Author: Sue Davies

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Sue Davies

Sue Davies is External Projects Officer at the Wellcome Library.

  • The St Pancras School for Mothers


    In 1907 a new type of health centre opened in London. The ‘Mothers and Babies Welcome’ (also known as the St Pancras School for Mothers)  provided a range of services aimed at reducing infant mortality. This centre was not the first to provide… Continue reading

  • Tackling infant mortality: the women behind the numbers


    According to the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) report from the London County Council for the year 1900, 158 babies out of every 1000 died before the age of one. As a result of such statistics, local authorities began to take… Continue reading

  • The work of a 19th century medical officer of health


    Dr C. J. B. Aldis (1808-1872) worked as a Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for St George’s, Hanover Square, London, an area that is now part of Westminster City Council. Appointed in 1855, he remained in post until his death 17… Continue reading

  • Cleaning up the ice cream triangle


    During the early 20th century the Medical Officers of Health (MOH) for the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury made a concerted effort to reduce the risk of illness from contaminated ice cream. Dr George Newman was the MOH for the area and the… Continue reading

  • Sex and Dr Joan Malleson


    Dr Joan Malleson (1899-1956) worked in sexual health and fertility at a time when even talking about such topics could be a source of acute embarrassment. By all accounts Dr Malleson treated her patients with a great deal of understanding and compassion. She was… Continue reading

  • Sir Michael Stoker’s letters


    The recent death of the cell biologist Sir Michael Stoker (1918-2013) prompted me to see if his name appeared in our digital archives. It does. I found a number of letters he wrote to other scientists, including Francis Crick, Jim… Continue reading

  • Dr Cicely Williams speaks to the nation


    There is something very special about hearing a person’s voice. Tucked away in the Wellcome Library’s Cicely Williams archive  there are a few audio-recordings. These have recently been digitised and two of the best are now online, making it possible… Continue reading

  • Historic Knitting


    I have just finished knitting a bag from a 19th century knitting pattern held by the Wellcome Library. It may seem odd that there are knitting patterns in a library devoted to the history of medicine and biomedical sciences but… Continue reading

  • ‘Enough to Eat?’


    I love this 1936 film.  It is 22 minutes long and well worth a watch.  I love it for the black and white graphics, the period accents and the film’s radical suggestion that poverty is the main cause of malnutrition. The film is… Continue reading

  • A Geneticist’s Shopping


    In April 1952 Professor Guido Pontecorvo (1907-1999), a pioneer in fungal genetics, paid 20 shillings to the lending library, his wife Leni had her hair done for 6s 6d and their daughter, Lisa, got a new pair of sandals. I… Continue reading