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Support our vital conservation work in the Library

The Royal Society of Medicine’s Library is seeking your help to conserve some valuable items from our collection. The pandemic and lockdown restrictions have delayed our conservation programme and despite the efforts of our volunteers we now have a backlog of conservation work to protect our treasured old and rare books collection.

Could you help conserve just one of these treasures?

Tabulae Anatomicae, 1553 - £230

Bartolomeo Eustachi, a contemporary of Andreas Vesalius, is regarded as one of the founders of the science of human anatomy. Tabulae anatomicae or Anatomical Engravings,  completed in 1552, is believed to be his greatest work  and the RSM is the proud owner of this first edition copy. The copy requires minor conservation work to repair the paper, re-back the item and add a new leather spine at a cost of £230.

A Treatise on the High Operation for the Stone,  1723 - £320

William Cheselden was an English surgeon who helped establish surgery as a scientific endeavour. He invented a new approach to the removal of bladder stones which he published in one of his most celebrated works: A Treatise on the High Operation for the Stone. It is this book of 1723 that requires conservation at a cost of £320 which includes recollating the pages and adding leather corners.

De vocis auditusque organis, Cesseri, 1600-1601 - £640

Giulio Cesare Casseri published one of his great books in Ferrara in 1600-1601. The work is on a comparative anatomy focussed on the ear and throat with beautiful and instructive prints which we hope to restore to near original condition. It is expected these extensive repairs will cost in the region of £640.

Can you help by adopting a book?

We aim to fully conserve each book and make the fragile, acidic paper stable to enable its use and display in the Library. This includes page repairs using archival heat-set tissue, re-sewing and re-binding in antiquarian-style cloth while keeping the original covers and spine.

Donations of any size help the Library to conserve these items for future generations and are greatly appreciated. If you are able to adopt a book and fund the full cost of conservation for any of these titles, your generosity will be recorded in our Adopt a Book register.

Please donate today and be sure to specify the amount you wish to give. Please contact the library at so we can track your kind donation and put it to good use.

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