One of the best libraries on history of science, technology and medicine in Spain is now being divided in two parts due to unfortunate decisions of small time politicians. It is an unnecessary collateral damage following the closing of the Institute for the History of Science and Medicine “López Piñero” in Valencia. The library gathers around 12,000 books and half a hundred journals – including the most famous journals on history of medicine and science. A recent agreement between two institutions includes the split of the journal collection in two parts: the first part, the oldest one, will remain in Valencia, while the issues published after 2000 will be transported to Madrid. It is true that the role of paper copies in the age of electronic reproduction is limited – but the division of the collection transforms the two parts in incomplete collections with no value at all. Being the two divorced institutions public libraries, you can imagine what a non-sense is the transport of paper volumes from one place to another when digital versions are available online. For instance, in the case of journal Ambix, the numbers from 1937 to 1999 will remain in Valencia, the issues published between 2000 and 2010 will be moved to Madrid, and the issues published after 2010 (which I am donating to the library) will remain in Valencia. Similar crazy situations can be found in other journals.
We can still revert this situation. We have received the support of many colleagues, institutions and academic societies during the last two weeks. A website in change.org is now available (texts in Spanish and English) and the number of signatures is growing up:
You can also send your views to me ([log in to unmask]) or to the people who decided the split: ([log in to unmask] – Pilar Campins, she is a chemist, now vice-chancellor of the University of Valencia; Emilio Lora-Tamayo <[log in to unmask]>, he is a physicist, now president of Spanish Research Council) Please send me a copy of the emails to me, just to keep record.
Thanks in advance for your collaboration against this irrational and unnecessary damage of public goods concerning history of science.
José R. Bertomeu
PD: You can get more information (in Spanish) in this newspaper: http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2015/03/06/valencia/1425666062_622752.html
José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez
Institut d'Història de la Medicina i de la Ciència "López Piñero"
Universitat de València-CSIC
Plaça Cisneros, 4
46003 VALENCIA (Spain)
email: [log in to unmask]
TF: + 00 34 963926241 / 963864164
http://www.uoa.gr/step : STEP -
Technology in the European Periphery.