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Pathology Museum of St Bartholomew's Hospital - Pathological Illustration Collection

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0405 MU/14
Held at: St Bartholomew's Hospital - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Full title: Pathology Museum of St Bartholomew's Hospital - Pathological Illustration Collection
Date(s): 1819-1950
Level of description: Sub fonds of Pathology Museum of St Bartholomew's Hospital
Extent: 1842 items
Name of creator(s): St Bartholomew's Hospital | Pathology Museum

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

The first record of the existence of a museum at St Bartholomew's Hospital was in 1726, when a room was provided by the Governors as a 'Repository for Anatomical or Chirurgical Preparations'. However the scope of this original collection remained rather limited, comprising mainly of examples of urinary calculi, until the efforts of the surgeon and lecturer John Abernethy (1764-1830) and assistant surgeon Edward Stanley (1793-1862) who, on recognising the dearth of useful teaching material in the Museum, donated their own private anatomical collections to the Hospital in 1828. In the same year they secured the undertaking that all medical and surgical staff would send any interesting specimens they found to the central museum, rather than keeping them for their own collections. These steps ensured that the Hospital finally began to accumulate a teaching collection which was the equal if not the envy of other rival institutions.

The foundation of the Pathology Illustration Collection began in 1844, when it was noted in the Board of Governor's Minutes that a collection of finished and coloured sketches of diseased parts had been commenced by William Alfred Delamotte (1806-1872), the Librarian of the Medical School from [1841]-1852, in order to show the effects of disease which could not otherwise be displayed in traditional museum specimens. Delamotte, the son of the landscape artist William Delamotte, contributed drawings to the Museum until 1852 when his successor, Thomas Godart (1821-1887), took over the tradition of Librarian acting as Museum artist. This co-arrangement ended in 1881 when Godart retired from his duties as Librarian but continued acting as the Museum's artist and, after being supplied with photographic equipment in the same year, its first photographer until 1887.

Leonard Portal Mark, a general practitioner and Barts alumnus, was officially appointed to the post of Museum artist on 1 October 1887 on an annual retainer of 20 guineas plus an additional one guinea per image. Mark developed the crippling condition acromegaly and was frequently too ill to fulfil his duties thus allowing the opportunity for others, usually the current medical students, to contribute drawings of their own. From 1890 until its dissolution in 1901, photographic services were undertaken by St Bartholomew's Hospital Photographic Society whose membership consisted mostly of the medical students of the day. Due to the increasing reliance on photography, the Museum artist's retainer was eventually dropped in 1902, but Mark continued to occasionally contribute drawings to the collection until 1908.

For the most part, the collection's emphasis is on showing the localised, physical effects of disease upon the external and internal structure of the human body, rather than its aetiology. The images were designed to act as a reference tool for medical students and staff, introducing them to the features and signs indicative of particular illnesses. In doing so, the collection showed in detail the common and not so common diseases prevalent throughout Victorian and Edwardian London such as syphilis, tuberculosis, rickets, smallpox, cholera, typhoid, glanders and elephantiasis. However due to developments in diagnostic techniques, in particular cellular pathology, this old fashioned approach to medicine meant that the collection eventually fell out of favour and into disuse. The last accessions to the collection were in 1912, although there are a small number of items which were added at a much later date.

As with the physical specimens held in the Pathology Museum, the majority of the drawings and photographs were of cases found in wards of St Bartholomew's Hospital. However the illustrations had the advantage of being able to record the diseased organs, bones and tumours when 'fresh' and in colour. Also the drawings and photographs could depict curable, temporary conditions or diseases in their early forms, such as allergic reactions to prescribed medicines or the first stages of syphilitic infection. These representations of 'live' patients can be seen as an extension of the medical education method of learning about disease from observation at the bedside, indeed some of the individuals in the illustrations are literally pictured in their pyjamas.

There is very little information surviving in regards to the patients depicted in the earlier illustrations but as the collection developed there was a concerted effort, particularly for images after the 1890s, to cross reference them with the medical case notes, postmortem reports or Museum specimens - allowing students and staff of the time to be able to study a full, illustrated record of a particular case. However the majority of the case notes, specimens and all of the plaster casts were destroyed in the 1940s, but the patient reference numbers, most of which tally with the extant Admission Registers, means that in around a third of the cases the individuals depicted in the images are still identifiable. Fortunately, accounts of around 200 of the cases were published in contemporary journals and books meaning that some clinical information does survive.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Drawings, photographs and prints, 1819-1950, depicting pathological subjects mostly executed by the Museum's resident artists Thomas Godart, Leonard Portal Mark, William Alfred Delamotte and the St Bartholomew's Hospital Photographic Society, but also by contemporary medical students, staff and alumni of St Bartholomew's Hospital and their external medical associates such as James Paget, Horace Benge Dobell, John Lock Bailey, Jonathan Toogood, Walter James Bayntin, Andrew Melville McWhinnie and William Home Clift.

The collection is arranged under the following 51 subject headings:
Diseases of the bones, notably eight photographs of the original case of osteitis deformans as described by Paget in his paper "On a form of chronic inflammation of the bones (osteitis deformans)." 'Medico-Chirurgical Transactions' vol LX (1877); Diseases of the joints, including examples of intermuscular synovial cysts (Baker's cysts) as first described by William Morrant Baker in his paper "On the formation of synovial cysts in the leg in connection with disease of the knee joint." 'St Bartholomew's Hospital Reports' vol XIII (1877); Injuries of bones (fractures), notably three drawings of ununited fractures of the femur by William Home Clift, 1822-1823; Injuries and diseases of the joints (dislocations, etc); Diseases, deformities and injuries of the spine; Diseases and injuries of muscles, tendons and bursae; Diseases of the pericardum, and of the heart; Diseases and injuries of the arteries; Diseases and injuries of veins; Diseases and injuries of the larynx and trachea; Diseases and injuries of the pleura, bronchial tubes, and lungs, notably the results of two experiments performed on the lungs of dogs by William Scovell Savory to study the effects of pyaemia, 1864; Diseases and injuries of the nose, mouth, tongue, palate, and fauces, including photographs showing the results of early rhinoplasty operations, 1896-1897; Illustrations of certain diseases of the tongue, comprising 48 illustrations the majority of which were published in Henry Trentham Butlin's 'Diseases of the Tongue' (1885); Diseases of the teeth; Diseases and injuries of the pharynx and oesophagus; Diseases of the peritoneum, omentum and mesentery; Diseases and injuries of the stomach, mostly examples showing the poisonous effects on the stomach after the ingestion of various acids; Diseases and injuries of the intestines, chiefly cases of intestinal ulceration due to typhoid fever; Diseases and injuries of the rectum and anus; Hernia, or protrusions, and other displacements of the intestinal tract; Diseases and injuries of the liver; Diseases and injuries of the gall-bladder and biliary ducts; Diseases of the pancreas; Diseases of the lymphatic glands and vessels; Diseases of the spleen; Diseases of the thyroid gland, including 47 photographs relating to James Berry's essay on diseases of the thyroid, awarded the Jacksonian Prize by the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons, 1887; Diseases of the supra-renal bodies; Diseases and injuries of the kidney; Diseases and injuries of the urninary bladder; Diseases and injuries of the brain and its membranes, including four drawings of experiments performed on the brains of rabbits, the results of three of which were recorded by George Burrows in his publication 'On disorders of the cerebral circulation and on the connection between affections of the brain and diseases of the heart' (1846); Diseases and injuries of the spinal cord; Diseases and injuries of the nerves, including illustrations used in Anthony Alfred Bowlby's publications concerning trophic lesions following injuries to the nerves, principally 'Injuries and Diseases of Nerves and Their Surgical Treatment' (1889); Diseases and injuries of the eye; Diseases and injuries of the ear; Diseases and injuries of the skin and its appendages; Diseases of the testicle, its coverings and of the spermatic cord; Diseases of the scrotum, in particular examples of Chimney Sweep's Cancer, 1848-1891; Diseases and injuries of the urethra and penis; Diseases of the ovaries; Diseases of the uterine appendages; Diseases of the uterus; Diseases of the vagina and external organs of generation in the female; Diseases and injuries incidental to gestation and parturition; Deformities and tumours of the pelvis; Diseases of the mammary gland, mostly relating to cancerous tumours of the breast but including examples of Paget's nipple; General pathology, comprising examples of burns, ulceration, phagaedena and gangrene (notably 7 watercolour drawings of hospital gangrene from cases which occurred at St Bartholomew's Hospital in December 1846 and January 1847), cutaneous tuberculosis, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis (primary, secondary, tertiary and congenital), gout, lead poisoning, myxoedema, cretinism, naevi and various malignant and non malignant tumours; Calculi and other concretions; Congenital malformations and normal structures, chiefly relating to cases of congenital abnormality or unusual development of the internal and external structures of the human body including supernumerary limbs, digits, nipples and auricles, abnormalites of the genitourinary system such as extroversion of the bladder, hypospadias, hermaphroditism, congenital tumours and congenital absence of bones; Miscellaneous specimens, mostly concerning conditions of unknown, unexplained or unusual origin including cases of anorexia nervosa, postmortem discolouration, appearances on the skin by the entrance and exit of bullets; Facial diagnosis, showing examples where disease has had an effect on the facial development or expression which in turn could be used as an aid to diagnosis, such as acromegaly, osteitis deformans, adenoids, tetanus and cretinism; Varicose veins of the legs, comprising 16 drawings depicting cases of severe varicose veins of the legs and its associated conditions, notably venous ulceration, 1928-1950.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

System of arrangement:

The illustration collection has gone through four major arrangements since its first appearance in the published catalogues of St Bartholomew's Hospital Pathology Museum in 1851, mostly due to its increasing size and various attempts to make it more compatible with the physical specimen collection. The current order follows the last major reorganisation of the collection in 1893, as listed in Descriptive catalogue of the drawings and photographs of diseased or injured parts (series LVII) in the Museum of St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1893-[1912] (ref: SBHB MU/11, 16).

There are a small number of unlisted items. Where the conditions can be identified, these are placed in the most suitable series usually at the end. There are however 11 images which remain unidentified and these are placed in section 52 which is not listed above. Also, there is a series of drawings relating to varicose veins dating from the 1920s to the 1950s which are clearly not part of the original collection. These are placed at the end in a separate series.

Conditions governing access:

The collection contains some restricted material. Researchers wishing to consult the archives should first contact the Archivist, St Bartholomew's Hospital, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies of items are obtainable, subject to copyright regulations, from the Department of Medical Illustration at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Arrangements can be made via the Archivist. Outside photographers and researchers' own cameras are not permitted.

Finding aids:

Detailed, itemised catalogue available at the Archives, St Bartholomew's Hospital.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was transferred from the St Bartholomew's Hospital Pathology Museum in 1985.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The archives of St Bartholomew's Hospital holds a number of items concerning the arrangement or development of the Pathology Illustration collection, including: two annotated curator's copies of Descriptive catalogue of the drawings and photographs of diseased or injured parts (series LVII) in the Museum of St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1893-[1912] (ref: SBHB MU/11, 16); pasted volume, based on 1893 arrangement but the numbering of which has been modified to correspond with the 1929 arrangement of the physical Museum specimens, see: Museum Catalogue: Calculi, Casts, Drawings, Teratology (ref: SBHT131); two volumes of Minutes of the Museum Sub-Committee, Dec 1878-Jul 1911 (ref: SBHB MU/15/1-2).


Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Description compiled by Caroline Lam, 2008-2009, as part of a project to catalogue, conserve and digitise the collection, generously funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 2007-June 2008

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