Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Wellcome Library

Less than two weeks now until the start of the 17th annual BIFHSGO conference, something which is never far from the front of my mind these days and came to the fore again when I saw an item passed along by Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists about a new resource from the Wellcome Library.

The trigger for me was the talk "London's Research Secrets: far from the madding crowd." Helen Osborn will be giving at the conference.

The Wellcome Library, situated very close to the British Library, "provides insight and information to anyone seeking to understand medicine and its role in society, past and present." Family historians are one of the fastest-growing user categories.

They are in the middle of a "transformation strategy to create a groundbreaking digital library, allowing online open access to our collections." The vitality in the organization shows on their website, which even includes a QR code, and on their blog which is frequently updated.

Else's notice was about casebooks from Camberwell House Asylum - set up in the mid-nineteenth century and accepted patients – many of them “paupers” referred by the relevant Poor Law authorities.

Two casebooks, for patients admitted between 1847 and 1853 are held by the welcome library. An index of patients’ names in these two volumes has now been added to the catalogue records to make them available through online search interface.

Read about the Camberwell House Asylum on The Wellcome Library blog.

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