The Medical History of British India” website is an important resource from the India Papers collection in the National Library of Scotland. You’ll find a range of digitised official publications related to disease, public health and medical research between c.1850 to 1950. There are extensive reports with keyword searching of full text and of title, author, location, subject category, publication date and location with detailed maps, charts and tables with easily manipulated data and zoom features. Many of the documents focus on epidemics in vivid detail that makes them a treasure-trove of regional histories of disease, providing vital insights into the role of government and the operation of colonial power. The extensive statistics accompanying these documents provide important data that would be valuable for regional histories.
The website is aimed at medical, social, military and colonial historians, historians of South Asia and also genealogists. As this material traces the epidemiology of communicable diseases that cause a high mortality in the Third World even today, it is also of interest for epidemiologists and medical practitioners and researchers in this field.
We are digitising all our India-related medical publications, and these include research reports on lock hospitals and venereal disease, the health of the army, medicines, research institutes, and major diseases such as cholera, malaria, leprosy and plague, along with works by such ground-breaking scientists as W.M. Haffkine and Sir Ronald Ross. We also have publications on civil veterinary departments and veterinary research, and reports on the treatment of mental illness.
“The Medical History of British India” is a partnership project between the National Library of Scotland and the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare
Head of Official Publications
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