Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn


Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) is often referred to as the founder of modern anatomy. In 1543 Vesalius published his seven-volume De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body), a ground breaking work in human anatomy. It's 273 illustrations showed in near perfect detail the workings of the bodies muscles, nerves, veins and organs. RCSI Heritage Collections are honoured to have a second edition of the De humani corporis fabrica which dates to 1555, to date the only second edition of this pioneering work in Ireland.  


                   Vesalius 'De fabrica' title page                            Vesalius 'De fabrica'    


Another important manuscript in the collection is the Practica Magistri Johannis Ardern  (RCSI/MS/97) presented by Sir John Lentaigne in 1851. The only complete copy worldwide, it is a treatise on surgical practice. Its author John Arderne was a surgeon who lived near Nottingham from 1307-1390. The historical value of the work lies in the account it provides of surgery in England in the fourteenth century. Pages from the Arderne manuscript can be seen below.  


                   Arderne manuscript                           Arderne manuscript


Other manuscripts of historical and medical importance are: