One of the more arresting photographs in the library’s collections shows a man undergoing electrical stimulation of his facial muscles to help understand the nature of expressions. Charles Darwin used the original photographs, made by Dr. Guillaume Duchenne, in his Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 1872. While most may associate Duchenne with these images, he also gave his name to the condition still known today as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
Duchenne’s father was a French privateer decorated by Napoleon with the Legion of Honour. The young Guillaume grew up next to the sea in Boulogne-sur-Mer, in the Nord Pas-de-Calais, before studying medicine in Paris, completing his studies in 1831.