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Wellcome Trust Grant to Library

Leicester Medical Society Library and Archive to be available to students and researchers worldwide

The University Library has received £10,000 from the Wellcome Trust to catalogue online the Library and Archive of the Leicester Medical Society. The Society is the third oldest medical society outside London, having been established in 1800 to provide professional support for medics in and around Leicester. 

The provision of a Library has always been seen as an important part of the Society’s function and reflects the interests and concerns of the members over the last two centuries. It also includes a number of antiquarian volumes, the oldest being Christopher Wirtzung’s Severall chirgurgicall treatise of 1617 and Edward Jenner’s An enquiry into the causes and effects of variolae vaccinae of 1798. 

The collection complements other material on the history of science deposited by the Mathematical Association and the Physical Society which are also housed in the University Library’s Special Collections.  

The relationship between the University and the Leicester Medical Society goes back to 1921 when Dr Astley Clarke, President of the Society in 1911, took a leading role in the foundation of the University College and the University has housed and administered the collection since the late 1940s. 

Dr Andrew Lacey, Special Collections Librarian, said, "this Library and Archive has great value for the history of medicine, not just on account of individual items within it, important though these are, but because it reflects the priorities and concerns of the medical profession in Leicester in the 19th and 20th centuries. This grant from the Wellcome Trust will enable us to make this collection much more widely known".

The collection, which remains the property of the Society, is now housed in the Main Library and, as a result of the recataloguing project, will be available to students and researchers worldwide. 

Andrew Lacey

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Last updated: 5 March 2003 10:55
Created by: Rachel Tunstall

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