Monthly Archives: June 2017

Vacation Opening July-August

During the Long Vacation, the library’s hours will vary considerably due to staff leave:

July: We will be staffed Tuesday and Thursday afternoons only, with the exception of Thursday 20th July. Our opening hours will be 2.15-5pm on Tuesdays, and 2pm-4.30pm on Thursdays.

August: The library will be CLOSED 1st-15th August inclusive. Thereafter, we will be staffed Tuesday and Thursday afternoons only until the beginning of September.

Visits to the library over the summer months will be by appointment only due to the varying nature of our opening hours. You can find our contact details here.

Other libraries with History of Medicine Resources that you can visit whilst we are closed include the Radcliffe Science Library on Parks Road and the Upper Reading Room of the Bodleian Library, which has a collection of HSMT books selected by the Bodleian History Librarian.

We hope you all have a glorious summer, whatever the weather! Punting on the Cherwell

Vale Grace!

To all things there is a season, and to Library Assistants too! Today we say farewell to Grace, who has been Library Assistant at the Unit for two years, and who has been responsible for all the fun social media output here for the last year or so. Grace is leaving to take up the post of Senior Library Assistant for Reader Services at the Sackler Library, and we wish her all the best!

Belinda, of course, decorated the library for her last day…

Stay tuned for further details of our Summer Closures (and our opening hours.)

Conference – Disease and Medicine in East and West: Points of Difference, Points of Contact

Event: Conference – Disease and Medicine in East and West: Points of Difference, Points of Contact
When: 6 & 7 July 2017
Where: Osler-McGovern Centre, 13 Norham Gardens, Oxford

Medicine in most Asian countries has evolved in very different ways to that in the West, for biomedicine continues to compete with other medical cultures, most of which have distinctive epistemologies and institutions. The diverse ecological and social conditions existing in Asia have also meant that medicine – in all its forms – has often had different priorities to that in the West. And yet, among this diversity we may observe certain common themes. Biomedicine outside the West also took different forms and sometimes learned from as well as competed with indigenous knowledge and practice.

This conference examines some of these points of converge and diverge, and considers how Asian countries have managed their transition to biomedical modernity. Papers range from the medieval to the modern period and from South Asia to China, Korea and Japan. Subjects covered in the papers include pharmacy, malaria, naval medicine, contagious disease, medieval medicine and recent trends in disease and medicine.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Mark Harrison

Although this event is free to attend, numbers are limited and registration is essential by 5pm Monday 26 June; please email Belinda Clark if you would like to attend, advising of any allergies/dietary requirements.

For the programme of events, see:


Week 7 Seminar: Challenges to teaching the history of global health

Challenges to teaching the history of global health

The next HSMT seminar of Trinity Term will take place at 16.00 on Monday 5th June (7th Week) in the Lecture Theatre of the History Faculty on George Street. It will be delivered by Margaret Humphreys.

Humphreys is a a specialist in the history of science and medicine, and has focused her research and publications primarily on infectious disease in the U.S. and the American south, in particular yellow fever and malaria, as well as the history of medicine during the American Civil War. She has also published on the history of diabetes, public health ethics, and colonial medicine. She is currently a professor of Duke University.

‘Global health’ is an entity, or at least a moniker, born just about two decades ago. Humphreys asks: when should a course dubbed ‘The History of Global Health’ begin? This seminar will explore the odyssey of two historians of medicine who created such a course, and the perplexities of deciding what’s in and what’s out. How does ‘global health’ relate to ‘tropical medicine’, ‘colonial medicine’, ‘International health’ and even ‘military medicine’? If grounded in ‘the social determinants of health’, then where does one begin – with food, fire, agriculture? Humphreys seeks to mine communal ideas about the history of global health and its relationship to our established historiography.

Relevant titles in the Wellcome Unit Library:


A history of global health : interventions into the lives of other peoples by Randall Packard (RA441 PAC 2016)
This work argues that while global-health initiatives have saved millions of lives, they have had limited impact in underdeveloped areas, where health-care workers are poorly paid, infrastructure and basic supplies are lacking, and underlying social and economic factors cause ill health.


Governing global health : challenge, response, innovation by Andrew Cooper, John Kirton and Ted Schrecker (RA441 GOV 2007)
A volume studying the global challenges and responses to the issues surrounding global health, conceptualising global health as a war that is being lost on many fronts. In particular, it examines the devastation of re-emerging and newly emerging diseases, and the shock of bioterrorism.


Global health in Africa : historical perspectives on disease control by Tamara Giles-Vernick and James Webb (RA545 GLO 2013 and online)
This title explores the histories of global health initiatives to control disease in Africa, including the unintended consequences of failed initiatives. The essays provide historical and anthropological research that integrates the social and biomedical sciences.


Prevention and cure : the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a 20th century quest for global public health by Lise Wilkinson and Anne Hardy (R773 WIL 2001)
This history of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine details its development into its current position as a center of education and research in the biomedical sciences in the context of world health. It contains personal reminisces from early pioneers of tropical disciplines.

Please come and ask library staff if you would like any help with locating resources, or conducting further research. We also welcome further suggestions for reading not included in this post.

Header Image
Pilot in Burkina Faso for MenAfriVac immunization campaign
Credit: WHO