All posts tagged Rare Books

Indian medicinal plants : an early nineteenth century illustrated reference book by the Indian physicians K.R. Kirtikar and B.D. Basu LSHTM Blog No. 9. February 2024.

In those parts of the world with a written language, the first organisms in the natural world to be studied, documented and figured were plants in recognition of their economic value in agriculture, nutrition, health and well-being.  In Europe these herbals, as they are called, were hand-written in…

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Understanding puerperal fever in the eighteenth century : the work of John Leake (1729-1792), man-midwife. LSHTM Rare Books Blog No. 8 January 2024.

In the 18th and 19th centuries and until the 20th Century the death of women in childbirth or shortly afterwards was a common occurrence. One early treatise on puerperal fever was written by John Leake, a physician and male midwife:  Practical observations on the child-bed fever, first published in…

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Johann Gottfried Bremser’s early 19th century medical books on parasitic worms with hand-coloured plates. LSHTM Rare Books Blog Series No. 7. August 2023

The Austrian physician Johann Gottfried Bremser (1767-1827) was born in Wertheim am Main in present-day Germany. He studied medicine in Jena and Vienna where he obtained a licence to practice medicine in 1797. Bremser made a special study of parasitic worm infections in humans and travelled to Paris…

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Photograph of a a page from Food-Grains of India, showing a woodcut illustration of a great millet plant, with some details showing the seeds.

India in the Historical Collection (pt. 1): Food and Diet

As we’ve already seen in this blog series, the Historical Collection furnishes a huge variety of pre-twentieth-century material that is of value to anyone interested in the history of science or social studies or LSHTM as an institution. The work done to improve catalogue records for this…

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Portrait of Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill and the Royal Commission on the Poor Law and the Unemployed (1905-09).  LSHTM Rare Books Blog Series No. 6. January 2023

The Royal Commission on the Poor Law and the Unemployed was set up in 1905 to review the system of poor relief provision and consider alternative ways to tackle unemployment. Twenty people were appointed to the Commission including Octavia Hill (1838-1912) and Beatrice Webb (1858-1943). However, after four…

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Under the lens : London’s water examined in the 1853-4 cholera pandemic. LSHTM Rare Books Blog series No. 4. May 2022.

Figure 1:  Colourful organisms in a sample of the water supplied by the Southwark & Vauxhall Company to St. Thomas’s Hospital in 1854 as seen under the microscope (Hassall 1855a : page 248, Plate 19).

This illustration of a microcosm of the natural world in London’s water in…

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Observations on Smallpox by the 9th Century Persian Physician Rhazes (865-925) : LSHTM Rare Books Blog series No. 3.

This is the latest in the LSHTM Rare Books Blog, featuring Rhazes (full-name: Muhammad ibn Zakariyā al-Rāzī). Rhazes made notable contributions to many areas of medicine. His manuscripts, carefully preserved down the centuries, were among the first medical books printed in Europe in the 15th century. After translation into Latin Rhazes’s writings became widely disseminated and were to influence the future direction of western medicine.  

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History and politics of vaccination

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) : LSHTM Rare Books Blog series No. 2

Figure 1: Portrait of A.R. Wallace

ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE (1823-1913) : British naturalist, humanist, geographer, social critic… and anti-vaccination activist(!)

Alfred Russel Wallace was one of the founders of evolutionary biology. In 1858 he and Charles Darwin jointly proposed a theory for the process of evolution by natural…

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Henry Vandyke Carter (1831-1897): LSHTM Rare Books blog series No. 1

HENRY VANDYKE CARTER (1831-1897) : author of On Leprosy and Elephantiasis,  and the artist for Gray’s Anatomy. 

Gray’s Anatomy is a classic medical textbook, used by doctors, anatomists and medical artists.  Yet, despite Henry Gray’s (1826/27-1861) scholarly text running to 720 pages…

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Work Experience in LSHTM Library and Archives

By Mia Annesen-Wood

Firstly, I would just like to thank the whole LSHTM Library and Archives team for being so welcoming and friendly. It has been a wonderful experience to both observe and play a small role in the work they do here, I am so grateful for the…

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