On trial: Codices Vossiani Latini Online

Thanks to a request from a member of staff in Classics, we currently have trial access to Brill’s Codices Vossiani Latini Online which publishes all 363 codices which form the world-famous Latin part of Isaac Vossius’ manuscript collection held at Leiden University Library.

 

You can access this resource via the E-resources trials page. Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 27th September 2017.

Screenshot from VLQ 079 – Aratea, c. 850.

Isaac Vossius (1618-1689) was a Dutch scholar and collector of manuscripts, maps, atlases and printed works, who for a few years was also the court librarian to Queen Christina of Sweden. According to contemporaries Vossius’s extensive library was the best in Europe, if not the world, and after he died his library of books and manuscripts was sold to the University of Leiden. Read More

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Christian-Muslim Encounters in Texts

This week, the School of Divinity hosts the first conference of the Global Network for Christian-Muslim Studies,  Reframing Christian-Muslim Encounter : Theological and Philosophical Perspectives.

In a new display in New College Library, we can see some Christian-Muslim encounters in texts from New College Library’s collections.  These texts record Christian reactions to the Muslim encounters Turkish military campaigns brought close to home, and the preparations of Christian missionaries to venture into Muslim territories. 

Robert, of Chester, active 1143, Peter, the Venerable, approximately 1092-1156, Bibliander, Theodorus (1504-1564), Luther, Martin (1483-1586) Melanchthon, Philipp (1497-1560), Machumetis Saracenorum principis, eius’ que successorum vitae, doctrina, ac ipse Alcoran.
(Basel, 1550) MH.163

At the same time as Martin Luther was challenging the authority of the papacy using scripture, the military campaigns of the Turks were approaching closer into Europe. Luther approached this encounter with Islam by inquiring into Islamic texts, which culminated in his involvement in this publication in Latin of the Qur’ān. Read More

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Sydney Goodsir Smith Stands for Rector

In 1951, students voting for a new Rector of Edinburgh University faced a choice between a quite extraordinary range of candidates. The election of actor Alistair Sym in 1948 had put an end to a long tradition of electing career politicians or military men. This time, in the wake of Sym’s success, nominees included Nobel-prize winning scientist Sir Alexander Fleming, novelist Evelyn Waugh, music hall entertainer Jimmy Logan, and politician and spiritual leader, Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, Aga Khan III.

Also on the ballot was Lallans poet Sydney Goodsir Smith, who had come to prominence three years earlier through his collection Under the Eildon Tree, one of the major works of the Scottish Literary Renaissance. Edinburgh University Archives have recently purchased a copy of Smith’s campaign leaflet, adding to our major collection of Smith papers (Coll-497).

Smith was born in New Zealand but moved to Scotland in 1928 when his father Sir Sydney Alfred Smith (1883-1969) was appointed Professor of Forensic Medicine at Edinburgh University. Smith himself began a medical degree at Edinburgh University but soon abandoned it to study Modern History at Oxford. The ‘Message from the Candidate’ in the campaign leaflet alludes to his brief Edinburgh career:

During my short and somewhat hectic time as a medical student here, I must have been inoculated with the bug of not exactly ‘study’ so much as just ‘being a student’, for I seem to have remained a student, of one thing or another, ever since.

Smith thus presents himself as ‘a real student’s rector’, who, unlike his ageing and out-of-touch rivals, will provide an ‘effective student voice’ on the University Court. There is a second strand to his campaign, however, which voters may have struggled to reconcile with his stance as a spokesman for student interests.

The ‘Message from the Candidate’ also states that Smith’s nomination is:

single evidence of the increased regard held for Scottish literature – too long the Cinderella of Scottish life and thought – by the student body of what used to be Scotland’s capital in fact as well as name

The leaflet, in fact, foregrounds Smith’s literary credentials. The cover photo portrays Smith in his study, resplendent in a smoking gown, and surrounded by tottering piles of books. Beneath the caption ‘Sydney Goodsir Smith: Poet, Scholar, Artist, Wit’ are endorsements from major literary figures of the day, Edith Sitwell, Neil M. Gunn, Duncan Macrae, Sorley Maclean, and Hugh MacDiarmid.

Conspicuously, the least political endorsements are placed first. Sitwell claims that ‘it would honour poetry should [Smith] be elected’, Gunn declares that ‘to vote for a Scots poet of so rare a vintage as Sydney Goodsir Smith I should find irresistible’. For actor Duncan Macrae, Smith is alone among the candidates in possessing ‘the distinction of genius’. Maclean too credits Smith with ‘creative genius’ along with an ‘irresistible personality’ and a place among ‘the very finest critical intelligences’.

Only the final endorsement from Hugh MacDiarmid, himself a rectorial candidate in 1935 and 1935, gives a hint of Smith’s political position. Presenting Smith as ‘an outstanding figure in the Scottish Renaissance Movement’, MacDiarmid describes him as:

A scholar, a lover of all the arts, a great wit, a well-informed Scot with all his country’s best interests at heart and above all a passionate concern for freedom and hatred of every sort of cant or humbug, he typifies all that is best in the Scottish National Awakening now in progress and is contributing magnificently thereto.

The rest of the leaflet does not so much explain how a commitment to the Scottish Literary Renaissance will shape Smith’s rectorial work, as set the two strands of his campaign side-by-side, leaving the voter to trace a connection. For example, it gives the following ‘Four Reasons for Supporting Sydney Goodsir Smith’:

  1. His distinction is that of real creative genius.
  2. He would be sure to give a worthwhile and amusing address.
  3. He is a Scotsman who believes in his own country.
  4. He would be a real students’ rector.

In places, the leaflet is a little self-contradictory. Students are asked to vote for Smith because ‘a Scottish university should first of all honour the great men of its own country’. They should not vote for Fleming, however, because he may be ‘a great scientist and benefactor of mankind’ but the ‘rectorship is an office of spokesman for the student body, not an honour per se‘.

Perhaps, in fact, the strongest claim that emerges from the leaflet is the likelihood of Smith delivering a colourful rectorial address. His credentials as ‘wit and humorist’ are illustrated in a series of put-downs of rival candidates. Particularly acerbic barbs are directed at Jimmy Logan (‘information scanty but supposed to be a comedian’), politician Sir Andrew Murray (‘nicely groomed ex-provost … non-allergic to limelight’), Evelyn Waugh (‘hobby – writing blue books for naughty, naught Catholics’), and the Aga Khan (‘but who can’t?’).

Since acquiring the leaflet, we have discovered that another recent purchase, the archives of the Edinburgh student literary magazine The Jabberwock (Coll-1611), contains a draft version of Smith’s ‘Message from the Candidate’, together with the original manuscripts of the endorsements by Hugh MacDiarmid and Edith Sitwell. The Jabberwock’s editor Ian Holroyd evidently worked as Smith’s campaign manager, and the archive also contains a letter from veteran Scottish writer Compton Mackenzie, regretting that he cannot endorse Smith’s candidature, as he has been approached by two other candidates with equal claims on his support.

The draft of Smith’s ‘Message from the Candidate’ contains a substantial amount of text omitted from the published version. One deleted paragraph reads:

If this were a political election (which I am told it is not to be, this time), I think my sentiments would be well-known to some of you as those of a man who wished to restore the ancient dignity of Scotland – all-out, in fact, and only falling somewhat short of bombs in letter-boxes and Customs at the Border. However, as this is not to be political, and as we are unfortunately unlikely as yet to get the chance of reducing the tax on whisky, I come to you with no ‘policy’ at all. I have none, in the circumstances, for I believe it would not be proper (in the happy event of my election) or my place to represent any other body than the students of this University and to be their spokesman on the University Court.

Was it the hints of political extremism, the allusion to Smith’s drinking habits, or the cheery admission of having no policy, that most alarmed Smith’s campaign manager? Also deleted is the postscript ‘I am truly sorry Groucho refused – he’d have unstuffed a few more shirts’. Groucho Marx had, in fact, been asked to stand as a rectorial candidate, but sadly declined.

In the end, Sir Alexander Fleming, who enjoyed the near unanimous support of medical students, won a resounding victory. Smith’s backers may over-estimated the average Edinburgh student’s interest in literature. Canvassers for Evelyn Waugh commonly met with the response: ‘Who’s she?’

For more on the 1951 Rectorial campaign, see Donald Wintergill, The Rectors of the University of Edinburgh 1859-2000 (Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press, 2005), pp. 127-35. Although Smith was never to stand again, his father Sir Sydney Smith won the next Rectorial election in 1954.

Paul Barnaby, Acquisition and Scottish Literary Collections Curator

UPDATE: Subsequent research in our C. M. Grieve Archive has revealed that Sydney Goodsir Smith was invited to stand for Rector by the university’s recently formed Scottish Renaissance Society. In a letter to Hugh MacDiarmid, dated 14 October 1951, Ian Holroyd writes that ‘we thought Sydney a very good choice as a Scottish literary candidate in that he can draw support from the medical faculty as son of the dean and a former student as well as appealing to the nationally-conscious Scottish undergraduates’ (MS 2951.6/6-7).

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Victorian Veterinary Journals

Tab. II (after p.10).

The Anatomy of the Horse. Stubbs, George.

Recently I worked on digitising a small number of volumes of The Veterinary Journal from the late 19th century and late 20th century. Almost 100 years apart, the earlier volumes from 1889-1898 had some questionable advice and cures for ailments including the free use of toxic chemicals and even a few drams of whisky for a horse’s stomach ache! We view these archaic methods nowadays with humour – after all, some absurdities are expected from a late Victorian medical journal.

The first journal I scanned was compiled in 1889, and there was a brief article about the use of Chloroform as an anaesthetic for horses during surgery, and although the author is “aware that some authorities rather discourage the administration of chloroform, on the ground that it frightens the horse more than the operation does” he noted that “if small doses are administered with very little air the results are much more satisfactory, particularly if Carlisle’s chloroform-bag is used. Of this apparatus I wish to speak in terms of great praise, and would strongly recommend it to chloroformists.”

This short report may have been slightly controversial, as research had been done as early as forty years prior about the dangers of chloroform as an anaesthetic, for both humans and animals, and the first human death due to chloroform poisoning was in 1848, although several professional institutions denied for many years that there was a correlation between the two.

A glass bottle used to administer chloroform, owned by James Young Simpson. In a leather case.

There was an increasing number of human deaths relating to the medical use of chloroform in the 1800s, even when John Snow’s purpose built inhaler was used, often due to incorrect adjustment of the absorbent paper and unregulated dosages. Shock or fright also added to the likelihood of death as the heart and lungs were already in a fragile state, and ironically those who were otherwise healthy and in a physically fit state needed a dangerously high amount to reach the same state as frail patients.

Snow used animals as test subjects and when he found that the other popular anaesthetic Ether did not produce paralysis of the heart, he nevertheless continued to use chloroform. When asked why, he said “An occasional risk never stands in the way of ready applicability.” It must also be noted that in 1824 Henry Hill Hickman discovered that he could use carbon dioxide as a painless anaesthetic in animals, but unfortunately this wasn’t well documented at the time. Perhaps the author of the article in The Veterinary Journal held the same beliefs as Snow and was set in his ways.

(‘Note on Chloroform’ by F. Raymond, F.R.C.V.S., F.R.M.S., E.T.C, Army Veterinary Department, The Veterinary Journal: Volume 28, 1889)

 

The Veterinary Journal: Volume 46 (XLVI) 1898_1

Another odd article found in the Notes and News section in Volume 46 (1898) was ‘The Value of Hydrochloric Acid in Sciatica Discovered by Accident’. This article describes a man who suffered for many years from sciatica who was undergoing treatment of hypodermic injections of salt and water, but found it ineffective. He felt a stronger salt content would be more successful, so he procured some “spirit of salt” (hydrochloric acid) and painted it on his skin in the affected areas. He was miraculously cured of his pains in only a few days, and told doctors who were interested in trialling this treatment with their patients. “The procedure is simple enough,” the article promises, “Half an ounce of strong hydrochloric acid is put in a small cup and a brush is dipped in it and applied over the painful part of the nerve, three or four coats being painted on. The limb is then developed in a cotton-wool dressing. Of course, the application causes a somewhat severe smarting sensation, but this is quite bearable. A few minutes afterwards the skin becomes reddened and hot, and sometimes bullae are formed which fill with fluid. These, even if they occur, disappear in two or three days. Usually the patient feels better even after a single sitting. The application can be repeated in from twenty-four to forty-eight hours, but not again for several days, for fear of producing sloughs. Of course, too, where there are bullae they must be avoided in subsequent applications.”

The article was overwhelmingly positive with doctors reporting many happy and cured patients. No mention of other health hazards (apart from the burns on the skin’s surface) such as inflammation and ulceration of the respiratory tract, chest pain and pulmonary edema from acute inhalation of hydrochloric acid. Due to limited medical knowledge of chemical toxicity at the time, only autopsies could reveal underlying internal health problems, some caused by the apparent cures.

Lastly, I came across a brief but thought provoking article that is very relevant in today’s climate of awareness for animal welfare, titled ‘Is the Flesh of Tortured Animals Poisonous as Food?’. The opening statement recalls that this is not a new concept; “The idea has been recently started, or rather revived – for it is somewhat ancient – that the flesh of tortured animals may be pernicious as food; and as it has received the support of medical men […] Whether it really does so is a question we cannot pretend to answer, but the popular notion […] [is] that some change does occur in the tissues under the influence of pain or distress.”

Chillingham Bull by William Shiels (1785-1857). Creator: Low, David (b.1786, d.1859).

 More than ever before vegetarianism and veganism is becoming popular as more awareness is spread about animal cruelty and the factory farming industry, and people are making choices that are more emotionally charged when it comes to food and the environment. This article from 1889 doesn’t offer much scientific analysis or any conclusive proof, apart from an anecdotal excerpt; “A medical man at Lancaster lends his countenance to the poisonous character of what he designates “tortured meat,” and he evidently believes that there is danger in its consumption. A toxic product is developed in the flesh of tortured animals, he asserts, one of the class of peculiar bodies known as “ptomaines,” some of which are not destroyed at the temperature of cooking, and which, he contends, are undoubtedly produced under conditions of great pain and distress.”

It was a surprising subject to come across, especially in a volume so old, but clearly showing an awareness for the welfare of animals among veterinary professionals, and those looking closely at the structure of an animal on a scientific basis. Awareness of chemicals that were entering our bodies was evidently a viable research venture in the 1800s. In stark contrast, the journals from the late 1980s are much closer to today’s medical standards and following much stricter procedures and regulations.

Who knows what new discoveries veterinary journals of 2080 may hold!

Juliette Lichman
Digitisation Assistant

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Student interns in Stack III this summer

Over this summer, our three student interns, Thomas, Holly and Mila have been hard at work behind the scenes in New College Library’s Stack III. Their task was to work with the X Collection, a collection of large (folio) early printed books. Over the years this collection had gathered a layer of dust, which our interns carefully removed with a museum book hoover. Having our interns handling each of these books was also a great opportunity to learn more about them, and to understand how the collection was composed in terms of date, language and place of publication. These details were logged using methodology adapted from projects on collections in National Trust Houses.

We’re delighted to say that that our interns have tackled three full bays of the X Collection, and cleaned and logged over 1600 books. We now know that the collection (as logged so far) is almost entirely pre-1800 in date, predominantly in English and Latin and pretty equally split between European and UK imprints. All this information will help us to develop future projects to catalogue this collection online.

It was a pleasure to work with our student interns, and through their enthusiasm to rediscover these collections. Hope to do it all again next year!

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity.

With thanks to Margaret Redpath, NCL Library Services Manager and Karen Bonthron, ECA/NCL Helpdesk Team Lead

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Alexander Murray Drennan – pioneer of Eusol

Alexander Murray Drennan – or Murray to his friends – was born in Glasgow on 4th January 1884, and grew up in Helensburgh before coming to Edinburgh in 1901 to study medicine. Murray was a keen letter writer, and his letters to his sweetheart ‘Nan’ (Marion Galbraith, who would later become his wife) give an insight into the life of a young aspiring medical student:

Our first class begins at 8am so we have to be up betimes in the morning. From 8 to 10 I have anatomy and then at 11 I go over to the Infirmary; nominally we leave there at 1pm but on Operation days, twice a week at least, it is often 3 before I get away as I have the pleasure of being the instrument clerk and as such have to see after the instruments.

– GD9/45

It wasn’t all hard work, though. Murray’s letters to Nan and his family recount evenings spent at enjoying Edinburgh’s cultural offerings (“I went to see Faust on Monday night. It is rather a ‘creepy’ sort of opera but the music is very fine”); attending dinners (“at night there was a complimentary dinner given to Professor Beattie in the Caledonian Hotel … Beattie was very popular when he was here and no wonder for he was an exceptionally nice man and knew his work thoroughly”) and afternoons spent playing tennis and golf with fellow students as well as professors (“Professor Schӓfer had the goodness to ask me down to North Berwick to golf with him … a most enjoyable day’s golf in the most delightful weather. We went back to the house and had tea and then I had just time to get the 6.43 train back”).

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Residents, Summer 1907. Drennan is seated front row, far right.

After graduating MB ChB in 1906, Murray took up a practical apprenticeship as a Resident of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. In between visiting patients and supervising the various nurses, clerks, dressers and medical students who attended the wards, the Residents made time to enjoy themselves (you can find out more about their antics over on the LHSA blog). In one letter to Nan, Murray related a night out for the ‘Mess’:

RIE Residents on a bus, ready for an outing.

Friday … evening at 9pm, the Mess having chartered a visitor bus (& driver) set out for Peebles. It created quite a sensation when at the appointed time one of these large buses labelled “Jeffery’s Lager” rolled up to the door & we all embarked. The inside was converted into smoking room, saloon bar, while the upper deck was occupied by the sightseers. It was very funny going out Dalkeith Rd, several people tried to get on board thinking it was a public conveyance, needless to say their attempts to mount our machine were not encouraged by word or deed. The run out was delightful as it was a clear warm evening & the road lies through pretty country. We got to Peebles shortly after 11pm & found supper all ready for us at the ‘Cross Keys’ inn. As usual the Mess meeting was constituted & we did full justice to the repast, reembarking again about 12.40am.”

– GD9/46

Following his residency Murray stayed close to home, working in the by-now familiar Pathology Department of the University of Edinburgh. When war broke out in 1914, he signed up as an official Pathologist with the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C), and in 1915 he had to postpone an imminent appointment as the first full-time Professor of Pathology at the University of Otago in New Zealand and instead make his way to the R.A.M.C. Depot in Aldershot. In a letter home dated October 1915, he describes some of the men he will serving with and the set-up of their team:

The staff seem all very decent men, one or two are well over forty & must have been in practice. There are several Edinburgh graduates amongst them … on the whole I think we should work well together … There are two or three surgical specialists, one medical specialist, several radiologists, several anaesthetists and one bacteriologist … there is a little man Brown who has done a little in that way & I shall try & get him on to help, but he does not profess much technical knowledge!

GD9/7

In early November 1915 Murray’s unit was deployed to Mudros, on the island of Greece. He would later describe how this previously “bare, stony island” was overtaken by military personnel:

As the occupation spread the whole of the harbour side of the island was dotted with tents from Mudros East to Condia on the west. It was a shifting population, today 10000, next week perhaps 60000. The only permanent fixtures, so to speak, being the various H.Q.s, the Base depots and the Hospitals.

To the north a little outside Mudros East were several stationary hospitals situated on a sun-baked flat, and there they bore the burden of the day; blinded with dust and flies and crowded up with cases of dysentery, the staff often sick, they cheerily toiled along. In the neighbourhood also were numerous camps of combatant units; and one bright spot, facetiously known as the “dogs’ home”, where extra medical officers were kept on the chain and supplied as required to the Peninsula or to units on the island.

– GD9/38

Murray’s letters home to Nan and their children from this time paint rather a relaxed picture of life in war time. Reading them, one is left with the impression that he only wanted to recount activities that his wife would be familiar with, rather than the full realities of a life in an overseas field hospital. One letter, for example, describes how they spend their evenings: “After dinner we had our usual games at whist. It is quite an institution and we have played every evening after dinner, always Richards and Thuilliers against the Colonel and me, and so far the games have been very even”. In another letter, Murray talks of attending a garden party: “it was just quiet tea in the Fergusons’ little garden, a shady spot with palms, & bougainvillea, & such things growing about. … We had tea & chatted & then left in small batches”.

Alexander Murray Drennan in Cairo, 1915

By 1915 some of Murray correspondents had already been stationed abroad for some time, and his incoming letters give insights into some very different military experiences. Murray’s younger brother James Stewart Drennan (who had joined the Royal Horse and Field Artillery in 1912) described life in Salonika and a close encounter with a German zeppelin:

It has been beastly hot here again the last few days and we have now chucked working in the middle of the day, instead we lie on our beds in a more or less nude condition and curse the flies, luckily it is still nice and cool at night.

Salonica [sic] had another visit from a Zepp. three or four days ago, just before daylight. All the guns and searchlights in the place got on to it at once and it was brought down before it had a chance of dropping any bombs. It came down in the marshes at the mouth of the Vardar River and the men were captured, so were felt rather bucked at having bagged a Zepp in this corner of the world.

– GD9/10

A letter from Tom Graham Brown, physiologist and mountaineer, gives an insight into the life of medical personnel at home:

Write me a decent letter and tell me all your news. I wish I was out there with you. I am at present fixed in this hospital which is one for shock cases – mostly men who are pretty badly shaken or bad mentally after bombardments. Very many of them get well – tho’ we get a good many early G.P.I’s before they are diagnosed.

I wish all the same that I could get out. It isn’t any catch being in this country. However I must trust to luck.

– GD9/4

Yet another perspective was provided by Dr John Fraser (later Prof. Sir John Fraser, Principal of University of Edinburgh). Dr Fraser was stationed in Northern France, and his letters describe the long, difficult days the staff there endured:

Lately we have been deluged with work: you can probably imagine what Monday was like. I was in the theatre from 10am to 12 midnight, and in that time there were 6 craniotomies: an amputation and 2 gas gangrene: in addition to others. One doesn’t feel much inclined for reading or writing after such days.

– GD9/100

There were benefits to working in such tough conditions, however. War often brings about significant advances in technology and medicine: as well as the greater incentive to improve the health of fighting forces, the need to take risks and experiment can also increase.

Many of the battles of WW1 took place on muddy farmland, and it could sometimes be days before a soldier was transported to a clearing hospital for comprehensive treatment. This meant the risk of already-traumatic wounds becoming infected was high, with gangrene claiming many lives.

For some time prior to his deployment Murray had been working with colleagues in the Pathology Department at the University of Edinburgh “to find an antiseptic which could be applied as a first dressing in the field to prevent sepsis”[1], and in 1915 they published a paper in the British Medical Journal on their experiments with ‘Eusol’, or Edinburgh University Solution of Lime. This was a combination of bleaching powder and boric acid, and early experiments both in the wards and in the field showed great success at reducing infection and speeding up healing.

In gathering accounts of these experiments, Murray relied on other colleagues who were using the Eusol treatment. This letter from Dr Fraser sets out the dilemma faced by many front-line surgeons, and his experience using Eusol:

Since I last wrote you I have had a run of gas gangrene cases, all of them I have treated with Eusol and in each case I have been thoroughly satisfied with the result. With one case I was exceedingly impressed. Lt. Col. —- had been infected 5 days before admission to the Hospital – on admission there was most gangrene to the lower of the knee: from this knee to the groin there was the gas infection of the tissues which precedes the tissue necrosis. One was faced with three possibilities – 1. Leaving him alone to die 2. Doing a flapless amputation at the hip joint: a mutilating operation from which few recover 3. Amputation through the centre of the thigh, in other words, through the centre of the gas infected area, and risking it.

I chose the last: I did the operation under Special Anaesthesia and as I was doing the operation I remarked that it ought to satisfy the criteria as regards the use of Eusol. I amputated through the thigh and not only so but I made flaps and partly closed the wound, a thing one had never dared to attempt previously… The result was a complete success: no trace of gangrene appeared subsequently.

GD9/100

A further hurdle to be overcome in wartime was the difficulty in communicating such advances. Recognising the delays to the mail that could occur, Murray devised a system for himself and Nan:

I sent off my last to you on Sunday afternoon, & I labelled it no.1 as I explained so that you would know by the number if a letter was missing, of course I have sent several to you before I began the numbering. This is a recapitulation in case you didn’t get my last letter.

GD9/4

Murray also kept a small diary in which he recorded letters sent and received – an absolute dream for archivists and researchers!

There are roughly 6 archive boxes of letters like this – thankfully Drennan had a system by which to organise them!

No such system was in place for the medical men, however, and correspondence over a number of weeks between Murray, J. Lorrain Smith and Fraser details the somewhat arduous process of getting an article published.

I am sorry to have been so lazy in getting this note away, but during the last week the pace of work has increased and although [things are quieter] at present, if I do not get these away now it may be a long while before I have another opportunity.

– Fraser to Drennan, 17 Sep 1915

For the past fortnight I have been cut off from all correspondence and your letter and the manuscript were awaiting me here on my return. I have handed the manuscript to the Colonel and he has approved of it: he forwards it to the DMS [Director of Medical Services] and who if he approves will forward to the War Office: the WO will notify the BMJ or Dr Fletcher to proceed with the publication. The ways of the army are wonderful but there they are!

– Fraser to Drennan, 5 Dec 1915

By 1916 Eusol was an established means for treating septic wounds, and even today[1] hypochlorus acid forms a backbone to attempts to accelerate wound healing.

After being discharged from service in 1916, Murray was finally able to take up his place in New Zealand, with his wife and children joining him shortly after. They remained there until 1929 when Professor Drennan took up the Chair of Pathology at Queen’s University in Belfast, and in 1932 he returned to his alma mater to take up the Chair at the University of Edinburgh, where he remained until his retirement in 1954. Professor Drennan died in 1984, a few weeks after his 100th birthday.

Alexander Murray Drennan and family on a picnic in Dunedin, New Zealand.

References

[1] http://www.pmfanews.com/media/4762/pmfaas17-cleansing-new.pdf

[1] 2 Smith JL, Drennan AM, Rettie T, Campbell W. Experimental observations on the antiseptic action of hypochlorous acid and its application to wound treatment. BMJ 1915;ii: 129-36.

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New College Library Collections go under wraps during essential maintenance work

Essential maintenance work is being undertaken in September and October on the New College heating system. We will be installing protective coverings in the Library to manage risks of leaks from the heating pipes which run through the New College Library collections on all the Stack floors.  This means that public access to library collections in Stack I and Stack II is likely to be restricted between Monday 28 August and Wednesday 20 September. The Library Hall and the David Welsh Reading Room will be open as usual,  and we will be running a fetch on demand service for library users with hourly collections. We regret that there is likely to be some noise disruption from the works during September and October, and we will continue to provide earplugs for anyone who needs them.

Updates and further information on New College Library

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

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New E-Resource – Climate Change and Law Collection

Following a successful trial, we have purchased Brill’s Climate Change and Law Collection.

This comprehensive collection of climate change and law documents contains original source, non-edited and non-redacted “grey literature.”  Incorporated in the category of ‘law’ is any discipline of law which addresses climate change, including corporate law, environmental law and human rights law. Materials in the collection originate from a wide range of organizations in the public and private sector, institutions, and/or individuals, world-wide.

This collection will continue to grow and covers the following subject areas:

  • Carbon Emissions
  • Climate Change and Conflict
  • Climate change and Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable practices
  • Climate Change and Finance
  • Climate Change and Food Security
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Climate change and human rights
  • Climate Change and Indigenous Rights
  • Climate change and law/environmental law/human rights law/land rights
  • Climate change and market-based instruments
  • Climate Change and Natural Disaster
  • Climate Change Negotiations
  • Climate Justice
  • Environmental law
  • Global Environment Change/Global climate change
  • Human rights law and environmental/climate change
  • Sustainable development

Access this collection via DiscoverEd, or our Law databases AZ list.

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Editing a list: How to move and delete citations and sections

This short guide will show you how to edit, move, and delete your citations and/or sections within your list.

How to edit your citations

In this video we are going to show you how to edit your citations in two ways:

  1. By clicking on the menu (the “…” icon on the right of the citation) and choosing the “edit item” option. You can add additional information about the item record in the pop-up.
  2. Clicking on the citation displays the full item record, which you can easily edit to add notes for students or a note for the library.

How to move your citations

Moving your citations around is easily done with just dragging and dropping them.

Useful tip: if you experience problems, refreshing the page may help.

 

 

How to delete your citations

You can delete your item by choosing the “delete item” option from the citation menu (clicking

on the “…” icon on the right of the citation).

Useful tip: If you would like to delete the item from the section, but you might want to use it again some time later, save it to your “My Collection” and you can easily find it again when needed.

How to edit your sections

Click on the menu (the “…” icon on the right of the section’s title), and then choose the “edit section” option.

Don’t forget to hit “Save” after changing something on your list.

How to move your sections

This video will demonstrate how to move your sections within the list.

 

Useful tip: if you are having problems with dragging and dropping the sections, refresh the list, or the whole page.

How to copy sections

You can copy sections within the same list, or you can even copy sections into as many other lists as you wish. The video below will show you how.

How to delete your sections

The way you delete a section is very similar to deleting an item. Click on the menu (“…”) on the right of the section’s title, and then choose the “delete section” option. NB if you delete a section or a list, you can’t recover it, so be careful!

If you have any comments or queries about Resource Lists, please get in touch with Library Learning Services at library.learning@ed.ac.uk

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Archives abound in Archives Unbound

Exciting major online primary source database now available at the Library.

I’m really pleased to let you know that the Library has got a 1-year subscription to the fantastic primary source database Archives Unbound from Gale Cengage. Archives Unbound currently has 265 collections of primary source material, with new collections added every year. It is a huge database and covers a wide range of subject areas and time periods.

You can access Archives Unbound from the Databases A-Z list and appropriate Database by Subject lists. The Library has already previously purchased permanent access to 9 collections from Archives Unbound and you can find out more about these at Spotlight on Archives Unbound.

What is Archives Unbound?

Archives Unbound presents topically-focused digital collections of historical documents that support the research and study needs of students and academics. Collections cover a broad range of topics from the Middle Ages forward-from Witchcraft to the Second World War to 20th century political history and the collections are chosen for Archives Unbound based on requests from scholars, archivists, and students.

In Archives Unbound you can search through all 265 collections at one time or you can choose to search/browse individual collections or groups of collections.

What’s in Archives Unbound?

Read More

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Collections

Resources for Christian ministry and worship at New College Library Today New College welcomes ministers and worship leaders to a CPD day focusing on Biblical resources....
Default utility Image Sydney Goodsir Smith Stands for Rector In 1951, students voting for a new Rector of Edinburgh University faced a choice between...

Projects

Default utility Image Spotlight on Fiddles at St Cecilia’s Hall Guest post from Olivia Thorne, a museums placement student at St Cecilia’s Hall As a...
Default utility Image Finding my way around the map and atlas collection We catch up with Helen, our Projects Conservator at the University Collections Facility (UCF), in...

Archives

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