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Showing posts from 2017

Outreach in RCSI's Heritage Collections - Explore Your Archive 2017

This week has seen the Explore Your Archive Week 2017 campaign in full swing, with some wonderful archives being discovered, explored & showcased in really original and imaginative ways.  The Archives Week campaign is designed for archives of all kinds throughout Ireland and the UK, with its main aim being to increase public awareness of the essential role of archives in our society, to celebrate our network of collections and emphasise the skills and professionalism of the sector. RCSI Heritage Collections see this campaign as a brilliant opportunity to not only showcase our own historical treasures but also to open them up to new & diverse audiences, those that wouldn't necessarily have regular contact with archives or are new to the use of primary historical sources. With this in mind we decided to organise a hands-on, Archive focused workshop with a group of transition year students from CBS Secondary School, Westland Row, Dublin 2. The event was a collaboration wit

Dublin Festival of History 2017

The Dublin Festival of History is taking place between the 29th September and 14th October and there are plenty of medical related events taking place throughout the city, with full details of all events available in the festival programme here On Tuesday 3rd October, RCSI Archivist Susan Leyden gives a talk, Dissecting the Archives of the Royal College of Surgeons, which looks at the Heritage Collections of the RCSI as well as exploring the rich history of the college itself. The collections touch on medical, social, historical and personal events that have taken place over the last 250 years. A view of RCSI from 1810 Come along to Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, on Wednesday 4th October and hear how the St. John's Ambulance Welfare Department helped the poorest families in Dublin between 1925 and 1949. St.John's Ambulance fed Dublin's poorest Dr Kathleen Lynn In her talk Surgeons, Starlets and Storytellers Maeve Casserly explores the lives of

#Heritage Week 2017: The RCSI Museum - a treasure trove of Natural History Collections

With the theme for this year's Heritage Week being 'It's in your Nature', this is the perfect time to delve into the history of the RCSI Museum, which held an impressive collection of zoological specimens. Much of the information in this post comes from Sir Charles A Cameron’s great work 'History of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, The Irish Medical Schools etc' which in 2016 RCSI Heritage Collections made available to read and search on-line . It is an immensely readable tome and contains fascinating insights into the history of the college. We’ll also utilise other sources including J.D.H. Widdess' history of RCSI as well as the annual reports of the College. The museum began life late in the 18th century on Mercer Street; early contributions were made to it by Mr. John Halahan and Mr. William Dease . The first museum catalogue was prepared in 1795 by the professors of Anatomy. By 1819 the museum was somewhat neglected, Cameron tells us that ‘abou

Heritage Week in RCSI - Showcasing our Natural History Specimen Collection!

We are busily preparing for next week's Heritage Week so we thought you'd like to know what's in store! This years theme of 'It's in our Nature' fits in perfectly with one of our prized Heritage Collections, the RCSI Natural History Specimen Collection ! It comprises approximately 200 specimens across the disciplines of  zoology and biology and range in items such as frogs in glass jars preserved in formaldehyde, a duckbilled platypus 'prepared' by a past museum curator, a tiger skull donated by a prominent doctor and various incy wincy spiders picked up from all around the world. Why, do you ask, does a College of Surgeons hold such type of items?  It all started at the early stages of RCSI's history when in 1775, William Dease, one of the founding members of RCSI, presented a collection of anatomical preparations to RCSI. Using these preparations, the College decided to fit up a museum in RCSI's first building on Mercer Street. It had its ve

Guest post: Edith McCrea, FRCSI- Her story

RCSI Heritage Collections receives many visitors from all over the world, all with a varying array of backgrounds. However, one thing these visitors do have in common is a keen interest in medicine and more particularly, a keen interest in the history of medicine. So, with that in mind where else would ones first port of call when visiting Dublin be??? RCSI of course, due to its rich history and breadth of material relating to that very topic. One recent visitor, Dr Peter Mohr, FRCP, a retired neurologist from the Manchester area and honorary secretary of the Historical Medical Equipment Society (HMES), wrote to us enquiring about our Historical Instrument collection. He was particularly interested in seeing Cruise's endoscope and its original casing which are housed in the Pathology Lab in Beaumont Hospital. Peter & his wife came to see this particular instrument and on that day told us the story of a very interesting woman, Dr Edith Willcock McCrea, a Fellow of RCSI, whose

Want to know who the 'O'Flanagan' Theatre was named after? Read on...

On his centenary year, we take a look at the life of a man who was a key player in the development and progression of the Royal College Surgeons Ireland-  Harry O’Flanagan, MD, FRCPI, FRSCI (Hon), FFCM, DPH and former Registrar of RCSI (1962-1980). Born in Dublin in 1917, Dr Harry O’Flanagan was the eldest son of Henry O’Flanagan, a well-known and successful business merchant in Roscrea, Co Tipperary and Miriam (Chew), a theater sister at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Harry grew up and spent his early childhood years in Roscrea, from where he went to school in Castleknock College, Dublin. He entered the Royal College of Surgeons in 1934 and after qualifying in 1939 he did his internship in the Richmond Hospital, Dublin.   RCSI Roll of Licentiates (RCSI/LIC/02) (Click to view) Dr O’Flanagan went on to obtain a Diploma in Health in 1941 and two years later he was appointed Assistant Medical Officer of Health in the Rhondda Valley, Wales. In 1944, he joined the

Exam time! Results time!

Some of our students may be in the thick of studying for exams at the moment and wondering when is it all going to end?! Some are celebrating with their well-earned results in hand, honouring the long held tradition of  rushing the RCSI Library  on results day, in which case - congratulations! Whatever stage they are at, studying for exams is synonymous with college life. No need to fear them though! All that blood, sweat and tears will be worth it in the end. Here in Heritage Collections we hold an array of material relating to exams including past papers from the early 1900's onwards and examination results registers going all the way back to 1793. Ever wonder what type of questions were students being asked at RCSI exams 100 years ago?? Take a look: Sample First & Second Professional Examinations, 1917.  Click on image to enlarge. And after the exams come results! Going by these examples you can see that just like today, students back then were striving for the bes

164 years and counting

Did you know that RCSI Library holds over one hundred and fifty years of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in its archives? One hundred and sixty four to be precise; with holdings from 1853 to the present day. Early BMJ Volumes at RCSI Library As you would expect a number of groundbreaking articles have been published in the journal. In this post, RCSI Heritage Collections takes a look at a series of seminal articles published in the BMJ which helped demonstrate the link between tobacco consumption and lung cancer. In the first half of the twentieth century, there was a massive increase in the consumption of tobacco thanks largely to modern manufacturing methods which enabled their mass production [1] . At the same time there was a sharp rise in Lung Cancer – some suspected this was a result of increased tobacco consumption while others believed it was due to improved diagnosis or air pollution [2] . A major milestone in the linking of smoking and lung cancer was the publication