of the medical library. The Scientific Library is a member of the Ukrainian Library Association, Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Medizinisches Bibliothekswesen, Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Bibliotheken und Dokumentationsstellen der Ost-, Ostmittel-und Südosteuropaforschung (ABDOS) and a partner of NGO “Forum of Publishers”.

Today the library is transforming from the subunit of the University that provides students and scientists with the necessary literature into powerful research and information center.