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Library Blog

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  1. 12
    Oct
    2018

    Arsenic: a domestic poison

    Victorian homes were full of arsenic – your wallpaper could kill you and your fashionable green socks caused ulcers...
    Susan Isaac
  2. 28
    Sep
    2018

    “Phossy jaw” and the matchgirls: a nineteenth-century industrial disease

    Phossy jaw was a horrific industrial disease of Victorian match makers. Victims suffered toothache, abscesses & swollen gums as their jaws decayed, glowing in the dark. Read about surgery to remove the lower jaw bone of one match girl in New York.
    Susan Isaac
  3. 21
    Sep
    2018

    Benjamin Bynoe - surgeon on board the Beagle

    Benjamin Bynoe served as ship’s surgeon on board HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin’s epic five-year voyage, helped survey areas of South America and Australia, and collected important scientific specimens, but his name has been largely forgotten, including in Plarr's Lives of the Fellows where he got just 2 sentences. A recent enquiry prompted further research and a much-expanded entry.
    Sarah Gillam
  4. 14
    Sep
    2018

    ClinicalKey Patient Education

    An introduction to the Patient Information feature on ClinicalKey.
    Susan Isaac
  5. 7
    Sep
    2018

    Eleanor Davies-Colley (1874–1934) and the South London Hospital for Women (1912-1984)

    The story of Eleanor Davies-Colley's involvement with the South London Hospital for Women.
    Corinne Hogan
  6. 31
    Aug
    2018

    Eleanor Davies-Colley (1874-1934) and the Invalid Children’s Aid Association (est.1888)

    The story of Eleanor Davies-Colley, the first female MRCS, and her work with the Invalid Children's Aid Association.
    Corinne Hogan
  7. 17
    Aug
    2018

    Gray’s Anatomy Descriptive and Applied: the greatest account of anatomical understanding available

    Completing the Library's collection of Gray's Anatomy.
    Corinne Hogan
  8. 3
    Aug
    2018

    Conserve our Collections Event, 2018

    The College's annual Conserve Our Collections event, held at the London Metropolitan Archives in 2018.
    Nicola Extance-Vaughan
  9. 27
    Jul
    2018

    Making the most of our e-books collection

    A brief guide to the e-books available via the Library's ClinicalKey resource.
    Corinne Hogan
  10. 20
    Jul
    2018

    Sailing the seven seas and other tales of Navy medicine from the UK-MHL

    More UK Medical Heritage Library contributions, this time regarding naval healthcare.
    Susan Isaac
  11. 6
    Jul
    2018

    Making ‘appropriate stumps’ and other tales of Army medicine from the UKMHL

    An exploration of the Library's contribution to the UK Medical Heritage Library project, concentrating on contagious diseases and army medicine.
    Susan Isaac
  12. 29
    Jun
    2018

    Orthopaedic surgeon and war hero: Sir Robert Jones (1857-1933)

    Sir Robert Jones was the father of modern orthopaedic surgery. We celebrate his life during the British Orthopaedic Association's centenary year.
    Susan Isaac
  13. 22
    Jun
    2018

    Images for Academic Presentations: Using ClinicalKey

    Giving a presentation as part of a teaching role or to share your knowledge on the latest evidence in your specialty? The RCS Library can help!
    Sophie Gibbs
  14. 15
    Jun
    2018

    Giving blood

    On World Blood Donor Day, we celebrate Percy Lane Oliver and the history of the blood transfusion service.
    Susan Isaac
  15. 8
    Jun
    2018

    Why you should love a leech: blood letting to microsurgery

    Why you should love a leech: blood letting to microsurgery. Find out why medical leeches are back.
    Susan Isaac
  16. 31
    May
    2018

    Botany in the age of Empire

    John Ellis (1710–1776) was a naturalist and London business man with an interest in science. He became the most successful plant transporter of the eighteenth century. This post explores his publications with their beautiful illustrations, learning more about the practical history of eighteenth-century colonial life.
    Susan Isaac
  17. 25
    May
    2018

    ‘Wound-man’: Feldtbuch der Wundartzney - Hans von Gersdorff (c.1480-1540)

    Stabbed, bludgeoned, sliced & bleeding, the WoundMan showed the medieval battlefield surgeon what to do. This article looks at Feldtbuch der Wundartzney (1517) for advice.
    Susan Isaac
  18. 18
    May
    2018

    Are you using ClinicalKey?

    A guide to the versatile and comprehensive ClinicalKey online resource.
    Corinne Hogan
  19. 11
    May
    2018

    Fishes found on the coast of Ceylon: John Whitchurch Bennett

    A look at the colourful illustrations in John Whitchurch Bennett's "A Selection from the Most Remarkable and Interesting Fishes Found on the Cost of Ceylon".
    Susan Isaac
  20. 4
    May
    2018

    Sir Hugh Cairns and the origins of the motorcycle helmet

    Learn how the motorcycle accident that killed Lawrence of Arabia 80 years ago led to the introduction of crash helmets in UK.
    Sarah Gillam
  21. 27
    Apr
    2018

    A practical surgeon: Sir William Fergusson (1808-1877)

    Surgeon, Sir William Fergusson (1808-1877) was described as “the greatest master of the art, the greatest practical surgeon of our time". Read about his life and achievements.
    Susan Isaac
  22. 20
    Apr
    2018

    An unlucky elephant: an anatomical account of the elephant accidentally burnt in Dublin, on Fryday, June 17. in the year 1681 – Allen Mullen (1682)

    "An anatomical account of the elephant accidentally burnt in Dublin, on Fryday, June 17. in the year 1681" records the story of a very unlucky elephant who arrived in London in 1675.
    Susan Isaac
  23. 13
    Apr
    2018

    Current Awareness Updates: a milestone for the RCS Library and Surgical Information Services

    April 2018 is an important milestone for RCS Library and Surgical Information Services: after much planning and scoping research, there is now a Current Awareness Update for each of the eleven surgical specialties.
    Sarak Kennedy, Sophie Gibbs, Kirsty Morrison
  24. 6
    Apr
    2018

    Memorial to the common people: Postman’s Park, London

    Postman’s Park, in the City of London, is the site of one of the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice commemorating ‘ordinary’ Londoners who died while trying to save others. Individual ceramic plaques recording each story are set into the wall of a long wooden cloister, three of which bear witness to the bravery of doctors.
    Susan Isaac
  25. 29
    Mar
    2018

    A hare-raising tale

    The story of Mary Toft of Guildford who, in 1726, claimed she had given birth to rabbits, causing considerable notoriety.
    Corinne Hogan
  26. 23
    Mar
    2018

    Reading for CPD: How our reflective CPD form can help

    Many of our Members and Fellows read our Current Awareness Updates as part of their continuing professional development. The Updates help to keep surgeons up-to-date with the latest research being published in their particular sub-specialty area. However, it can be difficult to quantify and demonstrate reading as a piece of recognised learning that can be credited.
    Sarah Kennedy
  27. 16
    Mar
    2018

    The familiar and the fantastic: The historie of foure-footed beastes by Edward Topsell, 1607.

    Fantastic beasts and everything you need to know about them: Edward Topsell’s historie of foure-footed beastes is a wonderful bestiary published in 1607 describing both real and fantastic creatures, all illustrated in detailed woodcuts. The book includes familiar animals such as the cat, horse and hedgehog but also the fantastic including the Unicorn and the Manticore.
    Susan Isaac
  28. 9
    Mar
    2018

    Collections on the Move: partnership projects with the Museum of Life Sciences at Kings College London

    How do you engage with a museum’s collections if the museum is closed? Working with the King's College Museum of Life Sciences to bring museum exhibits to the public.
    Hayley Kruger
  29. 2
    Mar
    2018

    Questions on a Big Idea: The Enchanted Loom

    The ‘enchanted loom’ is a famous metaphor for the human brain invented to poetically describe a conception of what happens in the cerebral cortex when you wake from sleep. Its inventor, Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, was a Fellow of the College.
    Corinne Hogan
  30. 23
    Feb
    2018

    2017 in review

    2017 was an extremely busy year for us here in the Library and Surgical Information Services. Here's a look at everything we achieved last year.
    Sarah Kennedy
  31. 16
    Feb
    2018

    Frock coats to scrubs: a story of surgical attire

    The clothes surgeons wear when operating on their patients has changed over time. Trace this history with us through drawings, paintings, photographs and written reports.
    Susan Isaac
  32. 9
    Feb
    2018

    Murder in the East End: the Wainwrights Trial

    Henry Wainwright hid a terrible secret in his East End warehouse. Surgeon Frederick Larkin’s detailed forensic evidence led to his conviction for murder in 1875.
    Susan Isaac
  33. 2
    Feb
    2018

    Studies in the art anatomy of animals: Ernest Thompson Seton

    Ernest Thompson Seton’s first book, Studies in the art anatomy of animals, was published in 1896 and still in print today. See examples of his drawings covering the anatomy, proportions and motion of different animals, as well as their exterior features, hair, fur and feathers.
    Susan Isaac
  34. 26
    Jan
    2018

    Your library needs you! Why you should consider becoming a Specialist Advisor

    Find out about the role of Specialist Advisor for the Library's Current Awareness Updates, and how it can contribute to your professional development.
    Kirsty Morrison
  35. 19
    Jan
    2018

    Holme’s Great Metropolis: or, views of London in the nineteenth century (and now)

    Comparing the sights of London between 1851 and the present day, courtesy of Thomas Holmes' "Great Metropolis".
    Susan Isaac
  36. 12
    Jan
    2018

    Do you Bant? The original low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet

    William Banting lends his name to the original low-carbohydrate high-fat diet.
    Sarah Gillam
  37. 5
    Jan
    2018

    Joseph Swan (1791-1874): a pioneer in research on peripheral nerves

    The prize-winning work of the 19th century Surgeon, Joseph Swan.
    Susan Isaac
  38. 21
    Dec
    2017

    Mermaid Santa, and the comical anatomical: Quirky medical Christmas cards from the Forties

    A selection of “tailor-made” Christmas cards from 1947, drawn by a medical illustrator, Mary Dixon Elder, and individually surgically and anatomically themed, some more successfully than others, to bring a personal touch to a “departmental party” at Northwestern University Medical School.
    Corinne Hogan
  39. 15
    Dec
    2017

    Un-Christmassy Christmas: Escape to Christmas Island

    Christmas planning getting you down? Escape to Christmas Island with Charles W Andrews’ guide, A monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) : physical features and geology, 1900.
    Susan Isaac
  40. 8
    Dec
    2017

    Dissecting the literature: the importance of critical appraisal

    How to critically appraise your literature.
    Kirsty Morrison
  41. 1
    Dec
    2017

    Bernhard Siegfried Albinus

    The son of the physician Bernhard Albinus (1653–1721), Bernhard Siegfried Albinus was born in Germany in 1697. He would go on to become one of the most famous anatomists of the eighteenth century, producing 'Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani', published in 1747.
    Geraldine O'Driscoll
  42. 24
    Nov
    2017

    Art and Science meet: George Spratt (1784-1840) – Obstetric tables, comprising Graphic Illustrations…

    In 1833 George Spratt published his innovative Obstetric Tables. Designed as a teaching aid, the book includes fifty hand-coloured plates with flaps that lift to show a "dissected" view of the female body during pregnancy.
    Susan Isaac
  43. 17
    Nov
    2017

    One man – Two hospitals: William Marsden (1796-1867)

    The life and achievements of William Marsden, founder of the Royal Free Hospital and the Royal Marsden Hospital.
    Susan Isaac
  44. 10
    Nov
    2017

    We will remember them: No 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) 1915-1918

    The story of No. 3 Canadian General Hospital during the First World War.
    Susan Isaac
  45. 3
    Nov
    2017

    Conducting a literature search using RCS Library resources

    Some advice from the Information Specialists on conducting a medical literature search using the Library's online databases.
    Kirsty Morrison
  46. 27
    Oct
    2017

    Riflin’ the churchyards: William Burke (1792-1829) and William Hare (1792/1804 - c.1858?)

    For Halloween, the murderous story of Burke and Hare...
    Corinne Hogan
  47. 20
    Oct
    2017

    St. Ives, Barbara Hepworth and the College

    Between 1947 and 1949, the artist Barbara Hepworth sat in operating theatres in Exeter and London, producing 80 depictions of surgeons and their teams at work, while the NHS was being formed.
    Jo Clarke
  48. 13
    Oct
    2017

    Here for you: what the RCS Library does for Members

    A guide to the Library's services for College Members and Fellows.
    Susan Isaac
  49. 6
    Oct
    2017

    Lord Joseph Lister of Lyme Regis (1827-1912): the father of modern surgery

    Joseph Lister pioneered antiseptic surgery in 1867 and made surgery safer, saving many lives. In 1879 the mouthwash Listerine was developed and named after him.
    Susan Isaac
  50. 29
    Sep
    2017

    Collections on the move: Harrow Green getting hands-on

    Moving books is a regular task in libraries; moving 5 km of them to a new location is not. Find out how @Harrow Green got hands on...
    Hillary Webb
  51. 22
    Sep
    2017

    Navigating the current of surgical literature: the library as your landmark

    How the Library can help surgeons keep abreast of the medical literature.
    Sarah Kennedy
  52. 15
    Sep
    2017

    Collections on the move: Cleaning the RCS Library collections - a job for DAD

    With over five kilometres of books to clean before moving the collections to temporary storage for the redevelopment, the Library turned to experts Downie Allison Downie Book Binders (DAD) for help.
    Susan Isaac
  53. 8
    Sep
    2017

    Hospital Pharmacopoeias

    An introduction to the Library’s hospital pharmacopeia collection.
    Susan Isaac
  54. 1
    Sep
    2017

    A book written by a walking stick?

    The remarkable story of the The Gold-Headed Cane, a book containing the biographies of 6 physicians from the point of view of the cane they all owned.
    Corinne Hogan
  55. 25
    Aug
    2017

    Transplanting of Teeth

    A hand-coloured cartoon by Thomas Rowlandson in 1787, highlights the lucrative 18th century practice of tooth transplantation.
    Sarah Pearson
  56. 21
    Aug
    2017

    Collections on the move: Moving two hundred years of history

    The practicalities of packing and moving the Collections.
    Susan Isaac
  57. 11
    Aug
    2017

    The Alpine Club and Surgery

    Three of our Fellows have been President of the Alpine Club: find out how they combined successful surgical careers with their daredevil passion for climbing.
    Sarah Gillam
  58. 4
    Aug
    2017

    Anatomy: a hymn in praise of the wisdom of God

    “The study of Anatomy is the use of a hymn in praise of the wisdom of God.” So appears an anonymous quote on the title page of the prospectus of the Parisian Gallery of Anatomy, an anatomical museum that based itself in Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester from the 1850s to the 1870s.
    Corinne Hogan
  59. 28
    Jul
    2017

    The Toothache: imagined by Horace Mayhew, realised by George Cruikshank, 1849

    The story of one Victorian gentleman’s toothache, in graphic form by Horace Mayhew and George Cruikshank.
    Susan Isaac
  60. 21
    Jul
    2017

    Percy Furnivall the cyclist and an early training regime

    A look at an early attempt at outlining an optimum training regime for competitive cycling, by Percy Furnivall.
    Sarah Gillam
  61. 14
    Jul
    2017

    Professor Quekett and the Curious Case of the Coal slides

    Quekett's collection of microscope slides ... of coal.
    Hannah Cornish
  62. 7
    Jul
    2017

    Coffee: a plague remedy?

    Richard Bradley's 1721 work on the cultivation of coffee and its efficacy in the prevention of plague.
    Susan Isaac
  63. 30
    Jun
    2017

    How to get the most out of your Current Awareness Updates

    This week’s post looks at how to get the most out of the Updates in celebration of two new Updates launching this July: Urology and Emergency General Surgery.
    Sarah Kennedy
  64. 23
    Jun
    2017

    Darwin and Down House

    The history of Down House, home of Charles Darwin and later site of the College's Buckston Browne Research Farm.
    Fahema Begum
  65. 16
    Jun
    2017

    A book of cheerful cats and other animated animals - Joseph Greene Francis (1849 - 1930)

    A Book of Cheerful Cats by J.G. Francis is a strange book to find in a medical library. It’s an amusing collection of cartoons and rhymes involving cats and other animals.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  66. 9
    Jun
    2017

    Collections on the move: Our Skulls are Precious

    Images and video showing how we move large animal skulls in the Hunterian Museum.
    Susan Isaac
  67. 2
    Jun
    2017

    Intriguing Apes and Curious Cockatoos

    The Archives shares William Hill’s photographic slides of primates and other animals.
    Matthew Nicholson
  68. 26
    May
    2017

    John Hunter’s Watercolour Floral Paintings: 1801

    A beautiful bound volume of watercolour paintings believed to have been the property of anatomist John Hunter.
    Geraldine O'Driscoll
  69. 19
    May
    2017

    Collections on the move: Safeguarding centuries of knowledge

    Last week, the Library Blog told the story of how the Library collections were protected during the Second World War. Now we are moving the collections again as the College redevelops its London home. This time, we have had more time to plan and ensure that the collections are moved in the optimum condition to safeguard centuries of knowledge for future generations to discover.
    Susan Isaac
  70. 12
    May
    2017

    Evacuating the Library in World War II

    During the Second World War, the College took great care to protect its heritage in the anticipation of aerial bombing, moving much of the Library collections to safe locations before the College was hit during the "Blitz".
    Susan Isaac
  71. 5
    May
    2017

    Current Awareness Updates

    On the 8th May 2017, we will be launching the first of our new Current Awareness Updates. Following the success of the Current Awareness Service pilot between 2012 and 2016, we will be relaunching and expanding coverage of the Service.
    Amy McEwan
  72. 28
    Apr
    2017

    Sheffield steel and early physiotherapy

    A look at William Edgar Allen, a 19th century industrialist from Sheffield who also established the Edgar Allen Institute for Medico-Mechanical Treatment, treating large numbers of injured soldiers during the World Wars.
    Susan Isaac
  73. 21
    Apr
    2017

    Flayed Penguin: anatomical drawings by William Henry Fisk (1827–1884)

    A look at William Henry Fisk’s wonderful naturalistic anatomical drawings of a "flayed" penguin to see the muscle structure.
    Susan Isaac
  74. 13
    Apr
    2017

    An Odd Collection…

    The Library of the Royal College of Surgeons of England contains countless medical, surgical, natural history and zoological texts as one might expect; however, there are a number of books in the collection that are a little bit more unexpected. For example, on a shelf in one corner of the library there is a small collection of books by Rudyard Kipling, including a signed 1922 edition of his most famous work The Jungle Book.
    Sarah Kennedy
  75. 7
    Apr
    2017

    Imaging Quekett’s bone slides: the origin of specimens

    The pioneering Victorian microscopist John Thomas Quekett (1815-1861), author of one of the first microscopy textbooks, collected and prepared at least 12,000 histological sections. Our guest editor Alessandro Felder, budding biologist interested in comparative bone micro-anatomy writes about his work at RCS imaging some of Quekett’s bone sections.
    Alessandro Felder
  76. 31
    Mar
    2017

    Collections on the move: How to move an elephant

    The Hunterian Museum contains approximately 3,500 specimens and preparations from John Hunter’s original collection including the partial skeletons of nine large animals. The bones are over 250 years old and include a Narwhal (the “unicorn of the sea”), an Elephant and two Camels.
    Amalia Lemprière
  77. 24
    Mar
    2017

    Anatomie très utile: ‘The anatyme of the inwarde partis of man and woman’

    Anatomie très utile c.1559 is an anatomical ‘fugitive’ sheet designed to display internal organs and structures.
    Corinne Hogan
  78. 17
    Mar
    2017

    Collections on the move: Surgical tools, chemical sponges, papers, pastes and a lot of decision making

    The role of conservation during the Library's decant project for the upcoming rebuild.
    Kostas Tsafaridis
  79. 10
    Mar
    2017

    Jessie Dobson (1906-1984): Hunterian Museum's first female curator

    Jessie Dobson has a unique place in the history of the Hunterian Museum, becoming its first female curator in 1954.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  80. 3
    Mar
    2017

    Sir John Simon

    October 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the Sanitary Act (1866), which Sir John Simon (10 October 1816 – 23 July 1904), pathologist, surgeon and public health reformer, was influential in bringing about.
    Fahema Begum
  81. 24
    Feb
    2017

    Collections on the move: Rare books and incunabula - making our collection visible

    Incunabula and rare books from the collection, as seen during the recent Cataloguing Project.
    Sarah Kennedy
  82. 17
    Feb
    2017

    The dangers of tight lacing: the effects of the corset

    A look at the medical effects of tight corsets as worn by women in the 18th and 19th centuries.
    Susan Isaac
  83. 10
    Feb
    2017

    Collections on the move: How Project Transform will improve RCS’s Library, Museums and Archives Services

    Considering the many opportunities that the RCS's Project Transform will provide for the Library, Museums and Archives.
    Library, Museums and Archives staff
  84. 3
    Feb
    2017

    Rat Day: Boston, 13 February 1917

    This month marks 100 years since the first and only “Rat Day”, held in Boston on 13 February 1917. The finale to the Boston Rat Campaign led by the Boston Women’s Municipal League (BWML), the day saw prizes offered for the highest number of dead rats delivered to designated sanitary yards.
    Susan Isaac
  85. 27
    Jan
    2017

    Holocaust Memorial Day: the life of Eric Strach

    Eric Strach FRCS (1914-2011), an orthopaedic surgeon who worked in Liverpool, was one of a number of Fellows and Members who lost relatives in the Holocaust and worked in the concentration camps after they were liberated by the Allies.
    Sarah Gillam
  86. 20
    Jan
    2017

    Collections on the move

    Later this year we’ll be moving to temporary accommodation during the redevelopment of our home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. We hosted an event in the Barry Reading Room a few months ago, showcasing how the Library, Museum and Archive teams are preparing for the move.
    Susan Isaac
  87. 13
    Jan
    2017

    MacCormac's Locked Book

    Sometimes in the archives we come across material which is not easily accessible. This was the case with the accounts book of Sir William MacCormac, which had remained locked for (possibly) over a century.
    Virginia Dawe-Woodings
  88. 6
    Jan
    2017

    Ethicon Cat-a-log

    The internet is full of cats doing funny things, but this isn’t just a recent phenomenon. Harry Pointer produced humorous pictures of his pet cats mimicking human activities in the 1870s.
    Susan Isaac
  89. 23
    Dec
    2016

    Festive Archives

    You might be forgiven for thinking that a medical archive wouldn’t contain much that is festive in nature. Therefore, it may come as a surprise to know that the Royal College of Surgeons archives contain a number of seasonal items.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  90. 16
    Dec
    2016

    Medical fiction for popular readers: The Stark Munro Letters (1895)

    Better known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle was also a graduate of medicine from the University of Edinburgh and had a short-lived career as a general practitioner and ophthalmologist. Alongside his detective stories, he wrote fiction inspired by his experiences of medical practice. His novella The Stark Munro Letters (1895) follows the early struggles of a young practitioner.
    Alison Moulds
  91. 9
    Dec
    2016

    Mapping disease: John Snow and Cholera

    Cholera was one of the deadliest diseases to affect Britain in the nineteenth century. On the 150th anniversary of the fourth and final London pandemic in 1866, Fahema Begum looks at the work of John Snow, who's work was instrumental in the fight against the disease.
    Fahema Begum
  92. 2
    Dec
    2016

    Conserve our Collections Event 2016

    On the 16th November we welcomed over 40 guests to our annual Conserve our Collections event. It’s an opportunity to promote the scheme and allow our guests to see items they have helped to conserve.
    Susan Isaac
  93. 25
    Nov
    2016

    A Very Large Collection of Very Small Things

    Some of the finest microscope slides in the RCS museum collection were produced by John Thomas Quekett, who built a collection of slides giving the most astonishing overview of the natural world on a microscopic scale.
    Hannah Cornish
  94. 18
    Nov
    2016

    ClinicalKey: a resource RCS Members need to know about

    We see ClinicalKey as a valuable resource and members at all levels can access ClinicalKey using their College Login details.
    Susan Isaac
  95. 11
    Nov
    2016

    Victoria Cross Winners

    Only three people have received the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry, twice, and of these, two were surgeons – Arthur Martin-Leake FRCS and Noel Chavasse MRCS.
    Sarah Gillam
  96. 4
    Nov
    2016

    21,500 tracts and pamphlets available to view online: UK Medical Heritage Library project

    The shelves of our Erasmus Wilson Gallery are once again full as our contribution to the UK Medical Heritage Library is complete.
    Dorothy Fouracre
  97. 28
    Oct
    2016

    ​Skeletal rabbits at Halloween – Osteographia by William Cheselden

    The man who famously healed a blind boy by removing a clouded lens, and introduced the technique of ”cutting laterally for the stone” , was also the author of one of the truly memorable anatomical works of the period, Osteographia
    Corinne Hogan
  98. 21
    Oct
    2016

    The Great History Bake Off: Baking and Medicine in Early Modern Recipe Books

    Many of the foods which we enjoy today have their origins in the medical world. The recipe books in the Archives are excellent examples of the historical cross-overs between medicine and cooking.
    Ginny Dawe-Woodings
  99. 14
    Oct
    2016

    Facsimile exhibition: Unusual and exceptional prizes

    Our new facsimile exhibition in the display cases on the ground floor reveal some of the College’s historic prize essays, some of which stand out for reasons other than their written text – due either to the beauty or nature of their illustrations, or to the significance of their author.
    Sophie Gibbs & Ginny Dawe-Woodings
  100. 7
    Oct
    2016

    Sporting Surgeons

    After an exciting summer watching Olympics and Paralympics in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil, now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the achievements of our very own Olympic champion, Lord Porritt, who won a bronze medal ninety-two years ago.
    Fahema Begum
  101. 21
    Apr
    2016

    Vaccination, Medicine and the Masses

    Vaccination is a medical procedure that is familiar to most of us. From babyhood to our later years, we are offered vaccinations to fight an ever-changing roster of diseases.
    Sally Frampton
  102. 4
    Apr
    2016

    Samuel Gaskell’s Jacksonian Prize Essay: On the nature of the Processes of Suppuration and Ulceration - Illustrations, (1837)

    Samuel Gaskell’s "illustrations" includes 15 thin membranes of blood vessels, and 37 pieces of leathery ileum - and all are human specimens.
    Ginny Dawe-Woodings
  103. 22
    Mar
    2016

    Back from the Binders – William Woods’s Zoography; or, the beauties of nature displayed (1807)

    William Wood FRS, FLS (1774-1857) originally trained as a surgeon at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He turned to the study of natural history with a particular interest in sea shells, for which he remains famous.
    Thalia Knight
  104. 11
    Mar
    2016

    The Circle of Willis

    Visitors to the "Designing Bodies" exhibition will no doubt have seen the exquisite resin corrosion casts prepared by David Tompsett, including the cast of the arterial supply of the brain, demonstrating the arterial circle of Willis.
    Susan Standring
  105. 4
    Mar
    2016

    International Women's Day 2016

    In celebration of International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March 2016, we would like to share some of the items in our collections that relate to the pioneering women who led the way for women to qualify as practising surgeons and members of the RCS.
    Sophie Gibbs
  106. 26
    Feb
    2016

    Back from the Binders – Francis Mason’s Cleft Lip and Palate (1877)

    This week we received our latest batch of conservation binding which had been funded via the Conserve our Collections programme.
    Hilary Webb
  107. 16
    Feb
    2016

    Frozen in Time

    Plaster is peculiar stuff. As a chalky powder, heavier than dust, it can pervade a wide area. As a fluid it is mercurial and insubstantial, and could almost pass for milk.
    Sam Alberti
  108. 12
    Feb
    2016

    Happy Birthday, William Clift! (14/2/1775–20/6/1849)

    As it is William Clift’s birthday on St Valentine’s Day, we thought it was only right to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the Royal College of Surgeons of England owes to him.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  109. 5
    Feb
    2016

    Our contribution to digital UK Medical Heritage Library is almost complete

    Soon the shelves in our Erasmus Wilson Gallery will again be full: we have nearly completed our contribution to the UK Medical Heritage Library.
    Dorothy Fouracre
  110. 29
    Jan
    2016

    Plarr's Lives of the Fellows

    At the beginning of this month, January 2016, after eight or so years of work, the editorial team in the Library finished uploading all nine of the printed volumes of Plarr’s Lives.
    Sarah Gillam
  111. 25
    Jan
    2016

    "Anatomy as Art" Facsimile Display

    The College’s collections are rich with artistic illustrations depicting human anatomy.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  112. 15
    Jan
    2016

    Elsevier ClinicalKey

    The Library is pleased to announce its new subscription to Elsevier’s ClinicalKey resource.
    Library Services staff
  113. 8
    Jan
    2016

    Collections Review project is child’s play

    Occasionally we come across markings in books which remind us of their past role as personal objects: markings by children.
    Dorothy Fouracre
  114. 18
    Dec
    2015

    The Twelve Days of Christmas - Part 3

    We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the fascinating collection of books, archives and museum items that are held in our Designated collections.
    Collections Review Team
  115. 11
    Dec
    2015

    The Twelve Days of Christmas Part - 2

    As part of the RCS Collections Review project, the Museum’s visual works are currently being assessed. This category includes sculptures, pencil drawings, prints, oil paintings, pastels and watercolours.
    Collections Review Team
  116. 4
    Dec
    2015

    The Twelve Days of Christmas - Part 1

    Our Collections Review project, which has been running throughout 2015, has given us unprecedented insight into the College’s museum, library and archive holdings.
    Collections Review Team
  117. 27
    Nov
    2015

    Conserve Our Collections Event, 2015

    On the 18th November we hosted the annual event to promote our Conserve our Collections scheme.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  118. 20
    Nov
    2015

    The British Journal of Surgery now available to RCS members from Vol. 1 (1913)

    We are pleased to announce that we have purchased the back files of The British Journal of Surgery.
    Thalia Knight
  119. 13
    Nov
    2015

    Insecten-Belustigung (1746–1761) – August Johan Rösel

    August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof, 1705–1759, was born in Augustenburg and, having shown an early artistic talent, was apprenticed first to his uncle, the artist Wilhelm Röselvon Rosenhof, and then to Johan Daniel Preisler.
    Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  120. 6
    Nov
    2015

    The Bones, Author Unknown

    Held in our Archives is a small leather-bound manuscript with two silver clasps, simply entitled The Bones.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  121. 30
    Oct
    2015

    Horror in our Collections

    As it’s Halloween, we have delved into the gloomiest reaches of our collections and sought out some of the more macabre material we hold.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  122. 23
    Oct
    2015

    The chicken or the egg? Art, lectures and a basilisk

    As part of the RCS Collections Review project, the Museum’s visual works are currently being assessed. This category includes sculptures, pencil drawings, prints, oil paintings, pastels and watercolours.
    Emmy Bocaege
  123. 16
    Oct
    2015

    Recipe Books in our Archive Collections

    Before the establishment of professional healthcare, the majority of the sick were treated at home with the main carers being the women of the household.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  124. 8
    Oct
    2015

    Poetry in the Archives and Library Collections

    On October 8th 2015, we celebrate National Poetry Day, inspiring us to revisit our collections in search of poems.
    Geraldine O’Driscoll
  125. 2
    Oct
    2015

    The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby, 1678

    The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby (1678) is the enlarged and corrected English version of the previously published Latin work Ornithologiae libri tres (1676).
    Sarah Kennedy
  126. 25
    Sep
    2015

    John Hunter – The natural history of the human teeth, 1771

    John Hunter (1728-1793) was born during the night of February 13/14, 1728, at East Kilbride, Scotland.
    Royal College of Surgeons of England
  127. 18
    Sep
    2015

    Jacques-Fabien Gautier D’Agoty – Exposition anatomique des organes des sens, 1775

    Jacques-Fabien Gautier (he added the "D’Agoty" later in life) was born in Marseilles in 1716.
    Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons
  128. 11
    Sep
    2015

    Bernardino Genga – Anatomy improv’d, 1723

    Bernardino Genga (1620–1690) was an Italian surgeon and anatomist, with a great interest in classical texts and Greek and Roman sculpture, which led to him teaching anatomy to artists at the Royal French Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Rome.
    Steffi Sams
  129. 4
    Sep
    2015

    Three Books - one anatomical plate

    Browsing through the College’s collection of folios with anatomical illustrations, we occasionally come across the same plate in various works.
    Steffi Sams
  130. 28
    Aug
    2015

    Sir Everard Home - An anatomical account of the squalus maximus, 1809

    The 31st of August is the anniversary of Sir Everard Home’s death in 1832.
    Steffi Sams
  131. 26
    Aug
    2015

    Captain James Cook - the First Voyage

    On 26th August 1768, Captain James Cook (1728-1779) embarked on his first voyage of discovery aboard HMS Endeavour from Plymouth.
    Steffi Sams
  132. 21
    Aug
    2015

    William Wykeham Myers - early medical education in China

    Recently, our attention was drawn to a rare item in our collection: a report on a late 19th century experimental medical education scheme in China, which included a set of fascinating photographs.
    Steffi Sams
  133. 18
    Aug
    2015

    Thomas Willis - Cerebri anatome - 1664

    Many of the magnificent plates in Thomas Willis’ Cerebri anatome were drawn by Sir Christopher Wren.
    Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  134. 14
    Aug
    2015
  135. 12
    Aug
    2015

    Charles Estienne - La dissection des parties du corps humain 1546

    Charles Estienne (1504-1564) was a 16th century French anatomist and came from a family of publishers and printers.
    Steffi Sams
  136. 7
    Aug
    2015

    A Guide for Medical Students - 1874

    This fascinating little book is the Guide de l'Étudiant en Médecine et en Pharmacie 1874-1875 by Joseph Auguste Aristide Fort, a guide for medical students of the Paris medical school and full of details on courses and their content, term time calendar, lecturers and examinations, similar to the way medical schools today provide this information on their websites.
    Steffi Sams
  137. 4
    Aug
    2015

    Hamsters in the Library

    Our Collections Review project is highlighting some gems of the Library’s historical medical and surgical holdings.
    Dorothy Fouracre
  138. 31
    Jul
    2015

    Naval Surgeons and Marine exploration in the 19th century

    This week, the Wildlife Trusts celebrate the UK's amazing sea animals and plants during National Marine Week.
    Emmy Bocaege
  139. 28
    Jul
    2015

    William Cheselden - Osteographia or the anatomy of the bones, 1733

    This outstanding book has been reviewed as “the most magnificent work of its kind now extant”. In it, Cheselden gives full and accurate descriptions of all the bones of the human body and many animal ones.
    Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  140. 24
    Jul
    2015

    Sir Jonathan Hutchinson (1828 - 1913)

    The 23rd of July was the birthday of Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, a former President of the RCS.
    Steffi Sams
  141. 21
    Jul
    2015

    Anonymous Authors Revealed

    On Monday, the 13th of July, there was a very exciting news story for those interested in Victorian literature.
    Sarah Kennedy
  142. 17
    Jul
    2015

    William Clowes – A prooved practice for all young chirurgiens, 1588

    This was only the third surgical textbook to be printed in English.
    Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  143. 14
    Jul
    2015

    Claude Bernard – A text book of operative surgery and surgical anatomy

    Claude Bernard (12 July 1813 – 10 February 1878) was a French physiologist. He is credited with many contributions to that field and other related disciplines.
    Steffi Sams
  144. 10
    Jul
    2015

    Sir Charles Bell – A system of dissections

    One of the books we used in a small display this week was Sir Charles Bell’s A System of Dissections, explaining the anatomy of the human body, the manner of displaying the parts, and their varieties in disease.
    Steffi Sams
  145. 7
    Jul
    2015

    Micro/Macro: Natural History Models at the College

    As teaching models have been important surgical training tools for more than a century, it is not surprising that the Royal College of Surgeons of England holds a large Models and Casts collection.
    Emmy Bocaege
  146. 3
    Jul
    2015

    Facsimile exhibition – Académie des Sciences

    Our new facsimile exhibition in the Library showcases the 17th and early 18th explorations of the scientists in service of the French Académie des Sciences.
    Steffi Sams
  147. 1
    Jul
    2015

    Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz - Opera Omnia, 1768

    The 1st July 1646 saw the birth of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, a German philosopher and ‘universal thinker’.
    Steffi Sams
  148. 26
    Jun
    2015

    Maria Sibylla Merian - Insectes de Surinam 1726

    Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was the daughter of Matthaeus Merian the Elder (1593-1650) the celebrated engraver, publisher and topographical artist
    Steffi Sams
  149. 22
    Jun
    2015

    Blue Plaque for Sir Victor Horsley, Neurosurgeon

    Last week, on 17th June, English Heritage honoured Sir Victor Horsley (1857-1917), pioneering neurosurgeon, with a Blue Plaque at his former home in Bloomsbury, London.
    Steffi Sams
  150. 18
    Jun
    2015

    Dominique Jean Larrey – Surgeon in Chief of Napoleon’s Armies

    Dominique-Jean Larrey (1766-1842) was orphaned at the age of 13 and raised by his uncle, who was chief surgeon in Toulouse.
    Steffi Sams
  151. 16
    Jun
    2015

    Spot-the-difference: Dissection scene in Fasciculus Medicinae 1495

    While trying to research the inclusion of neuroanatomical details in the drawings of Italian artists on behalf of a College fellow, I came across Dr Mortimer Frank’s 1920 edited and translated version of Dr Ludwig Choulant’s 1852 History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration.
    Steffi Sams
  152. 12
    Jun
    2015

    Gray's Anatomy 1858

    Today, 13th June, is the anniversary of Henry Gray’s death from smallpox at the age of only 34 (1861).
    Steffi Sams
  153. 9
    Jun
    2015

    Gaspare Aselli: De lactibus, sive lacteis venis (1627)

    Gaspare Aselli (1581-1625) was born in Cremona and attended University in Pavia where he obtained degrees in medicine, surgery and philosophy.
    Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  154. 5
    Jun
    2015

    Fat Books - Surgical instruments catalogues

    Surgical catalogues of instruments and appliances are not the largest, but definitely amongst our fattest, books.
    Steffi Sams
  155. 2
    Jun
    2015

    Shakespeare Again - This time a forgery

    After the recent debate as to whether a portrait on the title page of John Gerard’s Herball shows William Shakespeare, we were yesterday reminded by an enquiry that another item in our collection has a connection to Shakespeare.
    Steffi Sams
  156. 29
    May
    2015

    New Colorectal Current Awareness Bulletin

    On 19th May the Library launched the new Colorectal Current Awareness Bulletin.
    Steffi Sams
  157. 26
    May
    2015

    Lincoln's Inn Fields

    The Royal College of Surgeons of England has made a home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields since the late 1790s.
    Sarah Kennedy
  158. 21
    May
    2015

    Shakespeare or not Shakespeare in the RCS Library

    We have followed with interest the debate in the national and international news around a potential Shakespeare portrait discovered in John Gerard’s herbal.
    Steffi Sams
  159. 19
    May
    2015

    Tracts and Pamphlets: digitising for the UK Medical Heritage Library

    Over the next year, the Library at the Royal College of Surgeons of England will be preparing almost 2,500 volumes to send to the Wellcome Library for digitisation as part of the UK Medical Heritage Library.
    Dorothy Fouracre
  160. 15
    May
    2015

    Quekett and Exploration

    The RCS collections review team is currently surveying the microscope slides collection. Working our way through the 761 units (drawers and boxes) constituting this collection, we have uncovered some hidden treasures and met some interesting characters.
    Emmy Bocaege
  161. 12
    May
    2015

    Botany and Surgeons

    In the 19th century many surgeons also practiced as apothecaries. The study of materia media, the knowledge of the therapeutic properties of substances, in particular plants, was part of the education of anyone working as a medical practitioner.
    Steffi Sams
  162. 8
    May
    2015

    Jean-Baptiste Marc Bourgery

    Jean-Baptiste Marc Bourgery (1797-1849), Traité complete de l’anatomie de l’homme comprenant la medicine operatoir…avec planches lithographiées d’apres nature par N-H Jacob. 1831-54.
    Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  163. 5
    May
    2015

    Sir John Tomes Display

    At the Charles Tomes Lecture on 27 March, organised by the Faculty of Dental Surgery, we displayed items from the Museums, Archives and Library collections to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Tomes’ father, Sir John Tomes.
    Steffi Sams
  164. 1
    May
    2015

    New Emergency General Surgery current awareness bulletin

    On April 17th we launched a new current awareness bulletin aimed at all our fellows and members in the General Surgery specialty.
    Tom Macmillan
  165. 28
    Apr
    2015

    Welcome to the RCS Library & Surgical Information Services blog

    In February 2013 the Arts Council England formally Designated the RCS library, museums and archives as outstanding collections of national and international quality and significance.
    Thalia Knight & Dorothy Fouracre

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