LT-L: Was Wallace Wicked?

Meadhbh Murphy 
RCSI Mercer Library

Meadhbh Murphy - RSCI - was wallace wicked.pdf

In 1818 William Wallace (LRCSI 1813) founded, funded and opened the doors of the Dublin Infirmary for Diseases of the Skin at 20 Moore Street, the first hospital in the British Empire exclusively devoted to treatment of skin diseases. Wallace and his staff dealt with scabies, leprosy, measles, scarlet fever, ringworm, tuberculosis of the skin, impetigo and venereal diseases which, in the whole, inflicted the lower poorer classes in Dublin. Advice, medicines and medicated baths were all given free of charge.

But why has William Wallace been forgotten?

My proposal falls under the heading of ‘unique and distinctive collections’. It is a very unique collection as not only do we have Wallace’s illustrations of his patients we also have his corresponding casebooks. Both these factors give a much broader medical and social history of Dubliners during this period.

We have already delved into a collaborative creation of an Irish online, open access, digital humanities research resource to support professional training in archives management between the 3U Partnership of Dublin City University and NUI Maynooth. The collection we chose was that of Emily Winifred Dickson (LRCSI 1891) because of her unique and challenging struggle between being a woman in a male dominated medical world. Emily’s collection can be found here

We will be digitising the Wallace Collection in the coming year and creating its own stand alone website through HEAnet. This will make these distinctive and, in some cases, grotesque medical illustrations and casebooks available online for study internationally.

The digital humanities is an area where libraries, archives and special collections unite in presenting their material to a wider and more international audience.

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