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  • An hysterical diagnosis


    What did it mean for a woman to be diagnosed with hysteria? In the second of our blog series on the ‘asylum and beyond‘, Charlotte Whittingham examines patient records from the asylum to find out. A 1916 casebook from St… Continue reading

  • Francis Crick: anti-vitalist crusader


    In the next in our series about Crick and Consciousness, Dr Christine Aicardi tells us how she came to the conclusion that there may have been one underlying motivation for all of Crick’s research choices across different scientific fields. Although… Continue reading

  • Crick on consciousness


    In the States of Mind exhibition at Wellcome Collection you’ll find a small section dedicated to Francis Crick’s work on the science of consciousness. Since the Library also has Crick’s personal papers, we decided to take a closer look at… Continue reading

  • Holloway Sanatorium for the Insane


    The travel writer Bill Bryson recorded that Virginia Water, the home to Holloway Sanatorium, had a charm about it because “it was full of wandering lunatics”. Bryson worked at the sanatorium in 1973 as a janitor on Tuke Ward. In… Continue reading

  • The Ebola Review Archive Team at Médecins Sans Frontières


    Between April and June 2015 I left my job as an archivist at the Wellcome Library for two months to work at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Brussels as the Team Leader of a specially recruited team of three information… Continue reading

  • A hot-wax fingerprint Christmas card


    How many Christmas cards will you send this year, if at all? The vogue for hand-crafted cards is gradually disappearing as we become ever more digital in sending out festive wishes each year. There is a particularly interesting example of… Continue reading

  • Christmas greetings from the trenches


    For troops at the battlefront during World War I, letters and postcards were the only form of communication with home. Writing to their families and loved ones held particular significance at Christmas. It appears that some army divisions produced their… Continue reading

  • The story of photograph 51


    Photograph 51 is the title of a play on the London stage throughout autumn 2015. The play explores the controversy surrounding Rosalind Franklin and her contribution to the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. The discovery… Continue reading

  • Captain J P Lynch: prisoner of war


    From the heroic image of the doughty captive fictionalised in the film the Great Escape to the sufferings on the River Kwai, the British POW is an instantly recognisable World War II type. The experience of captivity in World War… Continue reading

  • Champion of humane childcare


    Robina Addis’s pioneering work in child guidance and mental health puts her at the forefront of psychiatric social work in Britain in the interwar years and beyond. The Robina Addis papers are now available online as part of the Library’s… Continue reading