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CARSWELL

CARSWELL

Carswell Drawings

1827-1864

Sir Robert Carswell's anatomical drawings, with manuscript notes describing the cases illustrated, 1827-1838, and a manuscript catalogue, dated 1864.
The collection contains many items of historical significance, notably the first illustrations of the pathology in Hodgkin's Disease, the first portrayal of the lesions on the spinal cord in multiple sclerosis and the first depictions of iron deficiency anaemia. It comprises over around a thousand finely drafted watercolour and ink drawings, of various dimensions, depicting diseased structures divided into groups by subject.
Not all the drawings in the collection are by Carswell himself. Other named artists are Johnson Savage (17 drawings), W P Cocks (5 drawings) and H B Tuson (1 drawing). There is also an artist known simply by the initials "J A" (3 drawings) and some case notes are signed by B[enjamin] Clarke (3 drawings). In addition there are two (identical) uncoloured printed lithographs, and one unsigned drawing, dated Calcutta, 1852. Carswell's drawings are usually signed, or at least initialled by him, with the date and location on the verso. They date from September 1825 to March 1839, with those dated 1825 to early 1831 having Parisian locations. As well as the hospitals, zoo and abattoirs mentioned previously, some have names of doctors - presumably private cases which Carswell observed. One drawing has the inscription "Santo Spirito 1826", i.e. the Ospedale di Santo Spirito, the oldest hospital in Rome. One other has "St. Valery-sur Somme 1839" on the verso.
Of those executed in London, the majority were done at the North London or University College Hospital. Other locations are the Mount Street Infirmary and the North London Fever Hospital. The Fever Hospital was established for smallpox patients in 1802, in Gray's Inn Road, and moved to Liverpool Road, Islington in 1848.
Many drawings have several numbers on them but Carswell seems to have settled on the seventeen categories [A, B, Ca, Cb, D, E, Fa, Fb, Fc, Fd, G, Ha, Hb, Hc, I, K & L], each dealing with a part of the body or type of disease. The drawings were obviously once numbered in a continuous sequence from 1 to 1,035 but were then arranged into their respective groups which explains the seeming gaps in numbering.
The original drawings vary considerably in size, from as little as 4 x 4 cm to as much as 45 x 30 cm and above. Most are painted in watercolours. Over the years they were much used and handled, becoming very dirty and damaged, particularly at the edges. A project to conserve and re-house the drawings was completed in 2007. The drawings were digitised in 2017 and are now available online.

See Record View

Title Drawings of Organs of Locomotion (Lower Limbs)
Date1 Nov 1826-May 1848
StorageSite

UCL Special Collections

Records included here:
CARSWELL/E/131

CARSWELL/E/131

Mammary Sarcoma

Mar 1829

CARSWELL/E/132

CARSWELL/E/132

Chronic rheumatism

Nov 1828

CARSWELL/E/133

CARSWELL/E/133

Ulceration: Cartilages of the Knee Joint

Jul 1828

CARSWELL/E/134

CARSWELL/E/134

Chronic Inflammation of the Tibia

Nov 1828

CARSWELL/E/135

CARSWELL/E/135

Hyperostosis of the Tibia

Mar 1829

CARSWELL/E/136

CARSWELL/E/136

Inflammation and Suppuration of the Medullary Membrane of the Thigh Bone.

Mar 1828

CARSWELL/E/137

CARSWELL/E/137

Inflammation: Medullary Canal of Femur and Femoral vein

Nov 1828

CARSWELL/E/138

CARSWELL/E/138

Cancer and Spontaneous Fracture of Femur

Dec 1828

CARSWELL/E/139

CARSWELL/E/139

Medullary Sarcoma and Fungus Haematodes

Mar 1829

CARSWELL/E/140

CARSWELL/E/140

Osteo and Medullary Sarcoma of Femur and Amputation at the Hip Joint

1827

CARSWELL/E/320

CARSWELL/E/320

Venereal Node upon the Tibia

Sep 1829

CARSWELL/E/321

CARSWELL/E/321

Femur, Exostosis, Suppuration of Medullary Canal and Abscess of the Intermuscular Tissue

Sep 1829

CARSWELL/E/376

CARSWELL/E/376

Lumbar Abscess and Perforation of Diaphragm

Sep 1829

CARSWELL/E/410

CARSWELL/E/410

Hyperostosis of the Left OS in Nominatum

Jul 1830

CARSWELL/E/411

CARSWELL/E/411

Disease of the Spine

1829

CARSWELL/E/412

CARSWELL/E/412

Commencement of Scrofulous Inflammation

1829

CARSWELL/E/670

CARSWELL/E/670

Carcinoma Causing Fracture of the Femur

Nov 1826

CARSWELL/E/671

CARSWELL/E/671

Disease of Hip Joint

1837

CARSWELL/E/939

CARSWELL/E/939

Scrofulous Inflammation and Ulceration of Hip Joint

Dec 1835

CARSWELL/E/940

CARSWELL/E/940

Disease of Hip Joint

May 1848

CARSWELL/E/941

CARSWELL/E/941

Scrofulous Inflammation of Cartilages of Bones of the Foot

Mar 1837

CARSWELL/E/942

CARSWELL/E/942

Knee Joint: Chronic Rheumatism

Mar 1839

CARSWELL/E/1020

CARSWELL/E/1020

Foot and Mammary Sarcoma

1835

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