Communication and Construction of Monstrous Embodiment
June 15-16, 2012

Friday, 18 May 2012

Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh Online Archive Launch

With a little less than a month to go before the conference, we sadly have to admit that blog posts have slipped, and for that we are sorry! Just a reminder that we are open to guest posts or suggestions so long as it related to the theme of the conference; you can reach us by e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook, and we'd love to hear from you.

Today, however, we'd like to share with you the exciting launch of a fantastic new resource from our very own Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh: The Sibbald Library's Online Archive. The result of a 2-year Wellcome Trust grant, the archive is in the process of cataloguing the RCPE's deposited collections to provide greater access to the public. Already, 8,000 items have been catalogued in the archive, and the project is set to continue until February 2013. The archive boasts 189 collections online, each with its own detailed collection level description and hierarchical description of all records.

Collections include sources from:

  • Joseph Black
  • William Cullen
  • Andrew Duncan
  • Edinburgh General Lying-In Hospital
  • Edinburgh Obstetrical Society
  • Francis Home
  • James Gregory
  • John Gregory
  • James Hamilton
  • John Hope
  • William Hunter
  • Alexander Monro
  • Alexander Morison
  • John Playfair
  • John Pringle
  • John Rutherford
  • Andrew St Clair
  • Scottish Medical Service Emergency Committee
  • Alexander Russell Simpson
  • James Young Simpson
  • Robert Whytt
  • Thomas Young
It should be pointed out that the collections are arranged according to creator rather than subject matter, although you can search according to date, person, place, subject, format, category, title, or even reference number (should you know it). Only a year in to the project and already the result looks to be a significant online resource for those interested in the history of medicine and the medical humanities; I'm sure that you, like us, look forward to seeing the archive in its completion in 2013!


  1. Hello - I am the archivist working on the project at the Royal College of Physicians. Your blog followers may be particularly interested in the collection of John Ballantyne with annotated volumes of Teratologia and many illustrations of foetal abnormalities.

    Alison Scott

  2. Thanks Alison - I have perused the Teratologia volumes last year in the reading room, and thought they were brilliant. I didn't know they'd been archived as well, that's fantastic!