London is blessed with a remarkable range of libraries and archives, in which you can explore anything from Non-Conformism in the nineteenth century (at Dr Williams’ Library) to UFO sightings in the 1980s (at the National Archives). But one of the most rich and diverse collections can be found in the Wellcome Library – open to all, free to join, and an essential first stop for anyone wanting to learn more about the intersection of medicine, science, culture and history. Dr Elma Brenner has just joined the Library as Specialist in Medieval and Early Modern Medicine. Building on her post-doctoral research on leprosy in medieval Europe, she’ll be working to raise the profile of the Library’s peerless collection of medieval and early modern medical texts. In this talk Elma enthuses about the delights of medieval marginalia, the challenges of digitising early modern printed books, and the surprising conjunction of pigs and lepers in the history of St James’ Park.
You can listen to & download the podcast using the embedded player below, or (if you prefer) you can go straight to the Sick City Project page on Soundcloud. This is the seventh in a regular series of podcasts, in which I explore the history, literature, art and science of medicine in London (and occasionally further abroad). Keep an ear out for future talks on bones in history and culture.