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Eighteenth-century English Medicine

Join us for a rapid tour through the Science Museum Library's rare books.

The Science Museum Library contains an extraordinary range of rare books. Join us to hear Hannah Bower, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, introduce six highlights from the museum’s collection of pre-1800 medical books. 

Books on display will vary across different shapes and sizes and range from cheap, ephemeral pamphlets to dense folio volumes and large-scale anatomical drawings. The subjects covered will be similarly diverse, including botany, anatomy, male midwifery, and the King’s Evil.

Despite such diversity, networks of intertextuality and allusion will be shown to connect some of these texts, which all formed part of the thriving medical print market of the 18th century. 

This is an excellent opportunity to see some of the rare books owned by the museum's library and to hear a little more about their stories, both as objects owned by real people and institutions and as key texts in the history of medicine.

There are 15 places available for each date. Please book a place by emailing Hannah Bower with your preferred date at