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Medical Collections

Early Printed Books

Illustration from De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri VII by Andreas Vesalius, Basel, undated

Illustration from De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri VII by Andreas Vesalius, Basel, undated

Medicine has been taught in Trinity College Dublin for almost 300 years. The collections cover the development of medical science from the ancients to the present. There are numerous early editions of the works of Galen and Hippocrates. The early modern developments in anatomy are in A. Vesalius, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, Basel, 1543. Early surgery is illustrated in A. Paré, Opera Chirurgica, Paris, 1582.

Exploration brought European nations into contact with unfamiliar diseases and medical remedies and these are reflected in a range of 18th-century publications. British and Irish publications recording advances in medicine in the 19th century are contained in the wide range of books received under copyright legislation.

Manuscripts & Archives

TCD MUN/MED uncatalogued correspondence

TCD MUN/MED uncatalogued correspondence

Manuscripts & Archives houses a rich collection of material relating to the history and development of medicine in Ireland. The material includes 16th-century Barber Surgeons records; 18th-century discourses on diseases such as "the Kings Evil"; the papers of individuals such as Dorothy Price and W.J.E. Jessop as well as the archives of Dr Steevens’ and the Adelaide hospitals. Other highlights of the collection include:

  • A quarter of the hundred or so medical manuscripts in the Irish language that survive from the period 1400-1700
  • The records of Trinity College’s School of Medicine founded in 1711
  • The Adelaide Hospital collection including the papers of the Adelaide Hospital School of Nursing

Catalogues and Bibliography

Catalogues for individual collections are available in the reading room of the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library.

E. Gittins, "Research Resources for the History of Medicine at Trinity College Library", Irish Archives: Journal of the Irish Society for Archives (Winter 2008).

G.M. Fealy, The Adelaide Hospital School of Nursing 1859-2009: A Commemorative History (Dublin, 2009)