Thomas Jefferson UniversityScott Memorial Library

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Scott Memorial Library
1020 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-503-6994
AskaLibrarian@jefferson.edu


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Next PageJEFFLINE Milestones Tour

The Early Years

JEFFLINE 1992
By 1992, JEFFLINE offered a simple text-based interface to core resources.

Jefferson Medical College was founded in 1824, but it was 70 years old before a formal library was established, and for many decades it was a small, print-based facility. When the Samuel Parsons Scott Memorial Library opened its doors in a brand new building in 1970, automated MEDLINE was less than 5 years old and only 4 librarians served the TJU community.

Early computer-based services for users required librarians to act as interpreters. In 1976, for example, librarians conducted over 500 MEDLINE searches, using 300-baud connections to the central computers at National Library of Medicine. The Library purchased its first microcomputer in 1982.

New computer technologies stirred things up in the late '80s:

  • In 1986, our card catalog went digital. "ThomCat" was the result of a campus-wide contest to name the new catalog. Although digital, catalog was still only available within the Library building at this time, through VT100 terminals.
  • In 1987, Mini-MEDLINE (a small subset of the full database) was added to ThomCat to form the JEFFLINE service. For the first time, students and faculty could perform their own searches, but still had to visit the Library to do so.
  • In 1989, dial-up access extended the reach of JEFFLINE beyond the walls of the Library; that year, database use climbed to over 5,750 searches - a greater than 10-fold increase over 1982.
  • In the early 1990s, the full MEDLINE database and Micromedex, a full-text drug information database, became available, along with several other resources.