From the Historical Collections and Archives:
Dr. Leslie Wilkes, MCG Class of 1965, and his wife have gifted the Robert B. Greenblatt, MD Library several books, a few artifacts, and an exhibit case that houses their gift of William Hunter’s Gravid Uterus. This book is on display just outside the Historical Collections and Archives room on the second floor. (For more information on the Gravid Uterus, click here.)
The Wilkes donations include the four-volume plus atlas set The Works of John Hunter, F.R.S. John Hunter was a notable surgeon and scientist in the 18th century and is considered by some to be the father of scientific surgery. John was the younger brother of the above-mentioned William Hunter. John first studied anatomy under his brother before studying medicine from others at hospitals in London. After serving in the British Army as a surgeon and setting up his own anatomy school and private practice, John served as a surgeon at St. George’s Hospital in London. Both Hunter brothers were known for their individual large collections of anatomical specimens. John’s collection is the basis of the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons while William’s legacy is the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow.
John authored several medical books that are still well known today. The Works of John Hunter, F.R.S. is a compilation of his major publications that was edited by another surgeon, James Palmer, and published in the early 19th century. This multi-volume set includes a short biography of John Hunter and letters to one of his pupils.
The set given by Dr. and Mrs. Wilkes is unique in that it was a prize awarded to a Mr. Thomas K. Hornridge from the St. George’s Hospital Medical School in 1848. Each volume is gold-leaf embossed on the front cover with the following: “St. George’s Hospital Medical School; Anatomical Prize Junior Class 1848. Presented to Mr. Thomas K. Hornridge.” This lovely set is on display in the Historical Collections and Archives room.
– Renée Sharrock, Curator
From Special Collections & Institutional Archives:
This month’s rare book, The Knightly Legends of Wales, published in 1884, is a compilation of Arthurian legends. The handwritten inscription on the inside cover indicates that the book was given on June 26th, 1896 to a Richmond Academy student as a reward for excellent performance in school.
Personal handwritten inscriptions, like this one, can provide a fascinating insight into who possibly owned the book and how it came into his or her possession. We have many other records related to the history of Richmond Academy (formerly the Academy of Richmond County) in our manuscript collections, including letters, school memorabilia, and business records.
While most of what is in Special Collections on the third floor of Reese Library relates to local history, of Augusta University, the City of Augusta, Richmond and Columbia counties, what you will find in the Reese Room on the second floor expands beyond the scope of the history of Augusta, Georgia. For instance, some of the novels and philosophical treatises are written in French. One of the oldest (and rarest volumes) is a seventy-volume collection of the works of Voltaire in the original French, published in the late sixteenth century.
Students and community users who are interested in old rare books should contact the Special Collections Assistant to make an appointment to access the Reese Room on the second floor of Reese Library.
-Maranda Christy, Special Collections Assistant
About the Heritage Unit: The University Libraries have a department devoted to the preservation and archival keeping of the campus’ unique histories. The Historical Collections & Archives (HCA) is located on the 2ndfloor of the Greenblatt Library on the Health Sciences campus. Special Collections & Institutional Archives located on the 3rdfloor of the Reese Library on the Summerville campus.