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Seminar 5: ‘Traditional medicine and primary health care in Sri Lanka: policy, perceptions, and practice’

‘Traditional medicine and primary health care in Sri Lanka: policy,
perceptions, and practice’

The fifth HSMT seminar of Michaelmas Term will take place at 16.00 on Monday 7th November (Week 5) in the Lecture Theatre of the History Faculty on George Street, and will be delivered by Margaret Jones.

Margaret Jones is a historian of medicine and colonialism in Sri Lanka and Jamaica. She joined the History Department at York after six years here at the Wellcome Unit as a Research Officer and then as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. She has worked extensively on the development of public health policies and the medical services of colonial Sri Lanka and Jamaica. She is currently working on the development of primary health care services and the impact of international initiatives in Sri Lanka, 1950-2000.

Primary Health Care was launched onto the international stage by the World Health Organization’s Alma Ata Declaration of 1978 and with it came the acknowledgment that traditional medical systems could play a vital part in its delivery. The traditional medical systems of Sri Lanka (termed collectively as Ayurveda) have been part of the official medical landscape from the 1930s and at least at the level of stated government policy have been seen as participating in the government health care system: their values and holistic approach to health being particularly appropriate for the delivery of preventive medicine. Faced with a double disease burden of communicable and non-communicable disease in the twenty first century this vital role was again emphasised in the Government’s Health Master Plan of 2007-16, ‘Healthy and Shining Island in the 21st Century’. The traditional medical systems were, it stated, to ‘collectively constitute an integral part of the health sector’ and its practitioners to participate fully in delivering its services. Through the means of a purposive qualitative survey of a sample of traditional medical practitioners in and around the Colombo area this paper seeks to explore the reality as opposed to the rhetoric of government policy.

Jones has written several books on the history of medicine in Sri Lanka herself, two of which we hold at the Wellcome Unit Library. The first, Health policy in Britain’s model colony : Ceylon, 1900-1948 (RA530.2 JON 2004) discusses within the context of British Ceylon (now the nation of Sri Lanka) whether Western medicine was a positive benefit of colonialism, or one of its agents of oppression. The research for this title is underscored by a detailed analysis of public health measures in Ceylon. Her second monograph, The hospital system and health care : Sri Lanka, 1815-1960 (RA990.S72 JON 2009) specifically examines the role and development of hospitals in Sri Lanka to ascertain the nature of the contribution of Western medicine to the health of indigenous populations. Across both titles, Jones explores government, mission and philanthropic initiatives in the provision of medical services, and sets her critique against a background of human needs and rights.

health-policy

hospital-system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jones has argued that the roots of Sri Lanka’s healthcare policies and infrastructure, and its record of achieving good quality of life indicators, lie in part in its colonial period. To gain a better understanding of this backdrop, a number of titles provide a useful insight into the medical and health issues surrounding colonialism. For example, Western medicine as contested knowledge by Andrew Cunningham and Bridie Andrews (RA441.5 WES 1997) examines the range and extrent of non-Western responses to western medicine across the spectrum of Western imperalist influence, and includes a chapter on the influence of the World Health Organization: ‘Who and the developing world: the contest for ideology’. Soma Hewa’s work, Colonialism, tropical disease and imperial medicine : Rockefeller philanthropy in Sri Lanka (RA530.2 HEW 1995), looks more closely at the impact of European colonial policies on the health and disease of the population of Sri Lanka.

western-medicine-as-contested

colonialism-tropical-disease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving closer to the present day, Decolonisation, development and disease : a social history of malaria in Sri Lanka by Kalinga Tudor Silva (RA644.M2 SIL 2014) examines the politics of the devastating malaria epidemic of 1934–35 that shaped Sri Lanka’s transition from a colony to a postcolonial state, and also looks at the shift away from indigenous knowledge.

decolonialisation-disease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One online article of particular relevance to this topic is ‘Public Policy and Basic Needs Provision: Intervention and Achievement in Sri Lanka’ in The political economy of hunger (Vol. 3: Endemic hunger), which is available through SOLO. Ravi Kanbur studies the country’s intrinsic and directed public policies, exploring the role of the expansion of health services in mortality decline as compared with the effect of food subsidies.

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:  International Nurses Day: President Mahinda Rajapaksa presides over a ceremony to mark International Nurses Day held at the BMICH on May 12 2014. From https://www.flickr.com/photos/presidentrajapaksa/14145702576, Flikr user Mahinda Rajapaksa. Image use permitted under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Seminar 4: ‘The myth of the spotted sun and the blemished moon: a biosocial ethnohistory of syphilis and related diseases’

‘The myth of the spotted sun and the blemished moon: a biosocial
ethnohistory of syphilis and related diseases’

The fourth HSMT seminar of Michaelmas Term will take place at 16.00 on Monday 31st October (Week 4) in the Lecture Theatre of the History Faculty on George Street, and will be delivered by Cesar Giraldo Herrera.

Dr Herrera is a biologist and an anthropologist from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. He received his PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Aberdeen for the dissertation Sweet Dreams Rocking Viking Boats, Biocultural Animic Perspectivism through Nordic Seamanship. Currently, he is a Victoria Maltby Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College, and he is working on the manuscript for a book entitled Microbes and other spirits: Crossroads of microbiology and Amerindian shamanism. The work traces early records of Amerindian health and environment management systems, showing their continuing strands of thought and demonstrating how they anticipated and influenced the theory of contagion, the ontological theory of disease, the notion of ecological community and antibiotics.

Syphilis, yaws and pinta are diseases that feature prominently in some of the earliest accounts of Amerindian medical knowledge and mythology. These diseases, the way they were understood by Amerindians and their treatments drew the avid attention of European missionaries, chroniclers and historians in the years that followed the first contacts. According to these records and to the oral traditions of some enduring communities, these diseases were and are starring characters of their myths origin. They are the protagonists of the earliest recorded versions of the myth of the Sun and the Moon; a myth, which albeit with profound variations, is widely distributed throughout the Americas. It narrates the events that led to the origin of the celestial bodies, of diseases that caused their spots, and of crucial cultural practices like fishing, cultivation, pottery or metallurgy. This paper examines myth and knowledge associated with it as records of a biosocial ethnohistory. It addresses the social interactions between and beyond humans portrayed by the early accounts of the myth and how these interactions could have influenced the development of these diseases. It also explores how the biological understandings of the disease may contribute to the interpretation of the meaning and symbolism of the myth.

Having blogged for Week 2’s seminar on state-supported treatment for venereal diseases, you may be concerned that the Wellcome Unit Library has exhausted its suggested reading on syphilis. Thankfully, this is not the case: we’ve plenty more where that came from! Starting with Sex, sin, and science: a history of syphilis in America by John Parascandola (RC201.5.A2 PAR 2008), which explores the spread of the ‘Great Pox’ in the U.S. from the time of Columbus and colonization to post-World War II treatment. Within the first chapter, Parascandola touches upon the mythologies Dr Herrara is interested in: the tale of the shepherd Syphilus (pictured in the header image) who blasphemed the Sun-God:

He first wore buboes dreadful to the sight,
First felt strange pains and sleepless past the night;
From him the malady received its name.1

Deborah Hayden also explores Columbus and America in Pox: genius, madness, and the mysteries of syphilis (RC201.47 HAY 2003). The first three chpaters of this title are particularly relevant: ‘Christopher Columbus: The First European Syphilitic?’, ‘The Revenge of the Americas’ and ‘A Brief History of the Spirochete’. All of the books in the RC 201 section are about syphilis, so other titles in this area may also be of interest.

sex-sin-and-sciencepox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several works held in the library focus specifically on the biological repercussions of the conquest of the New World. Noble David Cook examines the effect deadly Eurasian sicknesses had on Amerindians and vice versa in Born to die : disease and New World conquest, 1492-1650 (E59.D58 COO 1998). The consequences of the introduction of the bacterial spirochete Treponema pallidum (which triggers venereal syphilis, pinta and yaws) into Europe are interspersed across this narrative of disease. Another useful text on this subject, which also discusses pintas and yaws, is the essay ‘Pre-Columbian Treponematosis in Coastal North Carolina’ by Georgieann Bogdan and David S. Weaver, which appears in Disease and demography in the Americas (E59.A5 DIS 1992), edited by John W. Verano and Douglas H. Ubelaker. The essay looks at skeletal material and what it can tell us about treponemal infections.

born-to-die

disease-and-demography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more general medical explanations of the nature of the lesser-known diseases of yaws and pinta, two websites which can provide further information are the World Health Organisation’s page Yaws: A forgotten disease  and an article by Larry M. Bush and Maria T. Perez for Merck Manual, Bejel, Pinta, and Yaws.

And finally, an early work on the sun and moon disease myths can be found in Richard Mead’s 1712 essay Of the power and influence of the sun and moon on humane bodies; and of the diseases that rise from thence, which is accessible online via SOLO.

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!

1. Fracastoro, quoted (in English translation) in Parascondona, from Rosebury, Micorbes and Morals, p.33

Header image:     L0031325 Credit: Wellcome Library, London
Hieronymus Fracastorius (Girolamo Fracastoro) shows the shepherd Syphilus and the hunter Ilceus being warned against yielding to temptation with the danger of infection with syphilis. Engraving by Jan Sadeler I after Christoph Schwartz, 1588/1595.
Engraving 1588-1595 By: Christoph Schwartz after: Jan Sadeler. Published: [s.n.],[Munich] : [1588/1595]. Size: platemark 24.1 x 30.5 cm.
Collection: Iconographic Collections. Library reference no.: ICV No 51428
Full Bibliographic Record Link to Wellcome Library Catalogue: http://catalogue.wellcomelibrary.org/record=b1524739
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

Seminar 3: ‘Medical expertise, professional authority and homicide in nineteenth-century Edinburgh’

‘“Upon my word, I do not see the use of having medical evidence here”: medical expertise, professional authority and homicide in nineteenth-century Edinburgh’

The third HSMT seminar of Michaelmas Term will take place at 16.00 on Monday 24th October (Week 3) in the Lecture Theatre of the History Faculty on George Street and will be delivered by Kelly-Ann Couzens.

Kelly-Ann’s thesis examines the changing role, impact and significance of medical testimony and medical expertise in criminal trials for violent crimes at the Edinburgh High Court of Justiciary, from the 1820s to the turn of the twentieth century. She predominantly focuses on the contributions and testimony made by those deemed forensic medical “experts” and the historical insights that can be gleaned from a detailed examination of their involvement in criminal trials in this period. In order to focus on the medical “expert”, her research investigates the cases of violent crimes which involved four individuals who held the Regius Chair of Medical Jurisprudence and Medical Police at Edinburgh University at different intervals across the period surveyed: Sir Robert Christison, Thomas S. Traill, Sir Douglas Maclagan and Sir Henry D. Littlejohn. She seeks to understand how important the evidence and contribution of the ‘medical expert’ was to major criminal cases, and in what ways the significance of the medical expert’s role was mediated by the nature of public, judicial and medical responses to criminal trials. The contribution of her thesis to the history of medico-legal relations is aided by the unique case study Edinburgh provides during this period, allowing the study of entrenched links between law, medicine and the university system, and an examination of the nature of what defines forensic medical expertise in these contexts.

A quick tour through the Wellcome Unit Library’s resources on this subject begins with works that take a broad view of forensic medicine. For an international and comparative perspective on the changing relationship between medicine, law and society, Katherine Watson’s Forensic medicine in Western society : a history (RA1022.W47 WAT 2011) is a structured examination of the growth of medico-legal ideas. In Surgeons at the Bailey : English forensic medicine to 1878 (RA1022.G7 FOR 1985), Thomas Rogers Forbes divides his study of the topic into detailed examinations of various offenses such as injuries from sharp and blunt instruments, homicides of children, and poisoning, looking at a large number of court cases from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century.

forensic-westernforensic-death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works by Butler and Burney take a closer view of more narrow time frames in forensic medicine. To better understand the early role of the coroner in criminal trials, Forensic medicine and death investigation in medieval England by Sara Butler (RA1022.G3 BUT 2015 and online access from Bodleian Libraries computers) provides a good analysis of medieval medical investigation and attitudes towards inquests. Ian Burney’s focus is closer to that of Couzens: in Bodies of evidence : medicine and the politics of the English inquest, 1830-1926 (RA1053 BUR 2000), he is also interested in the role of the scientific expert in the coroner’s inquest, and the work representatives of progressive medical science did to align the inquest’s methodology with a medical model of investigation.

surgeons-at-the-bailey

bodies-of-evidence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medical accounts of insanity in the Victorian era offer an interesting variation on this topic. Thomas Mayo’s 1853 lectures and essay provide in insight into contemporary thought on the relationship between the law and mental illness: Medical testimony and evidence in cases of lunacy : being the Croonian lectures delivered before the Royal College of Physicians in 1853 ; with an essay on the conditions of mental soundness (RA1151 MAY 1854). Roger Smith’s Trial by medicine : insanity and responsibility in Victorian trials (KD7897 SMI 1981) looks more closely at the insanity plea, and the contentious issue of responsibility and guilt in the case of mentally unsound defendants.

medical-testimony

trial-by-medicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the physicans Couzens has examined as part of her research, were well-known for their practice of forensic medicine and popular courtroom appearances, have writings available online through SOLO: A treatise on poisons in relation to medical jurisprudence, physiology, and the practice of physic by Robert Christison, and Outlines of a course of lectures on medical jurisprudence by Thomas Stewart Traill.

Another electronic resource which may be of interest is the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674-1913, containing proceedings from 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court. The database is fully searchable, and the search form offers the ability to select trials for particular offense – for example ‘killing > murder’, which may yield more relevant results for a focus within this field.

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:
L0077977    Credit: Wellcome Library, London
Plate 15, Figure 101. Murder the Result of Various Injuries Inflicted with Different Instruments. Illustration, Tab. 15.
From: Atlas of legal medicine / von E. von Hofmann ; authorized translation from the German, edited by Frederick Peterson, assisted by Aloysius O.J. Kelly. 1898. Published: W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia: 1898. Plate 15. Size: 19 cm. Collection: General Collections
Full Bibliographic Record Link to Wellcome Library Catalogue: http://catalogue.wellcomelibrary.org/record=b1320307
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence – image modified (rotated and text moved) in accordance with copyright terms: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ 

Seminar 2: ‘Sex, health and state-supported treatment for venereal diseases in England, 1918–39’

‘Sex, health and state-supported treatment for venereal diseases in
England, 1918–39’

The second HSMT seminar of Michaelmas Term will take place at 16.00 on Monday 17th October (Week 2) in the Lecture Theatre of the History Faculty on George Street and will be delivered by Anne Hanley.

venereal-diseaseAnne Hanley is a Junior Research Fellow of New College, Oxford. Her research interests are in healthcare and welfare during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, along with closely related themes in gender, political and economic history. She has written a soon-to-be-published monograph, Medicine, Knowledge and Venereal Diseases in England, 1886–1916, which contributes to broader debates in the social history of medicine and the sociology of scientific knowledge. The book focuses on an age before penicillin and the NHS, when developments in pathology, symptomology and aetiology were transforming clinical practice, and systematically examines how doctors, nurses and midwives grappled with new knowledge and laboratory-based technologies in their fight against venereal diseases in voluntary hospitals, general practice and Poor Law institutions.

In 1916 the Royal Commission on Venereal Diseases laid down a comprehensive series of recommendations, representing the first systematised state intervention for three decades to prevent the spread of infection among civilians. What followed were free, universal healthcare provisions for persons suffering from syphilis and gonorrhoea. At the heart of this new scheme was a nation-wide network of clinics, which offered unprecedented diagnostic and therapeutic services while also promising confidentiality for infected persons. Anyone could access any clinic in any part of the country. Patients could walk in off the street or they could be referred by a GP for treatment. Between 1918 and 1939, these clinics saw thousands of patients, many of whom had previously fallen through the cracks of an over-stretched and under-resourced healthcare system. This seminar considers the organisation, objectives and accessibility of the new clinics. It charts some of the many ideological, political, institutional, administrative and infrastructural stumbling blocks faced during their early years—from their initially fraught relationship with hospitals, to the lack of adequately trained medical officers to staff the clinics. Importantly, the seminar also attempts to understand the experiences of patients who, although suffering from diseases that carried significant moral and social stigma, sought out these new state-supported services.

At the Wellcome Unit Library, we hold a range of material relating to venereal disease and its surrounding topics. For a wide-ranging history of venerealogy, J.D. Oriel’s The Scars of Venus: a history of venereology (RC201.4 ORI 1994) is a helpful starting point. Claude Quétel’s The History of Syphilis (RC201.4 QUE 1992) specifically tracks the progress of one disease in history, and Quétel (translated by Braddock and Pike) here ‘chronicles five centuries of medical detective work and official management of a virulent disease that quickly became a cultural phenomenon’.

scars-of-venus

history-of-syphilis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allan M. Brandt’s No Magic Bullet: a social history of venereal disease in the United States since 1880 (RC201.47 BRA 1987) focuses the study of this area of history of medicine on America, moving ‘From Victorian anxieties about syphilis to the (…) hysteria over AIDS’. As with Oriel’s work, Brandt’s endpoint is the reawakening of panic over sexually transmitted disease in a post-HIV climate, despite advances in modern medicine seemingly giving an optimistic outlook by the middle of the 20th century,

no-magic-bullet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For an exploration of the moral and ethical stances surrounding venereal disease, including attempts to ‘police’ the spread of the diseases, two monographs are of particular use: Dangerous Sexualities: medico-moral politics in England since 1830 by Frank Mort (HQ32 MOR 2000, and also available online), and Prostitution, Race & Politics: policing venereal disease in the British Empire (HQ185.A5 LEV 2003) by Philippa Levine. Mort examines attitudes towards sex and sexual choices with relation to venereal disease, while Levine gives an account of the blame laid on prostitutes for spreading infection among soldiers and sailors in colonial sites.

dangerous-sexualities

prostitution-race-and-politics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For source material concerning the enactment of post-war governmental efforts to fight venereal disease, we hold a pamphlet produced by the Office of Health Economics in 1963, entitled The Venereal Diseases (RC200 OFF 1963), which is intended to inform the public, and contains attendance statistics on the clinics Anne Hanley will be exploring the role of in her seminar. The header image of this blog post is its cover image: the fifth picture from Hogarth’s series ‘The Harlot’s Progress’. Social Service in the Clinic for Venereal Diseases by Dorothy Manchée (HV687 MAN 1943) also looks at these clinics, and is targeted at social workers.

venereal-diseases

clinics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please come and ask library staff if you would like any help with locating resources, or conducting further research.

sex-sin-and-suffering

 

UPDATE: A late addition to the list – we always welcome further suggestions, in this case via Twitter! Roger Davidson and Lesley Hall’s  Sex, sin and suffering : venereal disease and European society since 1870  is a series of studies on the social history of venereal disease in modern Europe and its former colonies, and can be found at RA644.V4 SEX 2001.

Seminar 1: ‘Immunocapital: yellow fever, citizenship, and power in New Orleans, 1803 to 1860’.

‘Immunocapital: yellow fever, citizenship, and power in New Orleans, 1803 to 1860’.

This first HSMT seminar of Michaelmas Term will take place at 16.00 on Monday 10th October (Week 1) at 47 Banbury Road, and will be delivered by Kathryn Olivarius.

Olivarius studies the impact of the environment on the development of American slavery in the Deep South after the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. In particular, she studies the determinative aspects of two highly lethal diseases—malaria and yellow fever—and how they influenced slave labour systems, pro-slavery ideology, and regional identity. Though not unknown in other parts of the United States, yellow fever visited the Deep South at epidemic levels every two or three years, sometimes killing off as much as ten per cent of the white populations of New Orleans, Mobile, and Natchez. The fear of death cast a long shadow: thousands fled cities in panic, grinding commerce, government, and social life to a complete halt during the autumn. Until white Orleanians could prove that they had survived yellow fever, they struggled to find steady, well-paid employment, safe housing, and a political voice. Once they passed the yellow fever threshold and leveraged their “immunocapital,” whites could access higher echelons of political, social, and economic power within cotton and slave capitalism. For black people—widely held to be naturally resistant to yellow fever—immunity was not a springboard to citizenship or social mobility. Rather, it became the chief justification for why black people should remain permanent enslaved labourers.

In the Unit Library, we have a number of resources to support wider reading around the topics the seminar will examine. For an overview of the history and epidemiology of yellow fever, François Delaporte’s The History of Yellow Fever (RC210 DEL 1991) and George K. Strode’s Yellow Fever (RC210 DEL 1991) are a good place to start.

history-of-yellow-fever

yellow-fever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A number of titles focus on a specific area affected by particular epidemics. Yellow Fever in the North : the Methods of Early Epidemiology (RA649 COL 1987) by William Coleman looks at three small but controversial yellow fever outbreaks in Gibraltar (1828), St. Nazaire (1861) and Swansea (1865). Ashbel Smith provides us with a contemporary account of a city which suffered with the disease in Yellow fever in Galveston, Republic of Texas, 1839 : an account of the great epidemic (RC211.T42 G37 SMI 1951). The symptoms and visible signs of yellow fever are described in great detail – “The eyes are bloodshotten, and have a peculiar shining, drunken appearance – the face is flushed and bloated – the skin hot and generally dry, sometimes moist and warm” – alongside stories of men who survived the experience.

yellow-fever-in-galveston

yellow-fever-in-the-north

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Rubert W. Boyce’s Yellow fever prophylaxis in New Orleans, 1905 is another contemporary text which tells of a later yellow fever epidemic in the city that Kathryn Olivarius will be focusing on in her seminar, and the publication includes many interesting and illustrative maps and photographs.

yellow-fever-prophylaxis-2 yellow-fever-prophylaxis

 

 

Finally, José Amador’s study of colonial medicine and medicine-and-nation-buildingrace relations ties well into Kathryn’s focus on racial identity and segregation, and includes a discussion on Cuban reformers invoked the yellow fever campaign to exclude nonwhite immigrants. Medicine and nation building in the Americas, 1890-1940 is found at R464.5 AMA 2015.

Please come and ask library staff if you would like any help with locating resources, or conducting further research.

 

 

Wellcome Library and Jisc announce partners in 19th century medical collections digitisation project

The Wellcome Library and Jisc have announced nine partner institutions whose 19th-century book collections will be digitised and added to the UK Medical Heritage Library (UK MHL), an online resource for the study of the history of medicine and related sciences.

Six university libraries have joined the partnership – University College London, University of Leeds, University of Glasgow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Kings College London and University of Bristol – along with the libraries of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

The project’s focus is on books and pamphlets from the 19th century that are on the subject of medicine or its related disciplines. This will include works relating to the medical sciences, consumer health, sport and fitness, as well as different kinds of medical practice, from phrenology to hydrotherapy.

Approximately 15 million pages of printed books and pamphlets from all ten partners will be digitised over a period of two years and will be made freely available to researchers and the public under an open licence. The content will be available on multiple platforms to broaden access, including the Internet Archive, the Wellcome Library and Jisc Historic Books.

This is an exciting development for those interested in the history of medicine, and for the Wellcome Library forms part of a larger ambition to digitise and make freely available over 50 million pages of historical medical books, archives, manuscripts and journals by 2020.

Contact us by email for support and appointments

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200Our email address, wellcomeunit.library@bodleian.ox.ac.uk is working again after a brief period of downtime earlier this week.

Making appointments

You can book an appointment to visit the Library by emailing us.

Research support

You can also email us for assistance finding material in our Library and in other libraries in Oxford.  The Bodleian Libraries have a rich collection of primary and secondary sources in the history of medicine and science. For more information on the collections you can read our online guide to sources.  You can also find out more about the collections in the Wellcome Unit Library on our website.

new booksOther online tools

We bookmark free online resources for the history of science and medicine on Delicious.

You can see our latest acquisitions on LibraryThing.

New online resource: Dissertations Read to the Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh

This post has been reblogged from the Bodleian History Faculty Library’s blog.

Oxford users can now access the online archive of the Dissertations Read to the Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh (British Online Archives). Access is via SOLO (shortly) or OxLIP+.

On epilepsy / by William Adair. in DISSERTATIONS, ETC., 1751-1799, v1

On epilepsy / by William Adair. in DISSERTATIONS, ETC., 1751-1799, v1

Founded in 1737, the Royal Medical Society is the oldest student society of its kind in the United Kingdom, whose members were duty-bound to deliver a dissertation for examination by their peers.

This collection comprises over 200 volumes of hand-written dissertations, providing a unique insight into the development in medical teaching and thought during the last 250 years.

In subject, the dissertations range from framboesia to fear, from meningitis to mongolism and many represent the earliest original work of famous men of medicine.

The linked author index is in two parts: vols. 1-95 (1751-1833), and vols. 96-215 (1834-1968). Scanned from the microfilm of the Royal Medical Society collections in the Edinburgh University Library.

Some texts are difficult to read and images are faint. Use the zoom function to enlarge the text.

Images can be saved or printed individually as PDFs.

Related Links OxLIP+ | SOLO | Guide to using OxLIP+

Wellcome Unit Seminar Monday 20 May

A set of amputation instruments, including a saw, shown laid across an illustrated plate from an early surgical textbook written by Giovanni Alessandro Brambilla (1728-1800). (c) Science Museum

A set of amputation instruments, including a saw, shown laid across an illustrated plate from an early surgical textbook written by Giovanni Alessandro Brambilla (1728-1800). (c) Science Museum

Trinity Term 2013 History of Medicine Seminar Series
Medical Conceptions of Self-control and Social Control

Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine,
Seminar Room, 47 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE

The seminars are on Mondays at 2.15pm
Coffee will be available from 2.00pm

Week 5 – 20 May
Sebastian Pranghofer, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg
Military Medicine, Warfare and Civil Society in Eighteenth-century Germany

About the speaker

Sebastian Pranghofer was born in Passau, Germany.  From 1993-95 he studied History and English Literature at Passau University; 1996-2003 he studied Social and Economic History and History of Art at the University of Hamburg, where he was also administrator at the Institute for Social and Economic History. From 2004 he was a research assistant at the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease and tutor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Durham. There he worked on projects on Reproductive Knowledge and the Popular Medical Enlightenment in Germany, c1750-1875, the History of Medical Confidentiality, Visualisations of the Human Body in Anatomical Discourses in Early Modern Europe, and Sex, Ethics and Psychology: The Networks and Cultural Context of Albert Moll (1862-1939). Since 2012 he has been a Research assistant at the Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.

Publications

Related publicati0ns in the Wellcome Unit Library

  • Teodora Daniela Sechel (ed.), Medicine within and between the Habsburg and Ottoman empires : 18th -19th centuries (Dieter Winkler, 2011) at shelfmark R499 MED 2011
  • Jack E. McCallum. Military medicine : from ancient times to the 21st century (ABC CLIO) at shelfmark UH215 MCC 2008
  • Geoffrey L. Hudson (ed.), British military and naval medicine, 1600-1830 (Rodopi, 2007) at shelfmark RC971 BRI 2007
  • Marcus Ackroyd, Advancing with the army : medicine, the professions, and social mobility in the British Isles, 1790-1850 (OUP, 2006) at shelfmark UH258.4 ACK 2006
  • Richard A. Gabriel and Karen S. Metz, A history of military medicine (Greenwood Press, 1992) at shelfmark RC971 GAB 1992

Related Links

New books in the Wellcome Unit Library

book displayWe have had some fascinating new books in the Library over the past few weeks.

Chagas Disease: History of a Continent’s Scourge by Francois Delaporte (Fordham University Press, 2012)
RA644.C26 DEL 2012

Translated by Arther Goldhammer and with a foreword by Todd Myers, this is a translation of the original 1999 French version, La maladie de Chagas.  The rear cover carried praise from Prof William Bynum, describing the book as a ‘skillful dissection’ of Chagas disease (also called American trypsomiasis).  Beginning with the identification of the disease within the social context of late 19th century and early 20th century Brazil to the scientific  criticism around around Chagas’ research and a re-evaluation of the disease.  Thsi volume weaves in analysis of knowledge about the disease was constructed and re-contructed over three decades.

Related books in the Wellcome Unit Library

  •  Forgotten people, forgotten diseases : the neglected tropical diseases and their impact on global health and development by Peter J. Hotez (ASM Press, 2008) at shelfmark RC961 HOT 2008
  • Race, place, and medicine : the idea of the tropics in nineteenth century Brazilian medicine by Julyan G. Beard (Duke University Press, 1999) at shelfmark RC962.B6 PEA 1999
  • The history of yellow fever : an essay on the birth of tropical medicine by François Delaporte (MIT Press, 1991) at shelfmark RC210 DEL 1991

Global Movements, Local Concerns: Medicine and Health in Southeast Asia edited by Laurence Monnais and Harold J. Cook (NUS Press, 2012)
RA5141.S68 GLO 2012

This is an edited volume of 11 conference papers from the 2006 International Conferenc on the History of Medicine in Southeast Asia.  Focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries, the papers cover a variety of topics and diseases.  Chapters include Michael G. Vann on ‘Hanoi in the Time of Cholera: Edpidemic Disease and Racial Power in the Colonial City’ and Yu-Ling Huang on ‘HIV/AIDS Epidemic and the Politics of Access to Medicines in Thailand: A Study of the Health Impact of Globalization.’

Related books in the Wellcome Unit Library

  • Southern medicine for Southern people : Vietnamese medicine in the making edited by Laurence Monnais, C. Michele Thompson and Ayo Wahlberg at shelfmark (Cambridge Scholars, 2012) R644.V52 SOU 2012
  • Death and disease in Southeast Asia : explorations in social, medical and demographic history edited by Norman G. Owen at shelfmark (OUP, 1987) RA541.S68 DEA 1987

Female Sexual Inversion: Same-Sex Desires in Italian and British Sexology, c.1870-1920 by Chiara Beccalossi (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
HQ75.6.I8 BEC 2012

Dr Chiara Beccalossi was a speaker at last term’s Wellcome Unit Seminars on the History of Medicine.  Divided into three parts, the book first introduces the historical context of sexuality in turn of the century Britain and Italy and the formation of the concept of sexual inversion.  Part two examines Italian and British psychiatry, asylums and gynaecology. Finally, part three provides four cases studies, including one on ‘Havelock Ellis and sex psychology’.

Related books in the Wellcome Unit Library

  • Dangerous sexualities : medico-moral politics in England since 1830 by Frank Mort (Routledge, 2nd ed, 2000) at shelfmark HQ32 MOR 2000
  • Hermaphroditism, medical science and sexual identity in Spain, 1850-1960 by Richard Cleminson and Francisco Vázquez García (University of Wales Press, 2009) at shelfmark RC883 CLE 2009
  • Sexual knowledge, sexual science : the history of attitudes to sexuality  edited by Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich (CUP, 1994) at shelfmark HQ60 SEX 1994

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