Author: Chris Hilton

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Chris Hilton

Chris Hilton

Dr Christopher Hilton is a Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library.

  • Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

    That novelty Christmas present you don’t need


    So, what did you get for Christmas? It is, of course, the thought that counts: remembering someone, and taking the effort to choose something for them, rather than selecting the precise object that they might have got for themselves. Even… Continue reading

  • V0013783 The "Crystal Palace" from the Great Exhibition, installed at
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
The "Crystal Palace" from the Great Exhibition, installed at Sydenham: sculptures of prehistoric creatures in the foreground. Coloured photomechanical print, later than 1854?.
after: George Baxter and Joseph Paxton and Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Benjamin Waterhouse HawkinsPublished:  - 

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

    Fire at the Crystal Palace: the end of an era


    Eighty years ago, on 30 November 1936, a huge fire lit up the night sky over London. The Crystal Palace in South London had caught fire and as the colossal structure blazed, Londoners had a preview of what many would… Continue reading

  • coleridge-feat

    Coleridge and the doctors


    For National Poetry Day we highlighted one of the poems in our collection: a rollicking travelogue that is sadly anonymous.  Much of the poetry in the Wellcome Library is anonymous – in many cases, it is amateur material bad enough… Continue reading

  • waters-feat

    A rumbustious ode to Buxton


    For National Poetry Day, Chris Hilton shares an unlikely offering from our collections. We’ve often said that if the Wellcome Library needed a mission statement, one possibility would be “more than you think”: a collection built around the central organising… Continue reading

  • camberwell-feat1

    Tracks and traces: reuniting the Camberwell House papers online


    History is often the piecing together of fragments. Archive documents are the tracks and traces of long-gone events, which the researcher looking for truth about the past follows to assemble the scraps of evidence that build up a picture. Sometimes… Continue reading

  • Two Huntsmen Featured

    Humans 1, Foxes 0: from our Sports Correspondent


    Huntsmen in their red jackets, steam rising from huge horses on a frosty morning, the clamour of hounds: for many years this scene, immortalised on a thousand sporting prints or table mats, was a fixture in the British countryside and… Continue reading

  • Patient artwork from Ticehurst House

    The case of Miss Banks


    As 1909 drew to an end, Miss Beatrice Mary Jane Banks was in her early thirties and living in East Sussex. Her routine sounds agreeable: she made her home in a country house on the outskirts of a small village,… Continue reading

  • dustheapfeatured

    Flushed with achievement


    Wednesday November 19th is World Toilet Day. For readers in the developed world, this conjures up images of gleaming white porcelain and a hole down which bodily waste vanishes swiftly to be dealt with, somewhere, by someone else: a machine,… Continue reading

  • loos-feat

    “We fought and bled at Loos”


    In the popular view of the Western Front in World War I, 1915 can be something of a forgotten year. By the end of 1914 and the famous Christmas truces, the trench network stretched from the Jura to the Channel,… Continue reading

  • Kraftwerk - or rather, the band's robotic alter-egos - on stage in Wolfsburg, 2009 (photo by Ronald Preuß, made available under Creative Commons).

    Rise of the machines


    A good catalogue is transparent: if a library user becomes aware in more than a passing fashion of the technicalities of the catalogue, it is usually a sign that it is not doing its job smoothly.  Nonetheless, from time to… Continue reading