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  • Malaria in the Port of London

    29/04/2014

    The medical officers of health for the Port of London had a unique job travelling up and down the Thames from London to the Thames Estuary, inspecting the cargo and crew of ships from around the world. The rapid spread… 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

  • ‘Making History’ in the Wellcome Library

    13/02/2013

    The BBC Radio 4 series Making History investigates issues about the past, raised by questions from the programme’s listeners. This week’s episode (now available for listeners in the UK on the Radio 4 website) has a strong emphasis on the… Continue reading

  • Open this year

    31/01/2013

    Archives are the raw material of history: where a published source will typically give you an overview, archives plunge you into the day-to-day detail of the past.  It is from this detail that history synthesises its grand pictures: there is no… Continue reading

  • Ballad to Blues

    20/06/2012

    “I went down to the St. James Infirmary I saw my baby there, She’s laid out on a cold white table, So so cold, so white, so fair” So runs the chorus of St James Infirmary: a Blues standard which… Continue reading

  • The ‘Orphans’ go for a short walk

    02/03/2012

      In 2009 the Wellcome Library acquired four large paintings known as the Acts of Mercy. They had been painted by Frederick Cayley Robinson between 1915 and 1920 for display in the Middlesex Hospital, in the Fitzrovia district of central… Continue reading

  • 160 years of Great Ormond Street Hospital

    14/02/2012

    Today marks the 160th anniversary of the opening of the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street, London.  As such, we felt we couldn’t let the anniversary pass unnoticed, particularly as the range of material held by the Wellcome Library on the… Continue reading

  • If not here, where?

    28/12/2011

    It was the proud boast of London’s Windmill Theatre that “We never closed”: that throughout the Blitz, as bombs rained down on London, the theatre continued to provide nude tableaux for the entertainment of lonely servicemen and their like. The… Continue reading

  • Camberwell House Asylum

    01/09/2011

    One of the fastest-growing categories of Wellcome Library users in the past ten years has been family historians. Many people, of course, have medical practitioners among their ancestors: doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, opticians, vets… But the Library’s holdings for family historians… Continue reading

  • Wellcome Library Insight – Women, health and healing

    12/04/2011

    This week’s free Wellcome Library Insight session – on Thursday 14th April – explores the changing role of women in medicine and attitudes to female healers through the centuries, with historical material drawn from the Wellcome Library’s collections. Our Insight… Continue reading