Highly subjective: The Librarianship of Winifred Sewell

Malissa Ruffner, Emily J. Glenn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article traces the career of Winifred Sewell, noted medical information professional, from her early days in the pharmaceutical industry through her career at the National Library of Medicine and her later years of consultancy, research, and teaching. In addition to her known contributions to major bibliographic tools and publications, including Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), Sewell's overarching vision of effective librarianship is highlighted. Her commitment to the importance of the subjective understanding of patron information needs is illustrated by examples from her life, her papers, and the perspectives of colleagues and students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-275
Number of pages20
JournalLibraries and the Cultural Record
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • History
  • Library and Information Sciences


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