Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnail

Our books

Thumbnail

L’art et instruction de bien dancer

Anonymous, published Paris, c.1495

This is the only known copy in the world of the earliest known surviving book about dancing. It is also one of the earliest known examples of printed music. The book contains a collection of dances called basses danses or ‘low dances’. These were popular formal court dances in the 15th and early-16th centuries, especially in the Burgundian court in central France.

The book was given to the RCP as part of the library of Henry Pierrepont, Marquis of Dorchester (1606–1680).

Thumbnail

Regimen Sanitatis Salerni

Salernian medicine, Latin, 1300-1400

The Schola Medica Salernitana in Salerno was one of the first and most important medical schools in medieval Europe. Men and women from all over Europe studied there between the 900s and 1200s. This is the school’s most famous medical text. It is a collection of hygiene rules, written in Latin verse. This copy was produced in Europe, probably France, and brought to England by the end of the 1500s.

It was given to the Royal College of Physicians by W.H. Allchin, in 1908.

Thumbnail

The Wilton Psalter

Illuminated psalter, Latin, c.1250

This handwritten copy of the Book of Psalms from the Bible is heavily illustrated throughout. It was produced, probably at Salisbury, for use at Wilton Abbey, a convent for nuns.  All monastic orders in England were dissolved and their lands and treasures dispersed in 1539 by Henry VIII.

This book passed through several private owners until it was given to the Royal College of Physicians in 1687, by the Marquis of Dorchester, as part of a collection to replace its library, lost in the Great Fire of London.

Rose