For the 2014 edition of St. George’s University of London (SGUL) annual alumni magazine, I was tasked with taking photographs of a number of SGUL artefacts that related to their most historic alumni. These included a first edition copy of Henry Gray’s Anatomy, first published in 1858 and features wonderfully intricate anatomy illustrations. This particular book had a hard life with scratches and dents all over the cover. Although this added character, it was unfortunately no longer attached to the rest of the book! The pages inside were still in immaculate condition though. Another famous SGUL alumni, Edward Jenner was represented via the recent return to the university of the restored hide of Blossom. I’d previously photographed Blossom’s removal a few years earlier, where samples were taken before it was sent off for restoration. I have to admit I was rather disappointed with the new exhibition case, with Blossom looking a bit sorry for itself draped over what appeared to be a wooden vaulting horse from a PE class. The previous display where the hide was hung up was far more striking, particularly from a photographic point of view as the hide is massive and was an imposing sight. Other items included a letter from Patrick Manson (founder of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) accepting a position of lecturer at the university, an early pacemaker and adapted stethoscope by Dr Aubrey Leatham and 200 year old gall stones extracted by John Hunter. This was a nice change of pace from other assignments, being given the chance to document and handle such rare and obscure items.
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