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  • Refugees in Turkey (again)

    20/06/2016

    With reports of 2.5 million Syrian refugees now encamped in Turkey, this 19th century print of refugees in Constantinople (Istanbul) shows that massed refugees in that part of the world are not a new phenomenon. The image, part of an… Continue reading

  • Nature’s pharmacy at your feet

    10/06/2016

    If you are one of thousands of people who strapped on a pair of walking shoes and ventured out on British countryside footpaths over the past few weeks, you probably did it for the therapeutic effects of exercise, sunlight, fresh… Continue reading

  • How the fate of the rhino is tied to medicine

    05/06/2016

    The theme of World Environment Day 2016 is the illegal wildlife trade. All five of the world’s species of rhinoceros have been brought to the edge of extinction thanks in part to a lucrative international trade in exotic animals and… Continue reading

  • Parental cares

    01/06/2016

    On the Global Day of Parents, Julia Nurse highlights the moving drawings of Käthe Kollwitz. It is every parent’s nightmare to witness a sick child but it was a frighteningly common scenario before the discovery of penicillin in 1928.  Arguably,… Continue reading

  • Job adverts in the 1920s: Twitter meets LinkedIn

    23/05/2016

    In the early 20th century, the Chemist and Druggist included a weekly supplement. Alongside “Businesses Wanted” and “Premises to Let”, the C+D also published “Situations Open” and “Situations Wanted” with opportunities advertised and sought in both retail and wholesale pharmacy… Continue reading

  • Campaigning cookbooks for vegetarians

    19/05/2016

    Take a look at the published books in our collection classified under the subject Vegetarian Diet and you might be surprised. A substantial number were published in the second half of the 19th century. The first vegetarian society in the… Continue reading

  • Shakespearean ‘simples’

    11/05/2016

    Dr Richard Aspin searched our 17th century recipe books to find out more about the herbal medicine found in Shakespeare’s plays. This is the last of our series of Shakespeare related blog posts. Locally harvested wild herbs were the foundation… Continue reading

  • Hoarse remedies

    09/05/2016

    If you’ve been inspired by the This Is A Voice exhibition at Wellcome Collection to exercise your voice more than usual, you may be in need of something for a sore throat. Here are some herbal remedies from the past.… Continue reading

  • Ghostly comings and goings in Shakespeare’s plays

    03/05/2016

    Ross MacFarlane goes ghost hunting through the ages in the next of our series of Shakespeare-themed posts. This Victorian engraving captures a key scene in one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Hamlet claims to have seen the ghost of his… Continue reading

  • Tree in medieval manuscript.

    Spotlight: a medieval tree of knowledge

    20/04/2016

    Like modern-day students, medieval people used diagrams and images to reinforce learning and memorisation. In long and complex philosophical manuscripts, occasionally an image was used to break the monotony of reading. The tree diagram considered here was part of a… Continue reading