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The library contains modern collections to support the teaching of surgery, dental surgery, anatomy and pathology. It also contains historic collections that can be used to research and reflect on developments in science and medicine from the 15th century onwards. The collections include more than 50,000 books, 2,000 periodical runs and 30,500 pamphlets. Naturally, the focus is predominantly on surgery, dentistry, anatomy and pathology. However, our rich historical collections also cover topics such as public health, military medicine, infectious diseases, botany and natural history, all of which help to set the development of surgery and dentistry within the wider context of medicine and general science.

The older material in the library’s collections serves as an outstanding primary resource for researchers from a diverse range of disciplines, proving valuable to medical and scientific historians, humanities scholars, genealogists, and artists. However, the effects of age and use have started to show on these older materials. A number of items need conservation work to ensure that they can continue to play their part in research and exhibitions. Read more about the library's designated collections

Items in need of your support


Traite Theorique et Pratique

Item ref: LIB26

Jean-Pierre Bonnafont was a French doctor who specialised in military medicine and otology. Bonnafont developed a number of instruments and devices in the field of otology. These included a tympanostomy tube and, most notably, an otoscope that included a sophisticated lens system adapted from microscopes and a conical mirror, for improved illumination. Similar technology was later used in the development of endoscopy.


The spine and both boards are detached. There is some staining or foxing to some pages but the text block appears otherwise sound.        


Subject Area: Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery 

Estimated conservation cost: £200 

Library Class Mark: RS/ BON

LIB35 Lectures on surgery delivered at St Barts Hospital

Item ref: LIB35
Born in 1783, Lawrence was the son of a surgeon. He was apprenticed to John Abernethy, who was Assistant Surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital, in 1799. Afterwards Lawrence held the positions of both Assistant Surgeon and Surgeon at the same hospital.  He was also lecturer on surgery there from 1829-1862. 

He was a member and fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and sat on Council from 1825-1867. Lawrence obtained the Jacksonian Prize in 1806 with an essay on “Hernia, and the Best Mode of Treatment” and he delivered the Hunterian Oration in 1834 and 1846. In 1857, Lawrence was appointed Sergeant-Surgeon to Queen Victoria and was created a baronet in 1867. 


The bottom board is detached and the top one loose with some damage to the spine but the text block is intact.

Subject area: General Surgery

Estimated cost of work: £190

Library class mark: VA / LAW

LIB50 - Treatise on the structure of the heart, its action, and its diseases.

Item ref: LIB50