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medicine - 18 titles

Author:  Aulus Cornelius Celsus
Title/Imprint: De Medicina
A Nicolao: Florence , 1478

Celsus was one of the great Roman authors of the first century AD. He prepared an encyclopedic work of which only this, the medical section, survived. Largely ignored by contemporary medical experts, the work was rediscovered in the 15th century and in 1478 became one of the first medical texts ever printed.

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Author:  Robert Koch (1843-1910)
Title/Imprint: Die Aetiologie der Tuberculose
L. Schumacher: Berlin , 1882

This is the article in which Koch announced his discovery and isolation of the bacteria that caused tuberculosis. This article was originally printed in the Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 1882, No.15.

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Author:  William Harvey (1578-1657)
Title/Imprint: Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus
Sumptibus F. Fitzeri: Frankfurt , 1628

Harvey discovered the true nature of how blood circulates in the human body and presented it for the first time in this small book. He demonstrated how blood flowed in a circulatory pattern with the heart acting as a pump. Prior to Harvey, the general belief was that blood ebbed and flowed within the body in a sort of tidal action.

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Author:  Humphry, Sir Davy (1778-1829)
Title/Imprint: Researches, Chemical and Philosophical; Chiefly Concerning Nitrous Oxide, or Dephlogisticated Nitrous Air, and Its Respiration
J. Johnson: London , 1800

This work was one of the famous chemist Davy's firs works published when he was 22 years old. It marks a notable achievement in medicine as it describes his research on nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and its potential for use in surgical operations. However, it took another forty years before its efficacy was practically demonstrated. This copy was once owned by the famous science collector, Herbert McLean Evans.

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Author:  Nicetas, physician
Title/Imprint: Chirurgia / / è Graeco in Latinum conuersa, Vido Vidio Florentino interprete ; cum nonnullis eiusdem Vidij co[m]entarijs ; indicem auctorum & operum sequenti paginâ quaerito. (Surgery)
[36], 533, [3] p. : ill. ; 37 cm. (fol.); Petrus Galterius: Paris , 1544

This work is a collection of classical surgical texts by some of the great names of early medicine. It was prepared by Guido Guidi and is a translation of a 10th-century manuscript prepared by Nicetas and contained all of Galen's commentaries on Hippocrates. Guidi also added his own commentaries on the Hippocratic texts that Galen had not discussed. Translation, by Guido Guidi [i.e. Vidus Vidius], of original Greek ms. written by Nicetas, a Byzantine physician, perhaps at the request of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus (905-959). This ms. contained the most complete collection, up to that time, of Galen's commentaries on the surgical works of Hippocrates. Guidi added his own commentaries upon those parts of Hippocrates' work not covered by Galen. Cf. Brown; Mortimer; Osler. Illustrations, after the original ms., by Francesco Primaticcio and Jean Santorinos; woodcut engravings of these illustrations by, amongst others, Jollat. Cf. Brown; Mortimer; Osler. At least 2 editions were published by Gaultier in 1544. In one, a woodcut device of François I, to whom the book was dedicated, is found between the last line of the title and the privelege; in the other this area (14 x 8 cm.) is blank (cf. Mortimer). The Dibner Library copy lacks the woodcut device. Signatures: 2a8 2b10 a-z8 A-I8 K-L6 (L6 blank; wanting in Dibner Library copy).

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Author:  Avicenna (980-1037)
Title/Imprint: Liber Canonis Primus Quem Princeps Aboali Abisceni de Medicina Edidit
Octaviani Scoti: Venice , 1490

Avicenna, a Persian philosopher of the 11th century, produced this work, perhaps the most famous book in the history of medicine. It helped preserve the medical writings of Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Galen and served as the most important medical authority up to the 1600s.

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Author:  Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)
Title/Imprint: De Humani Corporis Fabrica
[6l] 659 [i.e. 663], [1] p. [18l] : ill., fold. plates ; 42 cm.; Ioannis Oporini: Basel , 1543

This epochal book was the first truly accurate description of the human body. Written by the Flemish physician Vesalius, he based it on his own dissections of human cadavers. He realized that the classical and authoritative works on anatomy by Galen were seriously flawed and tried to correct them in this extensive treatise accompanined by superb illustrations prepared in Titian's workshop.

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Author:  Paracelsus (1493-1541)
Title/Imprint: Opera Omnia: Medico-Chemico-Chirurgica
3 vols. in 2; I. Antonij & Samuelis de Tournes: Geneva , 1658

A Swiss physician, Paracelsus is best known for his role in establishing the importance of chemistry in the practice of medicine. His relatively sound medical practices did much to end the era of superstition in medicine. This book is the first edition of the collected works of Paracelsus.

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Author:  Giambattista Morgagni (1682-1771)
Title/Imprint: De Sedibus, et Causus Morborum per Anatomen Indigatis Libri Quinque
2 vols.; Remondiniana: Venice , 1761

Morgagni was an Italian physician who developed pathological anatomy into a modern science. This great work details some 640 dissections detailing the anatomical examination of different diseases. He described some cases in such great detail that many are still unsurpassed today.

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Author:  James Lind (1716-1794)
Title/Imprint: A Treatise on the Scurvy
Sands, Murray and Cochran: Edinburgh , 1753

Lind is considered the "founder of naval hygiene in England" and is remembered for his application of citrus juice to overcome the severe problem of scurvy. Lind learned of the treatment of scurvy from Dutch sources and advocated its widespread acceptance by the British Navy. When he published this book in 1753, more sailors were dying from scurvy than from combat.

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Author:  William Beaumont (1785-1853)
Title/Imprint: Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice, and the Physiology of Digestion
F. P. Allen: Plattsburgh, N.Y. , 1833

Beaumont was able to describe the process of human digestion for the first time in great detail due to an odd circumstance. In 1819, a trapper in Michigan, where Beaumont as serving as an Army surgeon, suffered a shotgun blast to the stomach and Beaumont treated the near-fatal wound. The wound healed in an unusual way which allowed Beaumont to look into the trapper's digestive tract and examine his digestive process. He published the results in this landmark 1833 work proving that digestion was a chemical process. The Dibner Library's copy was once owned by the Beaumont Medical Club.

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Author:  Claude Bernard (1813-1878)
Title/Imprint: Sur une Nouvelle Fonction du Foie Chex l'Homme et les Animaux
Bachelier: Paris , 1850

Bernard was an expert on studying how digestion occurred and in this article he announced his initial studies on what came to be his discovery of the glycogenic function of the liver. Detached from: Comptes rendus hebdomadairesdes séances de l'Académie des sciences, t.31, n.17

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Author:  Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow (1821-1902)
Title/Imprint: Die Cellularpathologie in Ihrer Begründung auf Physiologische und Pathologische Gewebelehre
August Hirschwald: Berlin , 1858

This work discusses Virchow's important work in the field of cellular pathology. He was able to use the insight that every living cell came from some pre-existing cell and not from some undefined amorphous material to get a better understanding of how diseases affect living organisms.

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Author:  Joseph Lister (1827-1912)
Title/Imprint: On the Antiseptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery
London , 1867

This article marks the discovery of the principle of antiseptic medicine. Lister came to understand that germs were not just carried by air but by other materials that came into contact with wounds. By treating dressings with carbolic acid, Lister was able to reduce the numbers of deaths due to infection to an astonishing degree. Contained in The Lancet (1867), v.2, Sept.21

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Author:  Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936)
Title/Imprint: Die Arbeit der Verdauungsdrüsen
J.F. Bergmann: Wiesbaden , 1898

Pavlov's work on studying the development of the conditioned reflex in animals was ground-breaking. This work is the German translation of his Russian-language original, and made his ideas more widely available to his European colleagues.

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Author:  Edward Jenner (1749-1823)
Title/Imprint: An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae
Sampson Low: London , 1798

The English surgeon Jenner was the discoverer of the vaccination for smallpox. This work discusses his study of the disease that plagued the world in the 18th century and how he was able to use an inoculation of a milder disease, cowpox, and use this as an effective immunization against the more virulent and deadly smallpox.

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Author:  Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915)
Title/Imprint: Die Experimentelle Chemotherapie der Spirillosen
Julius Springer: Berlin , 1910

Ehrlich became famous for his work in chemotherapy, particularly in his finding a treatment for syphilis. This work is the landmark publication of his and Hata's initial tests of their use of salvarsan, an arsenic compound, to treat syphilis.

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Author:  R. T. H. (René Théophile Hyacinthe) Laennec (1781-1826)
Title/Imprint: De l'Auscultation Médiate, ou, Traité du Diagnostic des Maladies des Poumons et du Coeur
2 vols.; J.-A. Brosson et J.-S. Chaudé: Paris , 1819

Laennec was the inventor of the stethoscope, which for him took the form of a long and narrow wooden tube. After using this device for three years on his patients, he described his research in this ground-breaking work.

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