Friday, September 03, 2010

Interesting New History Websites

Over the last year, I've been compiling a list of nifty new history websites. There may be a slight history of medicine bias... But if you've discovered some other sites that you think would interest people, let me know.

The Casebooks Project is putting the records of early modern astrologer-physicians Simon Forman and Richard Napier online, if you'd like to find out how astrology and medical treatment used to go hand-in-hand.

Recipes, Remedies and Receipts focuses on manuscript recipe collections (c. 1500-1900), providing finding aids, links to libraries with relevant holdings and historical context information (if you want to know more about "snail water" or "oil of swallows"). But why stop there? If you have a pre-modern manuscript recipe collection, the site authors would love to hear from you!

In related news, The Wellcome Library (London) has been digitizing their collection of seventeenth-century recipe collections, if you fancy trying your hand at reading them.

Six archives and libraries in the U.S. have formed a History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium, bringing together their finding aids. It makes it possible to do easy searching for many American history of medicine topics. Carrying on the "recipe" theme, I found thirteen different entries at four different libraries.

Have you visited any history of medicine monuments or places recently? If so, Himetop (the History of Medicine Topographical Database) would like to know about it. There are only two entries for Canadians so far. It's a wiki, which allows contributors to share their knowledge and pictures of places related to the history of medicine.

The Livingstone Online project is an online edition of David Livingstone's medical and scientific correspondence. You can view the original documents, as well as read transcriptions. The site authors have provided a helpful "historical companion" to the letters.

London Lives is my current favourite, largely because I've discovered some rapscallions in my husband's family tree. The database brings together holdings from over eight archives, making it possible to search over 3 million names of Londoners (1690-1800). The documents can tell us much about crime, poverty, apprenticeship, voting... and makes it possible to reconstruct biographies of individuals.

How to be a Retronaut offers an irreverent look at history, bringing together the past and present in intriguing ways.

I'll end on a modern, rather beautiful note. If you want to see coloured photos of Russia a century ago, recently had a series of fascinating images of the Russian Empire.