Now available: 2005 interview with Nina W. Matheson, founder of NLM's IAIMS Initiative.

Nina Matheson

Dr. Nina Woo Matheson is a medical librarian and vocal supporter for the importance of librarians in medical informatics.

Nina Woo Matheson, ML, DSc, is perhaps best remembered in the Medical Informatics community as the lead author of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 1982 Matheson-Cooper report, which described the future role of medical libraries and led to the creation of the National Library of Medicine’s Integrated Academic (later changed to Advanced) Information Management Systems (IAIMS) initiative.

In this conversation, Dr. Matheson describes how she became involved in that project, and other aspects of her long and distinguished career working in various academic libraries and medical library professional organizations. She was Director of the George Washington University Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library from 1974 to 1980 and of the Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins University beginning in 1984. She was President of the Medical Library Association in 1983 and was elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics in 1986.

An English major in college, she says, “If I’ve been successful as a medical librarian, it’s not been because of any subject matter [expertise]....[What is] really important [is]...native intellectual curiosity and a critical and analytic cast of mind that is keyed toward trying to find solutions.”

In 1990, she and her husband formally established William & Nina Matheson Books, a member of the Washington Antiquarian Booksellers Association. Matheson Books specializes in scholarly bibliography, modern literature and poetry, and 20th century literary private presses.

In 2005, Drs. Joan Ash and Dean Sittig interviewed Dr. Matheson. We are honored to publish an illustrated version of that interview, available from: