The Wangensteen Historical Library holds a significant collection of manuscript materials (handwritten documents) ranging from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. The earliest book in the collection is a 1430 handwritten copy of the Thesaurus pauperum.

Medical Receipt Books

A growing collection of domestic receipt books is available in the library, dating from the 17th through the 19th century. Often written by the mother of the house, they were used to care for family and sometimes livestock. Some of the receipts are written by physicians for the pharmacist to fill, but most consist of components that were readily available in local fields or the apothecary’s shop. This collection is also supported by a record book of ingredients purchased and sold at a French pharmacy in Toulouse. The recipe books have been digitized and will continue to be added to U Media. Read more about our digitization projects.

Pamard Archives

In addition to individual works, the library also holds the Pamard archives, representing the work of seven generations of a French family of ophthalmological surgeons founded in Avignon in the late 17th century. The Pamards achieved prominence in both medical and civic circles into the early years of the twentieth century. The collection includes personal and professional papers, students’ notes, correspondence, hospital records, public health notices, and statistics, poetry, remedies, recipes, and diaries.

James H. Stuart Letters

The papers of James Stuart, a mid-1840s medical graduate from the Jefferson College in Philadelphia, are also in the Wangensteen Historical Library’s collection. Shortly after graduation, Stuart joined Matthew Perry’s expedition as a naval surgeon to the North China Sea aboard the Porpoise. The letters collected in the library were written home to his mother and detail his life while in school and his travels to Hong Kong. His vivid descriptions describe the regions and the peoples he encounters, as well as, the political situation aboard ship. Transcriptions of the letters have been completed and are available upon request.

Inventory of an apothecary’s shop in Toulouse, 1645.

Inventory of an apothecary’s shop in Toulouse, 1645.