The Worth Library Launches Exhibition on Infectious Diseases as part of ongoing School of Medicine Tercentary Celebrations

Posted on: 14 December 2010

The Edward Worth Library web exhibition ‘Infectious Diseases at the Worth Library’ was launched earlier this month as part of the ongoing tercentenary celebrations of Trinity’s School of Medicine. The web exhibition, curated by the Librarian of the Edward Worth Library, Dr  Elizabethanne Boran, with assistance from Dr Eoghan Mooney, Trustee of the Library, celebrates Edward Worth’s fascinating collection of medical works on infectious diseases, some of which will be on display in the Worth Library.

The book collection of Edward Worth (1678-1733) is preserved in Dr Steevens’ Hospital. The collection is made up of some 4,400 volumes, the earliest dating from 1475. Most are sumptuously bound in decorated leather or are preserved in original bindings covered with vellum. Approximately one-third of the collection is made up of medical and related scientific works, with classics, history, literature, philosophy, reference, and travel accounting for much of the remainder.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Dr Cliona Ní Cheallaigh (HRB-HSE Research Fellow), gave a seminar paper on ’21st Century Perspectives on Consumption: Host Immune Responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis’.

The library hosts seminars and conferences and an annual lecture series. In 2011, a research fellowship will be offered.

“We want to develop links with universities both in Ireland and internationally, and to encourage researchers to make use of the treasure trove of material we have here,” explains Dr Boran

The relevance of the Worth Library is not confined to medical research. Scholars interested in typography and the history of the book will find pristine examples of deluxe bindings, leather tooling and gilt work.

The Edward Worth Library is located in Dr Steeven’s Hospital and while it is not open to the public, a tour can be arranged by appointment on

The Worth Library Lecture Series 2011 is as follows: February 15th: ‘Smallpox in 18th-century Britain’ – Dr Deborah Brunton March 15th:’

Plague in 15th-century Milan’ – Prof Ann Carmichael April 5th: ‘Syphilis in early modern Germany’ – Dr Claudia Stein April 19th: ‘Tuberculosis in 19th- and 20th-century Ireland’ – Prof Greta Jones