Blog

From the Collections

Show Navigation
  • 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

  • Witness to Palmyra: Louis François Cassas

    18/04/2016

    The exhibition of a scale model of a destroyed arch from Palmyra in Trafalgar Square, London, from tomorrow (19 April 2016) is the latest episode in a long tradition. That tradition consists of attempts, through the prevailing media of the… Continue reading

  • St Blaise the throat blesser

    14/04/2016

    With the opening of the This Is A Voice exhibition in Wellcome Collection, it is timely to take a look at voice-related curiosities within the Wellcome Library. The story of St Blaise offers a good starting point. Like many saints,… Continue reading

  • A great deal of dying in Dr Herz

    12/04/2016

    In 1893 a middle-aged American physician lay ‘dying’ in a Bournemouth hotel. Cornelius Herz was wanted by the French authorities to answer charges in connection with the death of a business partner. A warrant for his arrest was even executed… Continue reading

  • Diabetes and public health

    07/04/2016

    The theme for World Health Day 2016 is “Beat diabetes”. How did diabetes become a public health issue? Maybe public health officers from the past can shed some light. Diabetes is a complex condition. We’ve known of its existence for… Continue reading

  • The musings of melancholy

    30/03/2016

    Can writing about melancholy help alleviate it? Under the pseudonym Democritus Junior, this is what a 17th-century scholar was attempting to achieve through his book The Anatomy of Melancholy. The title caught my attention while working on the UK Medical… Continue reading

  • Christ carries death, sin and the devil up a ladder onto the cross

    Easter 1547: a warlord repents

    24/03/2016

    Easter provides a time for considering the significance of the gospels’ accounts of the last days of Jesus Christ: the sequence of crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The woodcut above shows Martin Luther on the right and his protector Frederick the… Continue reading

  • Fish fingers and the coal face: launching the Tavistock Institute archive blog

    17/03/2016

    How do you organise the workplace so that it better reflects the needs of its workers? What do housewives think of fish fingers? How can psychology be used and applied to recruitment processes, to help get away from wearing-the-right-colour-tie biases… Continue reading

  • Fragment from 1562 almanac.

    The origins of the English almanac

    11/03/2016

    Almanacs have a long association with medicine. Potted health advice lent itself to inclusion in the sort of cheap booklets for a mass market that proliferated under the name ‘Almanack’ from the 16th century onwards. But what exactly is an… Continue reading