Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society
The Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Book Society was founded in 1828 with the intention of establishing a medical lending library. It is believed to be the second oldest medical society in the country.
It appears to have amalgamated with the Nottingham Medical Book Society in around 1846, taking the new name of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society.
In the nineteenth century, it met at Nottingham General Hospital and the General Dispensary. From 1910 to 1972, the society occupied premises at 64, St. James Street, Nottingham.
The society is still in existence and has an active programme. Its thousand members are drawn from general practice, academia, industrial medicine and the community. The society was established as a registered charity by trust deed in 1977.
Med-Chi loan record and book plate [Med-Chi Library, WH312 HAL]
Printed books from the society's library
The society's library was actively maintained until the early twentieth century, but the bulk of it came to be only of historical interest, fell into neglect and was practically lost in 1911 when the society moved to new premises. The core Collection now in the University, some 1160 volumes, was acquired by purchase in 1971 with the assistance of a gift by Mrs. Miriam Kaplowitch OBE. Another considerable part of the collection was discovered and rejoined the Collection in 1973. The volumes remained physically in the University's Medical Library until 1994 when they were transferred to the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections.
The Collection consists of medical treatises from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Many of the titles were published between 1800 and 1860; but more than half of the Collection is pre-1851.
The process of converting the catalogue for electronic access has begun, and some records for the Collection can be accessed via the Library catalogue on NUsearch.
To bring up all resources in this collection, choose 'Advanced Search'. Change the first option 'Anywhere', to 'Collection'. Type the code MCH into the main search box and click the green magnifying glass icon to submit the search. When the search results load, scroll down the filters on the right hand side of the screen. You can modify your search further by using filters for resource type, date of publication, language, etc.
A printed catalogue (author and subject) completed in 1888 is kept with the Collection.
A collection-level description of the library collection (MCS) is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.
'A figure which expresseth the manner of restoring the Thigh luxated outwards', from The works of Ambrose Parey : wherein are contained an introduction to chirurgery in general : a discourse of animals, and of the excellency of man : the anatomy of man's body (1691) [Med-Chi Library, WZ240.P25 PAR]
Records of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society, 1828-1996
Manuscript items from the society were acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections on a number of separate occasions between 1996 and 2003.
The collection includes minute books (1851-1996); printed reports (1945-1993); printed rules (1846-1993); registers of members and attendance at meetings (1952-1979); a series of records relating to the administration of the society's library, including library catalogues dated 1828-1955; printed works and research papers relating to the society's history (1928-1989); and a series of photographic negatives of former presidents of the society, the old General Hospital and its staff, and associated hospitals.
A collection-level description of the manuscript items (MCH) is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.
Other records formerly associated with the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society
Miscellaneous records of medical interest, 1792-c.1948 (MS 714)
This artificial collection contains miscellaneous manuscript and printed items of medical interest. The items in this collection were found with printed items from the Medico-Chirurgical Society Library and the Medical Rare Books special collection, and were transferred from Greenfield Medical Library to the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham in 2001. The original provenance of the collection is not known. A collection-level description of the collection (MS 714) is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. [Not yet live]
Manuscript bibliography of books on medicine compiled by Dr F.H. Jacob (fl 1872-1935), physician; early 20th century (MS 447)
Frank Harwood Jacob was made honorary physician at Nottingham General Hospital in 1901 and was an active member of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society. This bibliography is a manuscript listing of works on medicine, possibly drawing on the library of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society. The entries, written in blue ink on loose leaves of paper, have limited bibliographic detail for each work, generally providing only titles of works and the names of the authors. Jacob has, however, included his personal assessment of each work, together with a brief description of its content. The bibliography is undated. It was presumably compiled after 1901 when Jacob took up his role as honorary physician for the General Hospital, Nottingham, and possibly in the later years of his career. A full description of the item (MS 447) is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.
Manuscript volume containing Latin lectures given by Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738), chemist and physician, 1722-1733 (MS 671)
This volume was once part of Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Book Society library. It was transferred to the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in March 1997. The volume contains lectures by Herman Boerhaave on the subject of kidney stones ('De Calculo') and venereal diseases ('De Lue Venerea'). A full description of the item (MS 671) is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.
Bibliography and web links
- Cochrane, J.B. (1978). Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society 1828-1978. [Nottingham]: Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society. [King's Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 3.L16 NOT; King's Meadow Campus Medical Rare Books WZ23.N6 COC]
- Swift, Paul (2003), From Sawbones to Keyholes: History of Notts Chiro-surgical Society 1827- Present . Barny Books
- Rolleston, Sir H. (1928) Centenary of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society [Address by Sir H. Rolleston given] on March 7th, 1928. Nottingham: Cooke & Vowles [King's Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 3.L16 ROL]
- Website of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society [accessed 07 July 2020]
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