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Royal College of Surgeons

Historic medical collection.

In 1763, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, founded in 1505, gave its library to the University of Edinburgh, in return for borrowing privileges in the University Library. There are some 560 books, mainly medical but with some English literature and history. The earliest books are a copy of the 'Hortus Sanitatis' (Strassburg, c.1490, Inc.20) and a copy of Argellata, 'Cirurgia' (Venice, 1497, Inc.119) but most are 17th century continental publications. Some have manuscript notes which indicate they were bought by students abroad.

The collection was scattered, but a list by size was drawn up at the time, and this has provided the basis for a recent listing by author, available via staff.