Centre for the History of the Book

Professor Iain Donaldson

Professor Iain Donaldson is Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh

Professor Iain Donaldson

  • School of Biomedical Sciences
  • The University of Edinburgh

Contact details

Iain Donaldson is an Emeritus Professor in the University of Edinburgh, an Emeritus Fellow of St. Edmund Hall in the University of Oxford and Honorary Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE).In the past he has been an Honorary Lecturer in Neurology in Edinburgh, a Research Fellow in Paris and Oxford (where he was Fellow & Tutor in Medicine & Physiology at St. Edmund Hall), Professor of Zoology in Hull and, latterly, Professor of Neurophysiology in Edinburgh. A general theme of his interests is the conflict between authority, observation and the results of experiment in renaissance Europe. Thus he studies the history of medicine and science and the writings of individual doctors and scientists.

Bibliographical interests

  • Bibliography and material aspects of books and the techniques of their production in the 15th,16th and 17th centuries.
  • Translations and commentaries from and on medical writings from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
  • Printing and printers – particularly in Paris – in the 16th century.
  • Book illustration from 15th to 18th century.
  • Digital methods of presenting and providing access to renaissance printed material.

Selected publications

Ars Anatomica (with Michael Bury & Andrew Grout):

Ars Anatomica

Ex libris - a series of quarterly articles on books in the Sibbald Library. Search using ‘ex libris donaldson’ on:


Two States of Some Plates in the Compendiosa of Thomas Geminus (1545) I.M.L. Donaldson The Library 2010 11: 89-104.

Two States of Some Plates in the Compendiosa of Thomas Geminus (1545)

Annotated English translations of all the articles on printing and papermaking in the Encyclopédie of Diderot & d’Alemebert (1751 - 1772); these appear under their individual titles on the Encyclopédie of Diderot & d’Alemebert website. This material is being collected into an Ebook:

Encyclopédie of Diderot & d’Alemebert website

The Bindings of a Venetian Edition of Avicenna (1555, 1557)