The History of Medicine Library is closed with immediate effect

Following guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England, The Bodleian Libraries will be closed until further notice. The health, welfare and safety of readers and staff is our number one priority. This policy will also apply to the History of Medicine Library, again until further notice.

Please do check the Bodleian webpage ( https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ ) and Bodleian Twitter ( https://twitter.com/bodleianlibs ) for the latest information.

Though the Bodleian’s scan-and-deliver service will now apply (where possible, and within copyright limits) to open-shelf books, this will not be possible for books held only in the History of Medicine Library, as both Bethan and George will have either to work from home or work at the Central site as appropriate. You will still be able to access green electronic resources via SOLO, using your Single Sign-On login; more information and any updates or changes to e-resources will be posted at https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/finding-resources/online-resources

Some of our e-resources providers will be extending provision and number of logins to cope with these unprecedented times. At the moment, however, we do not anticipate any possibility of making Electronic Legal Deposit items (by law, only available on Bodleian Libraries computers) available elsewhere, for which we apologise. If this changes, updates will be put on the online resources page.

There is now a COVID-19 tab on the ebooks libguide, which will contain more up-to-the-minute changes to provision: https://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/e-books/covid-19

We will be monitoring the Library inbox of course, so if you have any questions you can contact us either at historyofmedicine@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or direct to bethan.jenkins@bodleian.ox.ac.uk and we will help where and when we can.

Please do what you are able to stay safe! Take care out there.

Bethan and George

Opening hours: 16th – 20th March

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 16th: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 17th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 18th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 19th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Friday 20th: UNSTAFFED

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Credit: Photograph of Sir Thomas Browne’s Skull. Opposite title page. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Opening hours: 9th – 13th March

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 9th: UNSTAFFED
Tuesday 10th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 11th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 12th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 13th: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Credit: The Wellcome Building, Euston Road, London: the Hall of Statuary as adapted for the Library, c. 1960. Photograph. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (Hilary Term, Week 8)

Who? The final lecture of this term will be given by Dr Andreas Winkler, who will be speaking about ‘Stars, Time, and Birth: The Temple and Astral Science in Graeco-Roman Egypt’.

What? ‘Although astronomers are attested already in the earliest written sources in Egypt from the 3rd millennium BC, the preserved sources suggest that there was an increased focus on astral knowledge in the 1st millennium BC, and particularly from ca 500 BC onwards. A similar process can be observed in Mesopotamia, particularly after the introduction of the zodiac, which also made its appearance relatively early on in Egypt. In my talk, I will discuss the introduction of the zodiac in Egypt and its impact on the culture country in a broader sense, as well as the role of the Egyptian priesthood in transferring this knowledge further afield..’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 9th March 2020, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All are welcome to attend!

Opening hours: 2nd – 6th March

This week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 2nd: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 3rd: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 4th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 5th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 6th: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Two men walking near a mill; representing March. Etching by G. Perelle, c. 1660.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (Hilary Term, Week 7)

Who? Next week’s lecture will be given by Dr Chris Low, who will be speaking about ‘Historical and anthropological reflections on collapse and seizures among KhoeSan of southern Africa’.

What? ‘Collapse and seizures are a relatively well known component of the San healing dance. Whilst the dance is a relatively well studied phenomenon anthropologists of the dance have overwhelmingly ignored the wider context of these experiences. During this talk I will pull together seemingly diverse contexts of fits, collapse and seizures as I argue that what happens in the dance can be better understood if it is located within wider KhoeSan ontology and understanding of illness, healing, spirits and potency. My findings range from colonial records to recent anthropology and are based upon nearly twenty years of working on health and healing among the KhoeSan.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 2nd March 2020, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All are welcome to attend!

Opening hours: 24th – 28th February

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 24th: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 25th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 26th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 27th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 28th: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Credit: Illustrations of a diseased heart, 1834. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (Hilary Term, Week 6)

Who? Next week’s lecture will be given by Georgina Ferry, who will be speaking about ‘No lone heroes: is there a place for life stories in the history of science?’.

What? ‘Biography has been regarded with suspicion by historians, as neglecting the currents of technological change and historical contingency in favour of a focus on the individual. An alternative view is that the life history of a scientist can be told in such a way as to illustrate these larger themes, while providing a compelling narrative that offers the opportunity to reach audiences beyond the academy. I will illustrate this argument with reference to the lives of 20th century molecular biologists and Nobel prizewinners, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin and Max Perutz.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 24th February 2020, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All are welcome to attend!

Opening hours: 17th – 21st February

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 17th: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 18th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 19th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 20th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 21st: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Photograph of the Wellcome institute library, 1982. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

Have a splendid weekend!

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: February 2020 update: C20 nursing history

[Reblogged from The History Faculty Library Blog ]

The latest Oxford Dictionary of National Biography update, released yesterday, includes the lives of 20 leading figures in the nursing profession in the twentieth century, and coincides with 2020 being designated by the World Health Organization as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

The newly-added entries have been contributed by nurses as well as historians, led by the RCN History of Nursing Forum in collaboration with the UK Association for the History of Nursing, and curated by Teresa Doherty of the Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive.

The lives range from Anne Campbell Gibson (1849-1926), matron of the Birmingham workhouse infirmary, which came to be regarded as the best-managed poor law infirmary in the country, to Annie Therese Altschul (1919-2001), who fled Austria in 1939 and settled in Britain, where she became an authority in psychiatric nursing.

The update includes the lives of the founding generation of the Royal College of Nursing (1916) and the introduction of state registration of nursing (1919), as well as  those who went on to work under the NHS, developing teaching and research programmes for nurses.

Mark Curthoys, Senior Research Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography