The Hemoteca

Making research in hematology available, internationally

Technical file

Innovation leader: Josep Antoni Grífols i Lucas

Year: 1955

Period: Postwar period (1940-1959)

Type of innovation: Service

Scope: Documentation

Patent: No

Geographical reach: National

Economic impact:  N/A

Level of innovation:  2-Evolutionary

Interdisciplinary connections: -

Related innovations: Rhesus factor correspondence course

The Hemoteca was a bibliographic service created and promoted in 1955 by Josep Antoni Grífols i Lucas, which compiled a selection of the most relevant scientific articles of the main journals worldwide dealing with hematology and hemotherapy, in a world before the internet.


Transatlantic two-way information

The service was free to doctors interested in the subjects it covered and came out of his motivation to keep well informed of the latest scientific advances. The Hemoteca secured an international deal that would keep vital information flowing across the Atlantic, by exchanging the monthly bibliographic compilation of the United States National Library of Medicine for two key Spanish scientific journals: Medicina Clínica and Revista Clínica Española.

Grífols i Lucas received a copy of the publications collected by the Index Medicus, reproduced the indexes of the magazines and gave a number to each article. Then, he compiled them in the form of a bulletin that he sent to healthcare professionals.

Doctors could then take a look at the bulletin, and chose the articles they wanted to read, and Grifols would retrieve them from a microfilm system and send a copy to interested readers.


Simplifying research for professionals

At a time when obtaining scientific information was so complicated that readers often could not even access the currency needed to buy foreign magazines, the Hemoteca was an ingenious method of meeting this academic demand, resulting in a very favorable reception by professionals. As an example of its popularity, in 1958 a total of 325 copies of this newsletter were printed.



An ingenious approach to spreading scientific knowledge



  • Laboratorios Grífols (1958). Estudio del coste del envío de Hemoteca correspondiente al mes de mayo de 1958. Manuscrito no publicado.
  • Laboratorios Grífols (1966). Memoria del Hemobanco de Laboratorios Grifols. Manuscrito no publicado.
  • Laboratorios Grífols (1972-1981). La Hemoteca del Hemobanco de Laboratorios Grífols. Números 85-94.
  • Laboratorios Grífols (1972-1981). La Bioteca del Hemobanco de Laboratorios Grífols. Números 1-14.
  • Laboratorios Grífols (ca. 1975). Tarjetas perforadas para realizar las búsquedas bibliográficas en los servicios de Hemoteca, Bioteca y Coaguloteca . Manuscritos no publicados.
  • Laboratorios Grífols (1976). Bureau de difusión bibliográfica del Hemobanco. Manuscrito no publicado.
  • Bellon, J.L. (1988). Coagulación y corazón artificial. Barcelona: Masson S.A.
  • Grífols-Lucas, V. (2009). Amb un suro i un cordill. Vivències d'un empresari de postguerra. Barcelona: Grífols Group, S.A.
  • Greenberg, S., & Gallagher, P. (2009). The great contribution: Index Medicus, Index-Catalogue, and IndexCat. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 97(2), 108–113.
  • Avellà, R., & Miquel, B. (Eds.). (2015). Cuando un sueño se cumple. Crónica ilustrada de 75 años de Grifols . Barcelona: Grupo Grifols S.A.