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  • 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

  • Woodcut of man suffering from pox.

    Early medicine: new on the shelves

    07/11/2016

    This post marks the first of a series of quarterly roundups of new publications of interest to researchers of early medicine that have recently been added to the shelves of the Wellcome Library. The bulletin will highlight monographs and collections… Continue reading

  • Scottish witches ‘fly’ online for Halloween

    31/10/2016

    We’ve recently digitised a 350-year old manuscript. Nothing very unusual in that, but this one is really rather special. MS 3658 is a record of men and women accused of witchcraft in Scotland in 1658, at a time when the… Continue reading

  • Coleridge and the doctors

    21/10/2016

    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

  • Printed plague amulet

    Deciphering a central European plague amulet

    14/10/2016

    From the ancient world to the present, people have turned to powerful words, symbols and images as magical shields against bad luck, evil spirits, debilitating illness and sudden death. In medieval and early modern Europe, textual amulets on parchment and… Continue reading

  • Dr Oliver Wrong: a salt and water physician

    11/10/2016

    Dr Oliver Wrong, best known as an academic and clinical nephrologist, was a salt and water physician. Meaning that he was mostly interested in what simple substances (such as water, potassium, sodium, and magnesium) could reveal about life – which… Continue reading