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  • Medieval herbal showing plants.

    A medieval medical bestseller: the ‘Circa instans’

    20/02/2017

    Pharmacy was one of the pillars of medical therapy during antiquity and the Middle Ages. Medicaments were derived from the natural world (plants, minerals and animals), and resulted from the combination of different substances, each with specific properties and therapeutic… Continue reading

  • Dogs of the Wellcome Library

    26/08/2016

    We know that Henry Wellcome loved his cats, but it’s National Dog Day so to balance out the cats here are a few dogs from our collections. The life story of a fowl   A history and description of the modern… Continue reading

  • Insects under the microscope

    23/06/2016

    For National Insect Week, Hannah Brown shares some of her favourite insect images from Wellcome Images. Robert Hooke’s drawing of the head and eyes of a drone-fly appeared in his book, ‘Micrographia’, the first book to illustrate insects and plants… 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

  • The recent history of bovine tuberculosis

    02/12/2015

    Dr Angela Cassidy shares some of the challenges of being an historian of the recent past. How to make sense of the recent past? At what point does an issue or event stop being part of today’s social fabric and… Continue reading

  • Michael Ashburner: a career built on flies

    26/08/2015

    Michael Ashburner is a pioneer of genomics and bioinformatics who has made the study of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster his life’s work. The first three sections of the Michael Ashburner archive (Library reference: PP/MIA) are now available to researchers… Continue reading

  • The elusive slang of the turf

    07/06/2014

    The gee-gees, the nags, the horses… no matter your preferred term for them, many a fan of the turf will be turning their attention this afternoon to one of the most famous sporting occasions of the year – the Derby Stakes, or… Continue reading

  • ‘Small bite, big threat’

    07/04/2014

    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

  • ‘Ghosts of giant physiologists and vampire surgeons’

    27/11/2013

    In 1887, writing under the pseudonym of Aesculapius Scalpel, Hackney GP Edward Berdoe published a frightening novel portraying everyday cruelty and callousness at the fictional St Bernard’s teaching hospital.  Despite being a work of  fiction, the author claimed 75 per… Continue reading

  • ‘Saving the Lives of Our Dogs’

    25/10/2013

    Eighty years ago, a special supplement to The Field magazine announced that the dreaded dog disease of distemper had been conquered. The conquest was the result of a vaccine developed by researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC) and commercialised… Continue reading