Tag: Africa

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  • Denis Burkitt’s safari diaries


    Denis Parsons Burkitt (1911-1993), while posted at the Mulago Hospital and Makerere Medical School in Kampala, Uganda, in the 1950s and 1960s, was the first to describe a childhood cancer which became known as Burkitt’s lymphoma. From the latter 1960s… Continue reading

  • The Discovery of AIDS in Zambia


    “God created AIDS to punish sinners” and similar negative phrases often spring to mind when thinking of the Church and AIDS. However, this is a view taken by a minority of Christians. Many more have been involved in the fight… Continue reading

  • A Nineteenth Century Investigation of Race and Sex


    The story of Saartjie (Sara) Baartman, the ‘Hottentot Venus’ is relatively well-known and has been extensively discussed by scholars for what the discussion and exhibition in Europe of this Khoisan woman from southern Africa (whose original name is not even known) tells us… Continue reading

  • ‘Small bite, big threat’


    World Health Day 2014 (7 April) is about raising awareness of vector borne diseases – diseases carried by mosquitos, flies, ticks and bugs. In the 1980s the Wellcome Trust Film Unit produced a series of films about the history of… Continue reading

  • Combating the tsetse fly: rare historical reports now available


      Brian Hursey was an international expert on the control of tsetse flies, the vector of African trypanosomiasis or “sleeping sickness” in man and animals. As a student, he specialised in the study of tsetse flies and, upon graduation in… Continue reading

  • Voodoo panels bring Wellcome Library to 750,000


    It seems appropriate that in the 75th anniversary year of Henry S. Wellcome’s death, the Wellcome Library, named after him because it was created by him in his lifetime, has added the 750,000th work to its online catalogue (online at… Continue reading

  • Global Handwashing Day


    It is Global Hand Washing Day today and we’ve chosen to mark the date by highlighting material from a recent library acquisition of African health posters, a number of which remind us all of the importance of hand washing and… Continue reading

  • African posters


    The Wellcome Library has acquired a substantial number of posters (circa 1,100) published in thirty African countries to promote health and wellbeing. Dating from 1993 to 2010, they were collected in the latter year from the following countries: Burkina Faso;… Continue reading

  • A remarkable man


    We recently received, from his granddaughter’s executor, a couple of manuscripts of Colonel Frederick Smith (1858-1933) of the Royal Army Medical Corps. When cataloguing these, and turning to the usual sources of reference for information on his career, I discovered… Continue reading

  • Item of the Month – April 2009


    From the Sahara to the Euston Road April’s Item of the Month is an excellent illustration of how unpredictable the Wellcome Library’s holdings, and archive material in general, can be. It occurs in the papers of the nineteenth century pathologist… Continue reading