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Showing posts from 2016

New Year, New Start...

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas..... So the song goes! RCSI Heritage Collections want to wish all our online family a Very Merry   Christmas  and a Happy New Year. We also want to thank you guys for taking an interest in the weird and wonderful that can be found in RCSI Heritage Collections. The blog has had  over 100,000 page views since it started in March 2013, which we think is a cause for celebration.  Woohoo!!  The only way to pour champagne! This is Meadhbh Murphy over and out. Until next time.....

Cameron's History of RCSI

To celebrate the centenary of the enhanced 2nd edition  Sir Charles A Cameron' s immensely rich and historically valuable book History of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, The Irish Medical Schools etc , RCSI Heritage Collections have made it available to read and search on our website. Sir Charles A. Cameron (1830-1921) Cameron was an amazing individual who not only held the position of Executive Officer of Health and Public Analyst for Dublin for 59 years, he was President of RCSI in 1885, he fought for better sanitation and living conditions for those living in the Dublin tenements but he also wrote a thoroughly researched and readable history of the College. Click on the link below to read and search Cameron's great tome. History of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, The Irish Medical Schools etc , by Sir Charles Cameron

Go Forth And Shop!

As the number of shopping days left before Christmas continues to dwindle, RCSI Heritage Collections decided to have a look at what was on offer to those in the medical world in times gone by. By looking at advertisements in the back of the  Medical Directory  series, which spans from 1852 to today, you could pick a variety of items for those hard to get and not so hard to get people in your life. Let's have a look at what was on offer..... For the ladies, why not get the most fashionable figure hugging under apparel? An ad for Bailey's Ladies Bandages and Belts from 1853. 'No Lady Should Be Without One' - who can argue with that!  Spirella Figure Foundation Garments from 1936. How about that person who is always trying new health fads? How yummy, orange peel flavoured cod liver oil tablets?! From 1853. Many would try and claim that beer can aid sickness..... From 1889. Valentine's Meat Juice from 1936. Say no more!  Not forgetting

Come and Champion Colles!

We were at RCSI Heritage Collections could not let today pass without mentioning Abraham Colles.  Abraham Colles (1773-1843) Today 173 years ago Colles passed away at the age of 70 in his house, 21 St Stephen's Green. Abraham Colles was born in Milmount, Co. Kilkenny on 23 July 1773. Over the next 70 years he would come to dominate the world of surgery both in Ireland and around the world.  Colles entered TCD in September 1790 and received his B.A in April 1795. At the same time he registered in RCSI and was indentured to Philip Woodroffe. Colles received his ‘letters testimonial’ from RCSI in September 1795. That same year he travelled to Edinburgh where he devoted himself to furthering his medical studies. Colles' indenture to Philip Woodroffe, signed by both men  In June 1797 he graduated as Doctor of Medicine in Edinburgh and made his way London to take up his residence. By the winter of 1797, Colles was back in Dublin and had taken up his residence in Chatham

From Explore Your Archive to the Arctic Explorer

As Explore Your Archive week draws to an end, RCSI Heritage Collections decided to look at an explorer and surgeon who has for many decades lived very quietly in the archives. But today is his day to shine! Put your archive loving hands together for..... David Walker! David Walker (1837-1917) by Stephen Pearce (NPG 922) National Portrait Gallery, London David Walker was the surgeon and naturalist who accompanied Sir Francis Leopold McClintock to the Arctic on the yacht Fox in 1857, to try and locate the missing Franklin expedition. Sir John Franklin , his two ships Erebus and Terror and 129 crew had left London in the summer of 1845 to try and discover a navigable north-west passage and had not been heard of since.  After numerous unsuccessful public search expeditions, Lady Franklin decided to finance a private search expedition to uncover some evidence of what had happened to her husband and his men. She contacted McClintock, who was in Dublin on a leave from th

Explore Your Archives 2016

Of all our national assets, Archives are the most precious; they are the gift of one generation to another and the extent of our care  of them marks the extent of our civilisation. - Arthur G. Doughty Explore Your Archive (EYA) 2016   begins tomorrow, Saturday 19th and runs until Saturday 26th November. To find out more visit the   website  and read about the fascinating material that lives within a variety of Irish archives. Once your interest has been aroused why not explore some other archives that highlight the wide diversity and wealth of material available to research, read, admire and, in the case of some fashion archives, covet!!                  The Waldorf Astoria Archive                                                                   The Hyman Archive                  Academy Film Archive                                                                             80s Cartoons Archive                  Fashion House Archives                            

Izod O'Doherty and His Coat of Many Careers

Few doctors can have had so varied a career or experienced the triumphs and vicissitudes that were the lot of Kevin Izod O'Doherty. Izod was born in Gloucester Street, Dublin in 1823 and was one of four children. His father, William, was an attorney and died when Izod was only nine years old. After William's death the family moved from Gloucester Street to Blackrock and lived in the neighbourhood of Frascati House. John, one of Izod's brothers, became an attorney, William became a dentist and his sister Gertrude entered the Dominican Order. Izod set his sights on medicine. Ledwich School of Surgery and Medicine In 1842 he was apprenticed to Michael Donovan and studied at RCSI and the Ledwich School of Surgery and Medicine. Izod attended the Meath and St Vincent's Hospital and trained under Sir William Wilde at St Mark's Ophthalmic Hospital. He became involved with the Young Ireland movement and in June 1848 established the Irish Tribune with Richard D'

The Prince of Poisoners

With the scary season upon us RCSI Heritage Collections decided to have a look in the archives and see what Halloween-esque material we could find to share with you. And oh how the archives did not let us down!  The year is 1856.  The town is Rugeley, Staffordshire .  The crime is the..   Poisoning of John Cook by his friend William Palmer! High Street, Rugeley. Palmer's house is in the centre background with the bay window. The crime scene is the Talbot Arms Hotel, to the left foreground.  William Palmer was born in Rugeley in 1824 and was the sixth of eight children. At 17 years old he was apprenticed to a Liverpool chemist but was dismissed after three months for stealing. Palmer travelled to London where he qualified as a physician in August 1846. He returns home and soon people he drinks with (George Abley), he is related to (his mother-in-law Ann Thornton) and who are horse racing acquaintances (Leonard Bladen) start to become seriously ill with stomach pai

Hidden Heaps of History in Hanslope

In this modern world of technology and advanced learning, it is easy for people to believe that the history taught in schools, universities and online is a pretty accurate decisive history. But a new book entitled The History Thieves by Ian Cobain has shown that there are cracks forming in the historical foundation of the British Empire. The British Empire at it's peak in the 1920s had a population of over 500 million people and could lay claim to 24% of the Earth's total land area. The empire was so large that the sun was always shining on a part of it; 'the empire on which the sun never sets'. Included in those parts were Canada, Bermuda, Egypt, Burma, South Africa, India and Ireland. The British Empire in 1921 Cobain's book looks at all the records meticulously kept by the British while ruling their colonies and how, despite popular belief, large amounts of these records weren't destroyed once the country received it's independence. Instead these

Intriguing Heritage Items: No.3

Yesterday an amazing and thought provoking symposium entitled  Incarcerated Bodies  took place in Kilmainham Gaol . It looked at the history of hunger strikes, the instruments used to force feed patients and prisoners and how 'dark collections' should, or should not, be exhibited. Not for the faint-hearted! Having presented a paper entitled 'Force Feeding Implements in the RCSI Heritage Collections', the thought occurred to us why not feature one of these implements as an 'Intriguing Heritage Item'.  So tah dah!!    Lid of wooden case holding a 19th century stomach pump with 'Stomach Pump' written on it RCSI/MI/169   Stomach pump RCSI/MI/169 This stomach pump which is housed in a beautiful velvet lined wooden box is from the 19th century and unfortunately doesn't have any makers mark on it. The pump itself is brass and is accompanied by tapered bone or ivory implements, a black wooden bite bar and two pieces of tubing; one thick clo

Leafs, Lichen and Linnaeus

Being a surgical college does not mean that the RCSI Heritage Collections only has material relating to surgery. Centuries ago when anatomy, surgery and medicine were being discovered and studied, zoology, botany and chemistry were in the mix too. Now this was a time when different classes or species of organisms, plants and animals hadn't been discovered. Here's the science bit; the taxonomy of living organisms is the science of describing, identifying, naming and classifying these organisms. The formal system of naming living things by giving them a name made of two parts is called binomial nomenclature.  So for example an African elephant has the binomial nomenclature is Loxodonta africana , a honey badger's is Mellivora capensis and a chestnut tree is Castanea sativa . So who was the genius who said 'Here why don't we divide these plants and animals into different classes and make things easier for ourselves when studying them?'    It was Carl Linnaeus