warwick logooxford logoA Literary History of Medicine

"The Best Accounts of the Classes of Physicians" by Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿah (d. 1270)

Incunabula and Medicine Workshop, 20/05/2016

This one-day workshop will reflect broadly on the relationship between the earliest printed books and medicine. Topics will include: medical illustration in incunabula; the relationship between medical incunabula and medical manuscripts; ownership of incunabula by physicians and other medical practitioners; change and diversity in medical printing between the 1470s and the 1490s. The year 1501 will not be considered an absolute dividing line: speakers will also reflect upon printing and medicine in the early 1500s. A selection of the Wellcome Library’s incunabula will be on display throughout the day.


Venue: Mendel 1, Wellcome Trust Gibbs building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE


The workshop is free to attend. If you would like to register, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Tuesday 17 May.




10:00–10:15     Coffee and registration


10:15–10:30     Richard Aspin and Elma Brenner (Wellcome Library): Welcome


10:30–11:30 Session One: Medical Incunabula

Sabrina Minuzzi (Oxford), ‘Everyone has his own Cibaldone? Text transmission and copy-specific features of a fifteenth-century vernacular regimen sanitatis

Elma Brenner (Wellcome Library), ‘Responding on the ground: incunabula addressing pestilence and the French disease’


11:30–12:00     Coffee


12:00–13:00 Session 2: Medical Provenance

Julie Gardham (Glasgow), ‘Syphilis and secrets: two Glasgow collectors of medical incunabula’

Laura Nuvoloni (Wellcome Library), The libraries of physicians of the past and the feasibility of their virtual reconstruction’


13:00–14:30 Lunch and viewing of display of Wellcome Library incunabula


14:30–16:00 Session 3: Incunabula and Manuscripts

Alice Laforêt (ENSSIB, Lyon), ‘Reading, annotating and copying: the manuscript aspects of early printed herbals’

Greti Dinkova-Bruun (PIMS, Toronto), ‘The “Cyrurgia magna” of Bruno Longoburgensis in the binding fragments held by the library of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto’

Peter Murray Jones (Cambridge), ‘Medical images between script and print’


16:00–16:30 Tea


16:30–17:00 Vivian Nutton (UCL): Respondent