Valentine’s Day at the MHL

Drop “Valentine” into the search box on the MHL’s Internet Archive page and you get some interesting results. Lots on nineteenth century physician Valentine Mott, as you might imagine, but also items about a blind child prodigy, Valentine Miller and a 1909 warning on the perils of venereal disease from the AMA.

You can also flip through F. C. Valentine’s 600 Medical Don’ts and, if you’re tired of reading, watch a compilation of Marlboro commercials!





Don’t Miss This From the BHL

The Biodiversity Heritage Library is an open access library for biodiversity literature and archives. The BHL currently has over 130,000 thousand volumes and you can learn more about the history of the BHL and the project partners here.

Library assistant Elizabeth Meyer has written a fascinating post about a title that the BHL and MHL share: John Forbes Royle’s 1837 volume, An essay on the antiquity of Hindoo medicine, including an introductory lecture to the course of materia medica and therapeutics, delivered at. King’s College.

You can see more of Royle’s writing in the MHL and see more from the BHL staff on their blog.


New to the MHL!

In case you haven’t been keeping up, here are some of the latest things to come into our collection:

See more of our latest additions right here! And you can subscribe to the RSS feed of our latest additions here.

Digital Highlights: Johann Remmelin’s “Kleiner Welt Spiegel”

The Archives and Special Collections of the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library of Columbia University have digitized the 1661 German translation of Johann Remelin’s Catoptrum Microcosmicum.

Check out the great video made about the process:

And read their full post about digitizing a medical pop-up book! You can check out the final result in the MHL here.

Digital Highlights: Home Dangers

Mrs. Priestley’s 1885 lecture Unseen dangers in the home is a tour de force collection of late Victorian concerns about health and hygiene. She starts right off with the dangers of polluted air and moves on through bad water and the dangers of in-house piping among other things. It’s interesting to note that Priestley’s text assumes her audience is one of well-off matrons with disposable income; this is not a lecture designed to help the working poor, for example. She recounts anecdotes from friends with houses in Mayfair, Picadilly, and St. James, who have had to deal with complaints from their servants of bad air in basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and attics.

Flip through the pages of Mrs. Priestley’s lecture below or follow this link to read Unseen dangers in the home.

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

New to the MHL!

Lots of state medical journals, that’s what’s new around here!

Check out:

And we also have a ton of new monographs:

And as always, check out our full collection for more!

Digital Highlights: “Letters From a Mourning City”

If you’re a fan of the personal narrative, as I am, then any new one you find is an immediate treasure be it a collection of letters, autobiography, diary, or whatever.

The 1887 Letters from a Mourning City, originally written in Swedish by the traveller Axel Munthe and translated into English by Maude V. White, is a fascinating travelogue of Munthe’s trip to Naples in 1884 during an outbreak of cholera in the city.

Flip through the pages below or follow this link to read Letters from a Mourning City (Naples. Autumn 1884).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

New to the MHL!

Check out some of the latest additions to our collection!

As always, there’s more from the Medical Heritage Library at our full collection!

Guest Post: Women and the Tropics

troptrialsAs the summer winds down, I’m sure many of us are packing for a last vacation trip. The woman traveler can pick up some 19th century women’s travel and health tips from Tropical trials. A hand-book for women in the tropics.

With a cover featuring a gilded umbrella, palm trees, pyramids, and a list of the many tropical places one could travel in the late 19th century, including China, Burmah [sic], India, Melanesia, and Egypt, Tropical trials is a definitive travel guide for English women heading to exotic destinations.

While my travel essentials include sunscreen, a bathing suit, and a book, ladies in 1883 had exhaustive suggestions for traveling in comfort. Essentials include mosquito curtains, punkahs, an umbrella –silk with a cotton cover– and goggles to fight glare, dust and even “eye-flies.”

Tropical trials also includes remarks on diets (how to make a water filter), domestic economy (how to navigate a bazaar and hire a native chef), and how to treat simple maladies (including giddiness, nervousness, and sea-sickness). Trials particularly shows colonialist bias through its suggestions for the management and rearing of children in the tropics (including its warning against children acquiring Native Habits).

If you’re feeling up to traveling 1883-style, peruse the many suggestions, anecdotes, hints, and general remarks of Major Hunt below or follow this link to read Tropical trials. A hand-book for women in the tropics.

If you’re looking for the man’s guide to the tropics, Major S. Leigh Hunt and Alexander S. Kenny wrote On Duty under a Tropical Sun, also available via the Medial Heritage Library. The authors suggest that while each book are complete travel guides, On Duty especially addresses men’s issues while Tropical Trials is best suited for women.

Flip through the pages of Tropical trials below!