• L0057809 Blue ridged glass bottle for arsenic, Europe, 1701-1935

    Test of an expert witness


    When in 1836 James Marsh announced his test for the presence of arsenic, the news was greeted with huge relief. Unknown numbers of deaths, it was feared, were being attributed to diseases such as dysentery or food poisoning when the… Continue reading

  • V0026226 (2)

    Dastardly Doctor Crippen


    The doctor sat at his desk and signed the letter. Not long back after a romantic holiday in France, he was feeling content. Barely three miles away, the dismembered remains of his wife lay decomposing under their floor… Hawley Harvey… Continue reading

  • RCP-feat

    Digitisation at the Royal College of Physicians, London


    The library of Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is delighted to be one of the ten UK partner organisations taking part in the UK-Medical Heritage Library (UK-MHL) project. Over next year, working with the Wellcome Library and the Internet Archive, the RCP… Continue reading

  • V0013209 St Luke's Hospital, Cripplegate, London: the interior of the

    The great and the good visit the asylum


    Philippa Smith from London Metropolitan Archives introduces the St Luke’s Hospital papers, the latest collection to go online from our mental health archives digitisation project. When asked by the Wellcome Library whether we had an archive of a private asylum… Continue reading

  • 17th century royal proclamation

    Royal proclamations: King Charles II and beyond


    We have recently finished cataloguing a small collection of 18 royal proclamations dating from the reigns of King Charles II (1662), through William and Mary to Anne (1702). Part of the Library’s ephemera collection, the proclamations have a similar overall… Continue reading

  • V0013493 The Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London.

    Digitisation at the Royal College of Surgeons England


    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 project. Carried out by… Continue reading

  • L0049721 Magazine insert advertising Lifebuoy soap

    The good, the bad and the antibacterial


    The Secret of Health, with the Story of the Missing Bag is a combined story and lay medical tract that was published by Lever Brothers Ltd. (which later became Unilever) and is essentially an extended advert for Lifebuoy Soap. It… Continue reading

  • M0009978 Advertisments in the Medical Directory.

    Digitising family history sources


    Starting May 2015 the Wellcome Library will begin digitising some of its family history materials in partnership with Ancestry.co.uk. The digitised images will be freely accessible through the Library website and will become available from early 2016. The published journals… Continue reading

  • L0071214 The Society for the aid of Thalidomide Children

    Thalidomide: an oral history


    To mark the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of the drug thalidomide from sale the UK in 2012, Professor Anne Borsay of Swansea University embarked on a project to collect oral testimonies from a cross-section of the thalidomide population. I… Continue reading

  • W0040845 Female mosquito on bednet

    Net values: mosquitoes and malaria


    Malaria kills around half a million people a year, most of them children under five. World Malaria Day, 25 April, is an annual reminder that the war against this killer disease continues. Since the 19th century there has been a… Continue reading