Animal phrenology

Eclipse and his ‘equine bumps’

In January 1828 the first two British veterinary journals started, these were The Veterinarian and the much shorter lived Farrier and naturalist. Both owed their origins to a desire to comment, and pass critical judgement, on the state of affairs at the London veterinary college. The  Farrier and naturalist is generally believed to be the […]

Lecture rooms

Early veterinary education in North America – the Scottish connection

In the early days of the RCVS it was not unusual for Council, and other members, to go ‘on tour’ to visit ‘continental veterinary schools’.  It is perhaps as a result of these trips that we have a small collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century prospectuses from North American veterinary schools in the Historical […]

A very common variety

Scabies in the horse – the first Fellowship thesis

I was recently asked the date and subject of our earliest fellowship thesis.  A quick check on the catalogue showed it was written in December 1893 and titled ‘Scabies in the horse: does it demand legislation?‘ The thesis is a neatly written document accompanied by 12 hand drawn illustrations.  Regulations in place at the time […]

John McFadyean founding editor of Journal of Comparative Pathology and Therapeutics

Happy 125th Birthday

A 125 years ago today the first issue of the Veterinary Record was published.  I have written about its founder William Hunting and his reasons for starting the journal before.  In fact I walk past a reminder of this everyday as his quote in the first editorial about the importance of recording observations and adding to […]

Celebrating National Pet Month – a selection of open access resources on small animal medicine

This year National Pet Month runs from 1 April- 6 May.  As their web site says they are on a mission to: help promote responsible pet ownership across the UK highlight the important work of pet care professionals and working companion animals raise money for the nation’s pet care charities As a library we have […]

Plate 7 Cheviot Ram

A Welsh veterinary adviser

In honour of St David’s Day, the feast day of the patron saint of Wales, I have decided to look at one of the two Welsh language items  that we have in our collection Meddyg y fferm arweinydd i drin a gochel clefydau mewn anifeiliad by James Law which was published in 1881. I am […]

Portrait of Sir Frederick Smith

Verbose and tedious…yet pearls in profusion

When writing blogs about veterinary authors I usually turn to Frederick Smith’s four volume work  The early history of veterinary literature and its British development to see what he has to say.  It is unusual to find that Smith does not have an opinion on the author or book in question. We are fortunate to […]

My lords, ladies and gentlemen…

Tonight the RCVS President will welcome to the College a group of those who have helped it run smoothly over the last year. Invitees to the President’s Reception include examiners, those involved with the Practice Standards Scheme, members of the House of Lords and House of Commons, presidents of the veterinary and veterinary nursing associations […]

Illustration of the Pulex Canis

Jean-Pierre Megnin – skilled illustrator and pioneering forensic entomologist

The beautiful botanical illustration which you may have seen in an earlier post is  the work of Jean-Pierre Megnin. It forms part of a collection of material by Megnin, which includes books, manuscripts, drawings and engravings, which the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons acquired in the 1980s. Jean-Pierre Megnin (1828-1905) graduated from Alfort Veterinary School […]

Pheasant shooting

On exercise

Without exercise, the body’s ‘juices will thicken, the joints will stiffen, the nerves will relax… and a crazy old age must ensue’. This less than comforting thought is presented by George Cheyne in his Essay of Health and Long Life, published in 1724.  Although the science in Cheyne’s musings might be considered a little off, […]