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Showing posts from 2018

Research Summer School - What a library project looks like...2019 project opportunities now open!

The SPANISH FLU or 'GREAT FLU' of 1918 was one of the greatest pandemics of all time. It killed between 50 and 100 million people - approximately 35% of the population. Despite its name, the outbreak affected virtually every country in the world.  To mark this centenary RCSI Library worked with Research Summer School students Kate Moran and Vikneswaran Raj Nagarajan to investigate the historical impact of the out outbreak under the following questions: What features of this strain of influenza led to it being such a severe outbreak? What was the impact of the pandemic, socially, medically politically? What was the response to the breakout in Ireland? What did the Irish public health sector do in response? How can we use the pandemic as a model for future pandemics? Over the 8 weeks, Kate and Vik, investigated and analysed primary and secondary sources available to them in RCSI Heritage Collections including medical journals, pamphlets, archives and newspapers. They

RCSI celebrates Nelson Mandela's 100 birthday

Known and loved around the world for his commitment to peace, negotiation and reconciliation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (b. 18th July 1918) was South Africa’s first democratically elected president (1994-1999). Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader, as well as a philanthropist. To celebrate the centennial of Mandela's birth, we take a look back at when the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland awarded him an Honorary Fellowship at a ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa. ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’ - Nelson Mandela Professor Thomas Hennessy, President of the College conferred the Honorary Fellowship of the College on H.E Nelson Mandela, President of the Republic of South Africa on Wednesday, March 27th 1996. Mr. Nelson Mandela receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Prof. Thomas Hennessy, PRCSI.  At a ceremony in Capetown a special bond between the College and South Africa was highlighted. In his citation hono

Shared Symbolism - Saint Patrick, Ireland and the RCSI College Arms

RCSI’s College Arms share a couple of popular St. Patrick symbols. Can you spot them? RCSI College Armorial Bearings The Shamrock ‘The Supporters are Irish elks, with chaplets of shamrock around their necks' The shamrock has been used as a symbol over the ages, and is attributed to Saint Patrick in his attempt to describe the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. It later became one of the symbols to represent Ireland itself. The Snake ‘The Crest (has) an eagle, preying on a serpent, which was an emblem of disease’. The snake has long held associations with disease, death and evil. However, in the legend of Patrick, when he banishes snakes from Ireland he is presumably banishing evil in the form of paganism rather than disease. RCSI College Arms Our current College Arms date to 1907, but RCSI’s heraldry has evolved over time. JDH Widdess, medical historian and past RCSI Librarian and Professor of Biology, traced the symbolic influences such as the surgeon’s lancet stemming from t

Preserving RCSI's Royal Charter & Seal: Taking a closer look

RCSI’s Charter Day Meeting marks the Annual Commemoration of the granting of our Royal Charter by King George III in 1784. An important event in the College calendar, Charter Day Meeting sees a range of events, lectures and talks culminating in the annual Charter Day Dinner held in College Hall. A facsimile of the document is on permanent display in the main entrance way of 123 St. Stephen’s Green, and gives people a chance to see the wonderful details of this extremely unique and important document. The RCSI Royal Charter of 1784 Studying the document as a physical object allows us to expand on the history surrounding the Charter. First of all, you will see that it is made of two full parchment skins. While this is a typical format for charters in Europe since medieval times, such documents vary structurally in small ways and the RCSI Charter has some notable features. At a glance, you will notice how the Charter is physically put together. The first (rearmost) skin is turned o

RCSI Heritage Collections - Twelve Days of Christmas!

RCSI Heritage Collections marked the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ by closely looking at the 12 images depicted in our George Walsh stained glass windows, found in the Albert Theatre at 123 St Stephen's Green.  George Walsh apprenticed under his father, who had studied under Harry Clarke, and so our windows follow in a Dublin stained glass tradition. Each image depicts a significant person, event or invention that changed the world of healthcare. Each day, we posted an image and a fact on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Below, we elaborate a little on those images. On the first day of Christmas...   Imhotep 2850 BC Did you know that ancient Egyptians were practicing a recognisable form of pharmacy and medicine as early as 1500 BC? The first day's stained glass feature depicts the Egyptian God ‘IMHOTEP’, deified approximately 2850 BC, known as the Ancient Father of Medicine. In Egyptian society during the Old Kingdom, the nation’s physician and Pharaoh’s magician appea