Thursday, August 13, 2009

Call for Papers: Sir Hans Sloane, Physician-Naturalist

"Sir Hans Sloane, The Greatest Physician-Naturalist of His Era," is an international conference commemorating the 350th anniversary of his birth that will be held at the British Library, June 7-8, 2010. Paper proposals are due by December 15, 2009.

The year 2010 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of the physician Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753). Well-known as one of the greatest collectors of his age, he was also President of the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians, the major patron of the Chelsea Physic Garden, a physician to Queen Anne, George I and George II, and had many other connections throughout British society, leaving his name to the prestigious Sloane Square in London. His enormous network of acquaintances and correspondents throughout the world established him as probably the single most influential British 'scientist' between Isaac Newton and Joseph Banks. After his death, Parliament purchased his collections, which laid the foundation for what are now three institutions: the British Library, British Museum, and Natural History Museum.

A project has been generously funded by the Wellcome Trust to electronically re-create the bulk of Sloane's voluminous but now dispersed library, led by Alison Walker with the assistance of Shauna Barrett and the direction of Prof Hal Cook. It is now online and being continuously updated. The project's two host institutions, The British Library and The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, are sponsoring a two-day conference on Sloane and his collections.

We invite proposals on any aspect of the history and significance of Sloane and his activities; papers on the development of the Sloane collections after his lifetime will also be considered. Preference will be given to studies that make use of the new online catalogue. Those attending the conference will be responsible for organising their own travel and accommodation. We expect each presentation to take 20 minutes, which will be followed by 10 minutes for discussion, with an opportunity for more general discussion at the end of the conference. Depending on the quality of the papers, a publication may follow.

Please send your proposal by no later than December 15, 2009, which should be no more than one page in length, to Lauren Cracknell at The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, 183 Euston Rd., London NW1 2BE, UK, or emailed to

Inquiries may be directed to Hal Cook, via Lauren Cracknell, or to: Alison Walker, Lead Researcher, The Sloane Printed Books Project, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB020 7412 7465, or Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine University College London, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE,

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