Friday, 27 April 2012

A treasure from the Archives...

I have been working in the archives for the last week with Frieda. I’m 14 and have been working here in order to gain experience about the realities of work. I have always been interested in history and this has given me the opportunity to get hands on with things that I have always found curious. The piece I’m writing about today is an example of the fascinating documents I have come in to contact during my time here.

The piece I’m writing about is a letter from Margaret Carpenter to Hugh Percy Dunn. Although there is no record of who either of these people were I have found several medical books written by Dunn. This combined with the fact that this letter was found in the records of the Ross Institute leads me to believe that he worked at the Ross Institute and possibly worked under Ross himself. The letter is about Margaret Carpenter’s own view on how Edwards Jenner’s research on vaccinations was the worst crime ever “committed against nature”. She believed that vaccines would not be a way in which smallpox could be prevented. Smallpox could only be prevented when people stopped eating meat. She backed up her argument by quoting the Bible Gen.9 .4 “you must not eat meat that still has lifeblood in it”. She even went as far as to say that “Blood letting was pardonable [compared to vaccination] because at least it didn’t kill”. This letter is an example of abuse that scientists would have suffered in years gone by and although this women was a probably an extremist it shows how many people doubted Jenner, yet he still persisted. I have enjoyed my time here and I’d like to thank all the people who have helped me.

Adam Haines

Friday, 13 April 2012

Find the information you need for your summer project.

A “Planning and Conducting a Literature Search” workshop will be repeated each lunchtime 23rd-27th April, 13.00-14.00, LG31.

As we move into Term 3, thoughts are increasingly turning to the summer project. All projects will require at least some literature searching, for example to identify existing research to inform the introduction or background section. To support you with this, the Library will be running a series of lunchtime workshops.

The first of these is on planning and conducting a literature search. This is intended for anyone who has not had any previous training from the Library, or who requires a quick refresher. No need to book, just turn up on your preferred day.

Be sure to keep an eye on this blog, and @LSHTMlibrary, as we will be blogging and tweeting literature searching tips and resources throughout the term.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Gilded Vectors of Disease Radio Series and Malaria Exhibition

Gilded bronze female mosquito on first floor balcony of the Keppel Street building. Image Credit: LSHTM Library and Archive Services.

The first episode of the new Mustard Club eight-part factual radio series based on the School's gilded vectors is now available as a podcast at: This episode is focused on the louse and will be followed by episodes looking at rats, bedbugs, fleas and the other vectors that decorate the balconies of the Keppel Street building.

The series features material from the LSHTM archives and includes a guest appearance from the Archivist, Frieda Midgley, in the 'fly' episode to be broadcast on 23 May. Frieda will be looking at what the travel diary of Geoffrey Carpenter and his wife can tell us about the tsetse fly and sleeping sickness.
The series will be broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM Radio in London and will be available on web simulcast everywhere at at 7.30pm every Wednesday for the next seven weeks. For more information, see the Mustard Club website at
The series will be turning its attention to the gilded mosquito to mark World Malaria Day on 25 April. This episode will use archival material to bring Victorian malaria pioneers Sir Patrick Manson and Sir Ronald Ross back to life as “very special studio guests” for the evening. In the meantime, you can view some of the highlights of the archive collections in an exhibition on Malaria, which will be on display in the Library for the rest of April.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Library opening hours over the Easter break

The Library will close for the Easter break at 8.25 pm on Thursday 5 April, and re-open at 8.30 am on Wednesday 11 April.