William Hunter’s Library: the Is and the Js

University of Glasgow Library

As all viewers of ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ know, there is no ‘J’ in the Latin alphabet. In Hunter’s Trustees’ catalogue (and in the earlier catalogues compiled in Hunter’s lifetime), there is no separate section in MR 3 for ‘J’ titles and authors are listed with the heading ‘I’.

Inoculation

One topic is very evident in this section of the catalogue: inoculation. The entries for ‘Octavo (Inoculation) Pamphlets’ in MR 3 run over two pages and are comprised of 52 titles.

MR3_p214 Octavo Inoculation Pamphlets (MR 3, f. 214)

MR3_p213 Octavo Inoculation Pamphlets (MR 3, f. 213)

The publications represent a variety of viewpoints but are mostly favour the practice of inoculation. Smallpox was one of the most dreaded diseases in Hunter’s time. Patients who survived were likely to carry the scars for life. There was no cure for smallpox, but a practice that Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a survivor of…

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