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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

Print version ISSN 0365-0596On-line version ISSN 1806-4841

An. Bras. Dermatol. vol.84 no.1 Rio de Janeiro Jan./Feb. 2009 



Rare Collection of Brazilian Society of Dermatology: considerations about its historical preservation



Jeorgina Gentil RodriguesI; Izelda Maria Carvalho CostaII; Rosalynn LeiteIII; Rosângela SoaresIV

IMaster in Information Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Librarian, Section of Rare Books A. Overmeer, Library of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Scientific Communication and Information on Healthcare, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ) - Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil
IIPh.D. in Dermatology, Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP). Director of SBD Library - Term 2007/2008, and Professor and Preceptor, Graduate Course on Healthcare Sciences, University of Brasilia (UNB) - Brasilia (DF), Brazil
IIIBachelor in Library Sciences and Documentation, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). Librarian of Brazilian Society of Dermatology - SBD - Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil
IVBachelor in Library Sciences and Documentation, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) - Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil

Mailing Address




The article describes the creation of the rare books’ collection of Professor Francisco Eduardo Rabello Library at Brazilian Society of Dermatology.

Keywords: Library materials; Rare books




The history of modern Dermatology stems from Europe, especially France, between 15th and 16th centuries, when physicians started to get interested in skin problems. In Brazil, Dermatology started to exist in the beginning of 1882, with the opening of the first clinical center for Skin Diseases in the General Policlinic in Rio de Janeiro. After the microbiology discoveries in the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century and the new dynamic approach induced by the teaching of Dermatology as a specialty, studies in this area progressed until its current level of excellence.

In recent decades, dermatology has experienced major quantitative and qualitative expansion. The knowledge about the pathogenic mechanisms of dermatosis has broadened, and new therapies have increasingly benefited dermatoses patients 1.

Within such context, the Brazilian Society of Dermatology and Syphilis Studies, currently Brazilian Society of Dermatology - SBD- was created in 1912 at Pavilhao Sao Miguel, Santa Casa de Misericordia do Rio de Janeiro 2.

The first scientific meeting of SBD was held on March 1, 1912, in the auditorium of 19th Clinical Ward, Santa Casa de Misericordia do Rio de Janeiro. It gathered 18 distinguished physicians, out of which 10 were dermatologists 3. Syphilis, Hansen's disease, leishmaniasis, paracoccidioidomycosis, bouba, deep and superficial mycosis were the main topics of discussion. Professor Fernando Terra (1865-1940) was the mentor of the creation of SBD and its first President, whose term lasted from 1912 to 1925.

On October 20, 1933, Library Pavilhao Sao Miguel, at Santa Casa de Misericordia do Rio de Janeiro, was opened and for many years it served SBD, which was housed at the same building. In the 70's, the library was finally transferred to SBD head office. It used to be considered the largest bibliographical collection of Dermatology in Latin America 2, 3.



Dermatologists Francisco Eduardo Rabello (1941-1976) is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of Dermatology as a specialty in Brazil, and SBD paid homage to this great physician by naming its library "Library Professor Francisco Eduardo Rabello".

Library Professor Francisco Eduardo Rabello was created to be a national reference in Dermatology and to preserve the institutional memory 4. The collection of rare books in the library comprises 2,250 volumes (Figure 1) 5.



Among the oldest books in the collection, there is the first large treatise on syphilis and venereal diseases, wrote by J. Astruc and named De Morbis Venereis Libri Novem (1740). Still in the 18th, another highlight is the book Morborum antiquitates... (1774), wrote by C. G. Gruner, important medical historian of that century. The list of books from the 19th century comprises rare examples on iconographic representation techniques. The process of creating scientific illustrations was mediated by great artists and anatomists of the time; eventually they achieved at the end of that century technical and descriptive accuracy required by science 6, 7. The main examples of these rare books are Monographie des dermatoses ou précis théorique et pratique des maladies de la peau (1822), wrote by J.-L. Alibert (Figure 1) 5; Traité dês maladies du cuir chevelu (1850), wrote by P.-L. A. Cazenave, and Traité complet dês maladies vénériennes. Clinique iconographique de l’Hôpital dês vénériens (1862), by P. Ricord. In the beginning of the 20th century, photography enabled much better visualization of skin lesions. The book wrote by C. Lailler, named Leçons cliniques sur leis teignes, faites a l’hôpital Saint-Louis (1878), should be highlighted here, given that the author used beige and white photos to record dermatosis (Figure 2) 8. Anyhow, the use of photography has not diminished the importance of scientific drawing techniques. Thus, another book of highlight is Traité pratique et théorique de la lèpre (1886), by A. Cullerier, showing very beautiful scientific drawings representing cured forms of dermatosis (Figure 3) 9.





Another important collection of documents gathers vanguard authors, whose main representatives are F. Hebra, Traité des maladies de la peau (1872); P.G. Unna et al., Internationaler Atlas seltener Hautkrankheiten (1881); L.A.J. Brocq, Traitement des maladies de la peau, avec un abrégé de la symptomatologie, du diagnostic et de l'étiologie des dermatoses (1898), and J. A. Fournier, De l'ataxie locomotrice d'origine syphilitique (tabes spécifique). Leçons cliniques professées à l'Hôpital Saint-Louis (1882).

Brazilian dermatology is also represented in this collection by the works of Fernando Terra, Francisco Eduardo Rabello, Oscar da Silva Araujo, Emilio Ribas, Werneck Machado, Adolpho Lindemberg, Nelson de Souza Campos, and Heraclides de Souza Araujo, from Institute Oswaldo Cruz. Nevertheless, diseases such as syphilis and Hansen's disease are still a significant public health issue. Syphilis, the second most frequent sexually transmitted disease (STD) after AIDS, is considered a priority by the Ministry of Health in Brazil. As to Hansen's disease, detection of new cases is still high in many countries, including Brazil. Therefore, Library Professor Francisco Eduardo Rabello has a broad historic collection of great importance to modern dermatology, especially concerning syphilis and Hansen's disease. Consultation to rare books requires previous schedule and is available only on site, meeting the needs of researchers from SBD and Research and Teaching institutions from the whole country.



1.  Rivitti EA. Reflexões sobre a dermatologia atual no Brasil. An Bras Dermatol. 2006;81:505-7         [ Links ]

2.  Carneiro G. História da Dermatologia no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Sociedade Brasileira de Dermatologia; 2002         [ Links ]

3.  Nascimento LV. A SBD e a perspectiva futura de progresso científico. An Bras Dermatol. 2002;77:515-6         [ Links ]

4.  Azulay RD. Biblioteca da Sociedade Brasileira de Dermatologia: sua importância na formação do especial ista. An Bras Dermatol. 1989;64:3         [ Links ]

5.  Alibert JLM. Monographie des dermatoses, ou Précis théorique et pratique dês maladies de la peau. Paris: Chez Lê Docteur Daynac; 1832         [ Links ]

6.  Fonseca A, Ferraz AR. Iconografia Dermatológica: visão histórica e promotores. Rev SPDV. [periódico na Internet] 2005 [Acesso em 27 out 2008];63:165-172. Disponível em: Junho2005.pdf         [ Links ]

7.  Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica em Saúde da Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Ilustrare Scientia: guia de exposição. Rio de Janeiro: Icict/Fiocruz; 2007         [ Links ]

8.  Lailler C. Leçons cliniques sur leis teignes, faites a l’hôpi tal Saint-Louis. Paris: Adrien Delahaye, Libraires - Êdi teurs; 1878         [ Links ]

9.  Cullerier A. Traité pratique et théorique de la lèpre. Paris: A. Delahaye et Lecrosinier; 1886        [ Links ]



Mailing Address:
Jeorgina Gentil Rodrigues
R. Silva Rabelo, 135/202 - Méier
20735 080 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ



How to cite this article: Rodrigues JG, Leite R, Costa IMC, Soares R. Acervo raro da Sociedade Brasileira de Dermatologia: considerações sobre sua preservação histórica. An Bras Dermatol. 2008;84(1):93-5.

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