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Showing posts from September, 2014

Our Reading Room is Open for Business!!

NEWSFLASH Detroit Public Library Reading Room  The RCSI Heritage Collections Reading Room has re-opened. So any and all researchers, academics, students and members of the public interested in consulting our collections please get in touch. For details on how to make an appointment click here  ,for enquires please click here  and to search our online catalogue click here Disclaimer: the RCSI Heritage Collections Reading Room looks nothing like the Detroit Public Library one seen above. But we can dream. 

Vive Vesalius!

The 1555 copy of Andreas Vesalius’  De Humani Corporis Fabrica   is perhaps the most important book held by RCSI Library.  Just over one hundred copies of this work are known to exist worldwide and RCSI holds the only known copy in Ireland. It is considered a masterpiece in the fields of both anatomy and art. It is 500 years since the birth of Andreas Vesalius one of the greatest anatomists and dissectors of the medical world. BBC4 recently ran a series on TV called The Beauty of Anatomy   which features a different anatomist for each of its 5 episodes. One of these anatomists was none other than the great Vesalius.   Engraving by Tintoretto of Vesalius c1540  Vesalius was born in Brussels on 31 December 1514. He started his medical studies in the University of Paris in 1533 where he learned the art of dissection. In 1538 he had moved to the University of Padua where he received his M.D. and was appointed a lecturer in anatomy. It was here that his amazing skills in dissec

RCSI Lists of Members available now!

The RCSI Heritage Collections are delighted to make available two significant lists of names associated with the College dating from 1785 to 1834. The first is entitled  'A List of the Officers and Members of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland On the First Monday in January 1785' ( RCSI/LIC/01/03 ). Members were what Fellows are today.  RCSI/LIC/01/03 The second is a list of names in the back of ' The Charter of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland' dated 1834 ( RCSI/LIC/01/06 ). These lists are relatively small but are historically important. They give the members names, addresses and dates of membership. Another list dating from 1784 until 1803 will be available shortly. So watch this space! - Researched and written by Meadhbh Murphy

Aaron the Ripper??

This week an author, Russell Edwards, and a molecular biologist from Liverpool John Moores University,  Dr.  Jari Louhelainen, claim to have discovered through DNA the identity of Jack the Ripper.    The London News reporting on Jack the Ripper  Aaron Kosminski had been named as one of the 3 main suspects in  the  Whitechapel murders which took place in the East End of London between 1888 and 1891 by Sir Melville Macnaghten, the Assistant Chief Constable of the London  Metropolitan  Police. Eleven women were killed but the person who carried out these grisly murders has remained a mystery for the last 126 years. Until now? Dr. Jari Louhelainen used the method of extracting mitochondrial DNA from a shawl  believed to have been owned by one of Jack's victims. The shawl was found beside Catherine Eddowes and was soaked in her blood but it also contained the DNA of a second person. According to Russell Edwards this second sample of DNA had to belong to Eddowes killer, Jack the

'Secrets of the Body Snatchers'

The other night there was a very interesting programme on how medical schools in the 1800s acquired cadavers to aid in the teaching and study of anatomy. Body snatching was a very lucrative business back then with some 'Resurrection Men' earning up to a months wages from one grisly transaction! Resurrection men at work! Courtesy of  Autodidact in the Attic The programme is entitled  Secrets of the Body Snatchers and was a Time Team Special on Channel 4 with Sir Tony Robinson as the presenter. Watch it here   Secrets of the Body Snatchers  I do, sometimes, find it hard to take what Baldrick from Blackadder  says seriously though. - Researched and written by Meadhbh Murphy