The curse of recent medicine is the gigantic, senseless proliferation and prolixity of its periodical literature. It has been the despair of librarians, the enslaver of indexers, the nightmare of classifiers, the bugbear of editors, and, even in Dr. Fletcher's time, was the occasion of his celebrated witticism: "The whole world is in a conspiracy against medical bibliographers."
This caustic statement, by Col. Fielding H. Garrison, presents a situation which is the very root of the problem of preparing a satisfactory index of medical literature. There are published in the world today some 2,000 medical periodicals. No one knows exactly how many there are at any given time because some appear for but a single issue and then depart to the place where bad medical periodicals go when they are ended. Some, created for a special purpose, accomplish their ends and are then stored away to gather dust and to