The present Newcomb Library comprises the Hackney Hospital Postgraduate Library founded in the 1940s, the library of the Mothers' Hospital Midwifery Training School and the Hackney Hospital Nursing library which were amalgamated at Homerton Hospital in September 1986.
Dr Paul Newcomb was born 26 September 1919, and educated at Epsom College and The London Hospital (MRCS, LRCP 1942; MB, BS 1943). Following junior posts at the London Hospital he was appointed consultant physician to Hackney Hospital in 1951, served in this capacity for 33 years and was responsible for the establishment of the coronary care unit. In 1975 he played a large part in arranging, with Professor Dickinson, the close involvement of St Bartholomew's Hospital's Medical Unit at Hackney Hospital. He was actively involved in the administration of the hospital and was postgraduate tutor and chairman of the Medical Council. During this time he was involved in the early planning of Homerton Hospital and its Education Centre.
As a student Paul was a first class rugby player and he maintained his interest in sport, having a low handicap at golf and being an enthusiastic swimmer. He was extremely practical and a keen gardener and was knowledgeable about wine. He died of carcinoma of the colon on 21 May 1992.
The Newcomb Library is named as an expression of the gratitude of the many patients he treated, the generations of medical students, nurses and postgraduates whom he taught and his colleagues, who acknowledged his high standards of patient care and his loyalty to Hackney Hospital.
Obituary: P B Newcomb (1992) BMJ 305 520