Wellcome Library

Before I came here, UK, i interested in the historical in clinical medicine. When we were medical student, i had been taught various signs and symptoms, which strange to me such as Babinski, Chaddok and Oppenheim, so i felt doubtful for these term. When i become to be a doctor, or in fact, Neurologist. I have learned that medical student should be taught about historical of disease in particular. It has many crucial reasons for this. The first one is that students should know that the diseases which they face with almost have had the long history and this have been discovered by logical ways. Another point is that they will aware of the important of which they have learn and love in their career.

The Wellcome Library is founded on the collection formed by Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), whose personal wealth allowed him to create one of the most ambitious collections of the 20th century. Henry Wellcome’s interest was the history of medicine in a broad sense and included subjects like alchemy or witchcraft, but alsoanthropology and ethnography. Since Henry Wellcome’s death in 1936, the Wellcome Trust has been responsible for maintaining the Library’s collection and funding its acquisitions. The Library is free and open to the public.

History of the Library

Liber chronicarum – more commonly known as the Nuremberg Chronicle. The book is a history chronicle, starting from the Creation, written in Latin by Hartmann Schedel, a doctor from Nuremberg. It was purchased by Henry Wellcome in 1898, at the auction of the Library of William Morris.

Henry Wellcome began collecting books seriously in the late 1890s, using a succession of agents and dealers, and by travelling around the world to gather whatever could be found. Wellcome’s first major entry into the market took place at the auction of William Morris’s library in 1898, where he was the biggest single purchaser, taking away about a third of the lots. His interests were truly international and the broad coverage of languages and traditions is one of the Library’s strengths. Significant collections acquired during this early period included the library of J. F. Payne, medical historian and Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians, purchased in 1911, and the major part of the library of the Munich historian Ernst Darmstaedter, bought in 1930.

When Henry Wellcome died, the bulk of his estate and his collection was bequeathed to a body of trustees, who formed the Wellcome Trust. Their primary duty was to use the income generated by the company to support ongoing biomedical research, but they were also charged with fostering the study of medical history through the care and maintenance of the collections. A programme of sorting and rationalising was therefore begun, which lasted throughout the 1940s and beyond.

The Library’s story during the later decades of the 20th century has been one of continuing growth and development. A significant addition during the 1980s was the purchase of the manuscripts, and about 10,000 printed books, from the Medical Society of London Library.

The Wellcome Trust’s activities around the history of medicine, and on the public understanding of science, were brought together in 1998 to create a new Medicine, Society, History Division. Recognising a wider remit than history of medicine only, the Library is part of Wellcome Collection and aims to promote both the history and understanding of medicine.


Wikipedia: Wellcome Library




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