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Series One: The Papers of Sir Hans Sloane, 1660-1753 from the British Library, London

Part 6: The History of Medicine, Surgery and Anatomy

Sir Hans Sloane was a leading physician and amassed a huge collection of manuscripts documenting the History of Medicine, Surgery and Anatomy. These cover seven major areas:

  • Consilia and casebooks of physicians through the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, which tell us much about contemporary practices: Part 6 includes casebooks of Bartholomaeus de Mantagnana, 1436; Pratt Barker, 1595-1661; C Brandon, 1597-98; and J Binns, 1633-1663.
  • Papers of hospitals, asylums and institutions: For instance, the charter, ordinance and acts of Parliament relating to the Surgeons Company and records of Bart’s.
  • Papers of leading physicians: Part 6 features the medical commonplace book of William Harvey describing the heart and theories concerning the circulation of blood as well as holograph copies of his De musculis, motu locali and Praelectiones anatomicae. There are also significant records relating to John Downes; the manuscript autobiography of Ephraim Skinner, MD, 1616-1661; and the holograph Collectanea philosophica et medica of Francis Glisson.
  • Medical lectures: such as Thomas Gooch’s diary of his studies in Utrecht and notes on the teaching of surgery in Padua.
  • Anatomical collections: Including Samuel Sambrooke’s Anatomy of Man and a volume on Physiognomy and the diseases of women.
  • Material on the Plague: Extraordinary evidence ranging from William Boghurst’s Relation of the Plague of London, 1666, to contemporary plague tracts, proposed remedies and writings of John de Bordeaux.
  • Material for the History of Medicine: Part 6 includes a 12th century manuscript containing works by Galen and Hippocrates; a 14th century manuscript of John Arderne’s Liber Medicinarum; and papers on childbirth, surgery, and the impact of the moon on human health.

Digital Guide
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