Tag: mental health

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  • Open this year


    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

  • Suspicious poisonings and the insane: stories from the archives


    The author in search of inspiration for a blockbusting novel could do worse than seek this in some recently catalogued manuscripts in the Library. B. Bolton’s 1819 domestic recipe book (MS.8765) certainly suggests the groundwork for a gritty saga of early… Continue reading

  • Turn on, tune, in…investigate your subconscious?


    On 19th April 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally got some of the chemical he was synthesising onto his fingers, resulting in what he described as a dreamlike intoxication that lasted for two hours. His employers, Sandoz pharmaceuticals were quick… Continue reading

  • Private Minds, Public Collections


      As custodians of major archive collections relating to mental health, including patient records from several private hospitals, the Wellcome Library is particularly interested in the issues raised when encouraging public access to, and engagement with, such potentially sensitive material.… Continue reading

  • Happy 200th Birthday, William Makepeace Thackeray


    William Makepeace Thackeray, Victorian novelist probably best known for his panoramic work Vanity Fair and its anti-heroine, Becky Sharp, was born in Calcutta on 18 July 1811. While his work does not, on the whole, reflect the medical profession of… Continue reading

  • Neurology, the “Unconscious” and Victorian Psychiatry


    The Bethlem Blog is run by the Bethlem Royal Hospital Archives and Museum to provide historical information on one of the world’s oldest psychiatric hospitals, access to the Museum’s art collection, and to contribute generally to the public understanding and… Continue reading

  • A celebration of Louis Wain’s Cats at Brent Museum


    An exhibition of cat illustrations by Louis Wain (1860-1939) has recently opened at Brent Museum, Willesden Green Library Centre, London, NW10. A visit is highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of Wain, cats or the art of anthropomorphism!… Continue reading

  • Van Gogh


    On this day in 1890 Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide using a gun he had previously brandished at the doctor treating his increasingly difficult mental state – Paul Ferdinand Gachet. Gachet had encouraged Van Gogh to create an etching and… Continue reading

  • Wellcome Library Insight – Madness


    This week’s free Wellcome Library Insight session – on Thursday 20th May – explores changing ideas about mental illness, ‘madness’ and its treatment, through material from the Wellcome Library’s collections. Our Insight sessions offer visitors to the Wellcome Library an… Continue reading

  • Richard Dadd in France – and in New York


    “Sketch of the murder of Henry the Sixth in the Tower by Richard Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard the Third … by Richard Dadd, Bethlem Hospital, 1853.” Wellcome Library no. 570213i On 28 August 1843 the painter Richard Dadd,… Continue reading