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History of Medicines Collection

A collection of published material relating mainly to the history and development of medicines and medicinal science during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The collection, assembled over time within the Library from the beginnings of the University, principally comprises pharmacopoeias, formularies and codices, both British and foreign, but includes some works covering broader subject areas such as dispensing, diseases and remedies, homeopathy, laboratory methods, surgical instruments, drug design, dentistry, professional healthcare and pharmacology. It also contains a number of leaflets and slighter publications relating to topical issues such as radioactive fallout, the effect of regular exposure to automobile exhaust gas, the treatment of 'wound shock' and preservation of life at sea after shipwreck.

The collection contains two earlier works of note. 'Mesue et Omnia Quae Cum Eo Imprimi Consueverunt' published in 1549 and an illustrated edition of 'Historie of Plants', also known as 'Gerarde's Herbal', by the botanist John Gerard(e) published in 1597 which contains a large number of fine engravings showing a wide range of plants, fruits and vegetables alongside notes on their medicinal or health-giving properties.

The collection also includes a series of four unpublished prescription books containing manuscript prescriptions (with recipes) issued by pharmacists between c.1840 and 1942.

Size: Approximately 300 items.

Gerarde's Herbal (1597)

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Items from the History of Medicines Collection may be consulted in the Library between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. You are strongly advised to make an appointment before you visit.

All enquiries should be directed to: Lizzie Richmond, University Archivist
The Library
University of Bath
Claverton Down
Bath BA2 7AY

E-mail: E.Richmond@bath.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 383464 (internal ext. 3464)