Lyon et l’édition médicale au 16e siècle: l’exemple des Institutions chirurgiques de Jean Tagault, imprimées par Guillaume Rouillé

Au 16e siècle, Lyon est un des principaux centres d’imprimerie d’Europe, et un vivier important de l’édition médicale. C’est d’ailleurs dans cette ville que Le Guydon de la practique en cyrurgie de Guy de Chauliac est imprimé pour la première fois en français en 1478 par Barthélemy Buyer.

Page de titre avec marque d’imprimeur

Parmi les grands imprimeurs lyonnais de la Renaissance, on trouve Guillaume Rouillé (1518-1589). Né à Dolus, près de Loches, il fait son apprentissage à Venise chez les Giolito de Ferrari, puis s’établit à Lyon en tant qu’imprimeur, à l’enseigne  «A l’écu de Venise».

La bibliothèque Osler possède plusieurs ouvrages imprimés par Guillaume Rouillé, dont les Institutions chirurgiques de Jean Tagault (Osler room – T125cF 1549). Il s’agit d’une traduction en français, d’un ouvrage écrit en latin par le médecin Jean Tagault, et complété par un traité sur la « matière chirurgique » de Jacques Houllier, élève de Tagault.

C’est un manuel pratique de chirurgie, à l’intention notamment des étudiants chirurgiens. De petit format, l’ouvrage pouvait être aisément transporté et

Adresse de Guillaume Rouillé aux étudiants en chirurgie, avec signature manuscrite d’Estienne Picard.

annoté. Il a d’ailleurs appartenu à un certain Estienne Picard, chirurgien, comme semblent l’indiquer plusieurs signatures manuscrites.

L’ouvrage, de 1549, est en langue vernaculaire. Jusqu’ici essentiellement en latin, l’édition médicale se vulgarise et commence à être écrite en langue vernaculaire à partir des années 1530 en France. L’ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts promulguée en 1539 par le roi François Ier contribue à la diffusion et au développement du français, même si le latin reste la langue du savoir jusqu’au 18e siècle. Ce passage du latin au français ne se fait pas sans difficulté, car il faut trouver des équivalents français pour désigner des termes scientifiques. Ceci explique la présence d’une « exposition de quelques lieux difficiles » au début du livre, qui donne des explications sur certains points jugés compliqués.

Le livre contient quelques illustrations, dont plusieurs vues du squelette humain, des exemples de blessures auxquelles peut être confronté un chirurgien, et des outils nécessaires pour les soigner.

Un corps “blessé en plusieurs sortes”

Vue de face d’un squelette humain

 

Exemple d’outil de chirurgien

Si le sujet vous intéresse, n’hésitez pas à venir voir nos collections : la bibliothèque Olser et le département des « Rare Books and Special Collections » de la bibliothèque McLennan possèdent plusieurs exemplaires de livres du 16e siècle imprimés à Lyon. Par ailleurs, si vous êtes de passage à Lyon, pensez à visiter le musée de l’imprimerie qui retrace toute l’histoire de l’imprimerie lyonnaise.

 

Bibliographie:

Berriot-Salvadore E., « La littérature médicale en français de 1500 à 1600 », Bibliothèque numérique Medic@, BIU Santé Paris, novembre 2010, disponible en ligne.

Claudin A., Histoire de l’imprimerie en France au XVe et au XVIe siècle, volume 3, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1904, disponible en ligne.

Mecking V.,  « La terminologie médicale du XVIe siècle entre tradition et innovation », La revue de l’Institut Catholique de Lyon, 2014, 24, 9, disponible en ligne.

Université de Picardie Jules Verne, « Humanisme et médecine, un exemple de diffusion des savoirs à travers les siècles : la bibliothèque d’Emile et Lucien Bax », [exposition virtuelle], 2010, disponible en ligne.

Dissection Room Records 1883-1908

Inscription on first page of Dissection Room Record 1883-1891 written by Dr. Richard Lea MacDonnell, Demonstrator of Anatomy, McGill University in April 1883.

We are pleased to have these historical records back at the Osler Library after receiving recent conservation treatment. These books contain records of all McGill Faculty of Medicine dissection cadavers in the Department of Anatomy from 1883-1891, and 1896-1908.

When the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada’s Anatomy Act of 1843 was amended in April 1883, Senior Demonstrator of Anatomy Dr. Richard Lea MacDonnell began keeping these detailed records at McGill. Prior to the Anatomy Act, body-snatching was a nefarious problem often associated with the study of anatomy. The 1843 and 1883 Acts allowed for more corpses to be made available to medical schools for the purpose of teaching and learning. The records preserved within these books provide details and evidence of the Department of Anatomy’s legally acquired cadavers at the time. Each entry includes details such as name, sex, age, cause of death, religion, date received, which hospital the cadaver was received from, and the date and location of burial.

Richard Lea MacDonnell (1856-1891) was the son of Dublin surgeon Dr. Robert Lea MacDonnell. A graduate of McGill in 1876, McDonnell went on to become a prominent figure within the Faculty of Medicine before his untimely death at the age of 35. William Osler paid tribute to his friend and colleague in the New York Medical Journal, writing: “Although only thirty-five years old, he [MacDonnell] had reached a position which gave scope to abilities of first-class order and afforded opportunities of impressing upon a large class of students those qualities of mind so essential in the teacher, so priceless to the taught – honesty, system, and painstaking care” (NYMJ, 54: 162, 1891).

Below is a composite portrait of McGill Faculty of Medicine in 1882 from our William Osler Photo Collection. William Osler is standing fourth from left, and Richard Lea MacDonnell stands on the far right. A new Richard L. MacDonnell Collection (P133) has been created in the Osler Library Archives, and these dissection books along with several fascinating scrapbooks put together by MacDonnell are now available to view upon request.

“McGill University Faculty of Medicine at its Semicentennial, 1882”, William Osler Photo Collection, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, CUS_033-011_P. Standing, from left to right, are Thomas G. Roddick, George Ross, William E. Scott, William Osler, Francis J. Shepherd, William Gardner, George W. Campbell, Gilbert Prout Girdwood, Frank Buller, and Richard L. MacDonell. Sitting, from left to right, are Robert Palmer Howard, William Wright, John William Dawson, Duncan C. MacCallum, Robert Craik, and George E. Fenwick.

Remembrance: Our Girls in Wartime & Our Hospital ABC

pic_2016-07-19_172107On November 11th, we remember.

We remember as a nation all the brave men and women who left their beloved homes and chose to fight for our peace, and our freedoms.

We commemorate this Remembrance Day with two World War I children’s books in our collection by Hampden Gordon & M. C. Tindall (verses), Joyce Dennys (illustrations) and invite you to come see them in our reading room:

  • Our Hospital Anzac British Canadian published ca. 1916
  • Our Girls in Wartime published ca. 1917.

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Our Hospital ABC. Gordon, Hampden, Tindall, M. C.; Dennys, Joyce (illus.). London: John Lane the Bodley Head, n.d. [ca. 1916]

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Out Girls in Wartime. Gordon, Hampden; Dennys, Joyce (illus.). London: John Lane The Bodley Head, n.d. [ca. 1917]

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Alibert & Early French Dermatology

Clinique de L’Hopital Saint-Louis, de Traite Complet Des Maladies de la Peau, 1833. Unfortunately some evidence of water damage is visible, possibly from the 1907 fire.

 

France’s first dermatologist, Jean-Louis Alibert (1768-1837), was professor and chief-surgeon at Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris. His medical achievements and reputation as a great teacher of hospital clinics put him in the company of other influential nineteenth century physicians, collectively known as the Paris School.

Osler Library’s rare book collection houses approximately a dozen titles of Alibert’s prolific work, including three copies of his second atlas entitled Clinique de L’Hôpital Saint-Louis, de Traite Complet Des Maladies de la Peau – two 1833 French copies, and an 1835 Italian translation. The atlas is an impressive work from both a medical and an artistic standpoint. It includes 63 hand coloured plates, including the botanically-inspired “Arbe des Dermatoses” (“Tree of Dermatology”).

“Arbre des Dermatoses” (“Tree of Dermatosis”) shows Alibert’s method to visually classify common skin diseases and disorders with twelve main branches, each representing a class of dermatosis.

Similar to other areas of science, medical research and the practice of medicine experienced rapid progression after the French Revolution (1789-1799). Newly implemented ideological and institutional reforms allowed physicians to focus on the greater health of the whole community, allowing for the opening of clinics for the general public. It was the dawning of the “medical gaze a term coined by Michel Foucault in his 1963 book The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception.

Alibert’s clinical lessons became well-known and attracted students and physicians alike to l’Hôpital Saint-Louis. Over the course of his career, Alibert was able to make important contributions to descriptions including lupus vulgaris, keloid, dermatolysis, mycosis fungoides, and cutaneous leishmaniasisis. He is also credited with several first descriptions – among them Mycosis fungoides (shown below). This book and others by Alibert are available to view in the Osler Library’s pre-1840 room during regular opening hours.

Aequanimitas

Version 2Aequanimitas — a term that derives from late-15th century Latin — means imperturbability, or one who is incapable of being upset, or agitated; one who is calm, and not easily excited.

William Osler’s Valedictory address entitled Aequanimitas was first presented at the University of Pennsylvania, May 1st, 1889. In this short speech, Osler advised imperturbability as one of two essential qualities of the physician and of the surgeon. He defined this quality as a coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances, calmness amid storm, clearness of judgement in moments of peril, immobility, and impassiveness. The second quality he spoke of, equanimity, was described as being the mental and physical equivalent of the first.

It has been said that ‘in patience ye shall win your souls,’ and what is this patience but an equanimity which enables you to rise superior to the trials of life? Sowing as you shall do beside all waters, I can but wish that you may reap the promised blessings of quietness and of assurance forever, until

Within this life,

Though lifted o’er its strife;

you may, in the growing winters, glean a little of that wisdom which is pure, peaceable, gentle, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

For those interested in reading the full address and others made by Sir William Osler, we have several regular loan copies and various translations listed in the Classic Catalogue, in addition to rare and archived materials that are part of the Osler Library Archives collection.

Man: His Structure & Physiology

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“Man: His Structure & Physiology: Popularly Explained and Demonstrated” by Robert Knox, 2nd edition, London: H. Bailliere, 1858.

This month we’ve chosen to highlight an anatomical atlas by Scottish anatomist, zoologist, and physician, Dr. Robert Knox (1791-1862). His popular book entitled Man: His Structure & Physiology: Popularly Explained and Demonstrated was originally published in 1857, with a second edition (shown here) printed a year later in 1858.

Knox was an esteemed professor at The University of Edinburgh — famous for his dissections and lectures which were often ticketed and open to the public. Prior to the 1832 Anatomy Act, it was discovered that Knox relied on illegal methods to acquire his cadavers. Knox was connected to the Burke and Hare West Port murders of 1828, and despite never being tried, his reputation was forever marred in controversy.

The atlas is described in simple language and includes some detailed plate illustrations — several of which can lift (“pop-up”) off the page. The idea behind this design was to imitate a dissection as much as possible, allowing students and readers to discover multiple layers of physiological detail. As the preface of the second edition describes, it is an “elementary and educational Work, containing such an outline of Human Structure and Human Physiology as may prove a safe basis whereon to build the edifice of special or philosophic inquiry and research” (London, October, 1857).

The book is available to view at the Osler Library during regular hours. For those who are not able to visit the library in person, a digitized version of a more recent pressing can be accessed at archive.org.

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Plate #3 from Robert Knox’s “Man: His Structure & Physiology: Popularly Explained and Demonstrated”, 2nd edition, 1858.

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Plate #6 from Robert Knox’s “Man: His Structure & Physiology: Popularly Explained and Demonstrated”, 2nd edition, 1858.

 

 

 

 

 

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Plate #8 with explanations on opposite page in Robert Knox’s “Man: His Structure & Physiology: Popularly Explained and Demonstrated”, 2nd edition, 1858.

Old School

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A handful of New Canadian Health Series, published 1950s.

Harking back to simpler times, these colourful vintage volumes are from The New Canadian Health Series – a series of educational health books published in Canada during the 1950s.

A handful of these health guides, including the American ABC Health Series (pictured below) can be found in the Osler Library’s collection, available to view upon request. Acquired by the library in 2013 upon the closure of McGill’s Education Library, these volumes act as little time capsules of everyday health information and provide a fascinating retro-read of popular medicine through the eyes of mid-20th century North American culture.

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Brownnell-Evans ABC Health Series, “Broad Streets”, 1950s

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Brownnell-Evans-Hobson ABC Health Series, “Building Better Health”, 1950s.

For the Love of Cocoa

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The name Cadbury has been synonymous with chocolatey sweets in Britain and abroad since Quaker chocolatier John Cadbury (1802-1889) opened his first factory in 1831. Cocoa: All About It was written by his son, Richard Barrow Cadbury (1835-1899), and originally published under the pseudonym ‘Historicus’ in 1892. The book chronicles the natural history of the tropical American cocoa plant – its spread and cultivation around the world, the history of its use, and a detailed account of nineteenth century manufacturing processes as exemplified by the Cadbury family’s factory in Bournville, near Birmingham, England.

Truly a must-read for all chocolate lovers, this classic book provides a detailed and intriguing account of the world’s most popular indulgence. It is available to view at the Osler Library during regular opening hours, and if you’re unable to visit the library in person, a fully digitized version can be found by visiting www.archive.org.

Read, indulge, and enjoy!

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First edition copy of Cocoa: All About It, published 1892, with a gatefold reproduction of an illustration from the Latin Book on Chocolate (1639) depicting Neptune receiving a ‘Casket of Chocolate’.

167th

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Glass slide from the Osler Library archives shows Osler as a young medical student at McGill University, 1871.

Today marks the 167th birthday of Sir William Osler. In celebration this year, we thought we would highlight several invaluable resources and digital collections that McGill University Library – with the help of generous donors – has made accessible for researchers around the world.

McGill Library William Osler Letter Index — This on-going project at Osler Library provides a wealth of information for researchers to access an index of thousands of letters to and from Sir William Osler. It also provides biographical materials gathered by Dr. Harvey Cushing for his 1925 Pulitzer Prize winning biography The Life of William Osler.

William Osler Photo Collection — Browse the photographic collection, read the accompanying biographical notes, and get a sense of the visual history of William Osler and those who were close to him throughout his life.

Osler Library Archives — Retrieval number P100 will direct you to the William Osler fonds. If you prefer to browse, the subject “Osler, Sir William, Sir, 1849-1919” will provide the many fonds collections containing archival material associated with Osler – fonds that include some of William Osler’s friends, relatives and colleagues throughout his life in Canada, USA, and United Kingdom.

Enjoy your Osler celebrations today from all of us here at the Osler Library of the History of Medicine!

Historia Plantarum

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Maple Leaf illustration from Conradi Gessneri Historia Plantarum by Conrad Gessner (1516-1565)

Needing a little garden inspiration this summer? The Osler Library has a selection of eight beautifully illustrated volumes of Conradi Gessneri Historia Plantarum by Conrad Gessner (1516-1565). Each botanical specimen found on the pages of Gessner’s Historia Plantarum are facsimiles of the 16th century originals, printed on 100 gram heavy paper and individually set and glued in their original form.

Gessner was a Swiss botanist, physician, and classical linguist. In 1972, Urs Graf Verlag (a Zurich-based publishing firm) and a team of conservator-restorers at University Library of Erlangen-Nüremburg embarked on the careful process of creating these facsimiles from Gessner’s originals. We are pleased to have these eight beautiful volumes in our rare folio collection, and as with all of our rare materials, these items are available to view upon request during library hours.