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.

Vernissage for new exhibition, Vaccination: Fear, Fame and Controversy, 1798-1998

Since its earliest days, vaccination has been attended by hesitation, resistance and controversy. Why did an innovation that promised to rid the world of the terrible scourge of smallpox inspire such enduring fear? When Jenner spearheaded the promotion of vaccination at the turn of the nineteenth century, he predicted the end of a disease that had taken 60 million lives in the eighteenth century alone. He was right, but it took until 1980 before the World Health Organization could proclaim “smallpox zero”. This exhibition explores the tension between the promised public-health benefits of vaccination and the reasons why resistance checked its acceptance. It seeks to understand the origins of vaccine hesitancy through various cases, both local and global, and demonstrates the legacy of those cases in contemporary vaccination debates. vffcredhighres

Please join us for a vernissage with wine and cheese for this exhibition, Wednesday, February 1st, 2017, at the Osler Library, 4:30-6:30PM.

Surgical Anatomy Exam, 1874

Ever wondered what a medical exam from 1874 would look like? Here’s an original copy of The Royal College of Surgeons 1874 final exam on “Surgical Anatomy and the Principles and Practice of Surgery”. Students were allocated three hours to answer 4 out of 6 questions. How do you think you would fare? Would you get top marks on this? Comments are welcome.

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Royal Colllege of Surgeons of England 1874 examination. Part of Osler Library’s Faculty of Medicine Scrapbook Collection.

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.

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.

The National Film Board of Canada : Bethune (1968)

pic_2016-06-28_153244In 1968, The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) made an inspiring film about Canadian physician, inventor, thoracic surgeon, war hero, humanitarian, and all-round inspiring figure, Dr. Norman Bethune (1890-1939).

We recently came across this original copy of the NFB’s promotional pamphlet in the archives. The Osler Library houses a Norman Bethune Collection (P156), as well as the Bethune Foundation Fonds (P132).

pic_2016-06-28_153301The feature documentary (link below) can be found on NFB’s website. The grainy 16mm black and white lends itself perfectly to this understated, yet powerful biopic. Bethune was a free-thinker – deeply dedicated and passionate in his work. His legacy is still celebrated today in Canada, China, Spain, and beyond, with dedicated monuments and memorials like the statue that stands in Montreal’s Norman Bethune Square.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/bethune/embed/player/

Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln

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Illustration from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

Recent summer housekeeping has turned up a series of rare mounted chromographed plate illustrations from late-19th century patho-anatomical atlas Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text (Pathological anatomy plates: reproduced from fresh preparations with explanatory anatomical-clinical text) by German internist Alfred Kast (1856-1903).

The archives has eight of these illustrations in total, donated to the Osler Library back in the 1970s as part of the Maude Abbott Collection. Unfortunately no copy of this atlas exists at McGill, however WorldCat shows The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto as having a copy in their catalogue. For those interested in seeing more of this series, The Wellcome Trust in London has fifteen of Kast’s anatomical illustrations included in their online Wellcome Images collection.

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Illustration with microscopic detail from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

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Illustration with microscopic detail from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Illustration from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

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Illustration from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

Wilder Penfield Digital Collection

penfield_public_screenWe are pleased to announce this week that the Wilder Penfield Digital Collection is now available to access online! The new website includes Wilder Graves Penfield (1891-1976) biographical information, as well as meters and meters worth of digitized archival images, letters, and other materials from the Osler Library’s extensive Penfield fonds.

Students and researchers are encouraged to explore this website for information ranging from Penfield’s childhood, education and medical training, to his widely influential research. As founder and head of the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) from 1933-1960, Penfield was Canada’s foremost neurosurgeon at the time and his career continues to influence generations of neurologists around the world.

The digitization of this collection was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the R. Howard Webster Foundation, obtained by the late Dr. William Feindel (1918-2014).

Mortality of Montreal

This historical snapshot of Montreal mortality statistics from the first month of 1878 was recently acquired by the Osler archives, as part of the John Bell fonds. At the time, McGill graduate John Bell had his own medical practice on Beaver Hill Hall and was also Physician to Montreal’s Protestant Infants’ Home. As a local physician, Bell would have received these bulletins on a monthly basis from the Department of Health. The distributed information contained in these bulletins was largely based on mortuary statistics acquired from the Catholic and Protestant Cemeteries.

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John Bell’s copy of “Mortality of Montreal”, January 1878.

Montreal in the 1870s was the most industrialized and populous city in Canada – with more factories, elevators, warehouses, mills and refineries than anywhere else. Unfortunately, the city’s growing population during the nineteenth century registered some of the highest mortality rates in North America – largely due to rapid settlement, poor unsanitary living conditions, and disease.

In particular, the infant mortality rate in Montreal was notoriously high, with statistics reaching upwards to a quarter of all newborn children dying within the first twelve months. Unsafe water and a limited use of vaccines against diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria contributed to these numbers.

The smallpox epidemic of 1885-86 that completely ravaged Montreal’s population and spread across Quebec occurred approximately seven years after this bulletin was published. The Health Department’s warnings and recommendations attached here cast a foreboding light on a serious growing concern for the spread of disease, calling for an increase in district vaccinations.

“I still strongly recommend the continuation of the appointment of the public vaccinators; and as most of the cases of smallpox are without medical attendance…I would suggest that the public vaccinators be appointed as district physicians – in order that every case of smallpox…may be as much as possible under the control of the district physicians” – Medical Health Officer, A. B. Laroque, 1878.

For researchers who are interested in the history of Montreal health and mortality statistics, this “Mortality of Montreal” document could serve as an ideal starting off point, or addition to one’s research. The Osler Library also houses numerous decades worth of nineteenth century provincial and municipal health records, reports, and journals such as the annually published Report of the Board of Health of the Province of Quebec and Report of the Sanitary State of the City of Montreal. All are available to view by consultation at the Osler Library.

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“Mortality of Montreal”, January 1878.

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The Health Department’s overview and recommendations by A. B. Laroque, M.D., January 1878.

In addition, local newspaper articles related to this topic can be found on microfiche and online, such as Montreal Herald articles from the 1860s to 1880s – some of which have been digitized by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at McGill. The articles linked below discuss the concern over Montreal’s mortality rates at the time, and they also show the adversarial dialogue surrounding the statistics.

“The Mortality of Montreal.” The Montreal Herald, January 20, 1870.

“Vital Statistics.” The Montreal Herald, October 28, 1869.

“Montreal Mortality.” The Montreal Herald, November 30, 1869.