During his military career, Garrison (1870-1935) contributed greatly to the field of medical information science. Garrison first worked at the Army Medical Library as a clerk in 1891, and was promoted to Assistant Librarian in 1899, then to Principal Assistant Librarian in 1912. In 1918 he was promoted to Major in the Officers Reserve Corps, then quickly to Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel of the Medical Corps by 1920. At the Army Medical Library, Garrison was assigned to index medical literature. He worked closely with John Shaw Billings on this project. He helped create and compile the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office. His editorial experience includes: Index Medicus as associate editor (1903-1912) and editor (1912-1917); and associate editor of Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus (1927-1929).
He wrote the first comprehensive treatise on the history of medicine and “gained recognition as the foremost American authority on the subject” (Dictionary of American Biography). Garrison prepared plans and collected material for the history of the U.S. Medical Department during World War I. In 1925, he was appointed consulting librarian to the New York Academy of Medicine. From 1930-1935 he held the post of Librarian at the William H. Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins University, and also served as Director of the Institute of Medical History as well as resident lecturer on the history of medicine.
American Association for the History of Medicine: President
Medical Library Association: President
American College of Surgeons: Fellow
Fielding Garrison Papers:
National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD (ca. 3 feet (1913-1946), the papers of Victor Robinson (1886-1947), medical historian, include correspondence and drafts of articles by Garrison)
University of Michigan, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Ann Arbor, MI (10 items (1931-1934), correspondence written during summer vacations while Librarian of Welch Memorial Library; concerning library administration matter, Garrison’s bibliographical work, and personal news)