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  • Art in the asylum

    06/12/2016

    For the next in our series, the Asylum and Beyond, Julia Nurse explores our asylum archives to find some of the earliest examples of art therapy – and some fascinating artworks! As the first asylum to actively encourage and collect… Continue reading

  • The language of mental health

    03/12/2016

    For the next in our series about the Asylum and Beyond, Lalita Kaplish examines her reaction to reading a 19th century book about mental illness and disorders. George Shuttleworth was a psychiatrist and an asylum superintendent at the Royal Albert… Continue reading

  • An hysterical diagnosis

    01/12/2016

    What did it mean for a woman to be diagnosed with hysteria? In the second of our blog series on the ‘asylum and beyond‘, Charlotte Whittingham examines patient records from the asylum to find out. A 1916 casebook from St… Continue reading

  • Fire at the Crystal Palace: the end of an era

    30/11/2016

    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

  • Notions of asylum and beyond

    25/11/2016

    We’ve invited Mike Jay, curator of the exhibition ‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’, to take over the Library Blog as guest editor for a series of blog posts inspired by the notion of ‘asylum’ and our own digitised mental health… Continue reading

  • A shield for espionage: Thomas de Leu’s portrait of Sir Francis Drake

    21/11/2016

    The iconography of Sir Francis Drake is rich and complex (Sugden and Turner). His many portraits arise from his fame as a circumnavigator, as admiral in Queen Elizabeth I’s navy, as English hero in the battle against the Spanish Armada,… Continue reading

  • The Apocalypse arrives in America!

    17/11/2016

    The Wellcome Apocalypse (MS. 49) is currently on loan to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and features in their latest exhibition, ‘A feast for the senses: art and experience in medieval Europe’. The Apocalypse is a beautiful, richly… Continue reading

  • The horoscope of Iskandar Sultan

    11/11/2016

    An exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, ‘Power and Protection‘ is “the first major exhibition to explore the supernatural in the art of the Islamic world”.  The exhibition also offers a rare chance to see one of the highlights of the… Continue reading

  • Distinctive Designs in Wellcome Foundation Product Literature

    09/11/2016

    In Summer 2016 the Wellcome Library acquired two maroon metallic boxes containing a selection of product literature issued by the Wellcome Foundation pharmaceutical company from the 1940s through to the 1960s (Wellcome Library reference: WF/M/PL/437). These have been added to… Continue reading

  • Image from midwifery book.

    Images on the move in Mauriceau’s ‘The diseases of women’

    08/11/2016

    Looking through copies of ‘The diseases of women with child and in child-bed’, the English translation of the seminal work on midwifery by François Mauriceau (1637–1709) first published in French in 1668, I noticed something distinctive. While in some editions… Continue reading