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Title page of Observationes Medicae

"On Scarlet Fever"

Source

There are many fevers listed as the cause of death in early modern England that do not translate well into modern diseases (worm, spotted, pining, nervous) but scarlet fever is still with us. The Puritan Dr. Thomas Sydenham (1624-89) is often referred to as the "English Hippocrates" because of his emphasis on the need to observe the course of diseases and not just theorize about them. His two... Read More »

Thumbnail image of the chart of causes of mortality

1996 New Zealand Census Information

Source

These tables give details on three health-related facets of young New Zealanders' lives as interpreted from data recorded in the 1996 Census: levels of educational qualification in school leavers, unemployment rates, and youth mortality. The selection reflects a particular area of public concern, namely the high number of deaths, among young males especially, from suicide, self-inflicted... Read More »

Photo of a woman with writing in the background

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century

Review
Students might examine how the inclusion of African American women's perspectives alters more standardized narratives of American history.
Age of Menarche in Norway chart thumbnail image

Age of Menarche in Norway

Source

This graph shows us the average year of menarche, a female's first menstrual cycle (often considered the beginning of puberty), from 1860 to 1980 reported by adult female patients at maternity clinics in Norway. It also includes data from Oslo school girls that follow the same trend downward in age. The downward curve flattens around 1960 between the ages of 13 and 14. A graph like this helps... Read More »

Thumbnail of medical drawing

An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae

Source

Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was a physician in rural Gloucestershire. Like Lady Mary Wortley Montagu he learnt of a widely known folk remedy to protect against smallpox. Smallpox cases were increasing in the 18th century and had a mortality rate of 40%. At least 30% of those who survived were left horribly scarred. Smallpox was a disease of children and youth in particular. However, dairymaids... Read More »

Rare photograph of women from Bohemia thumbnail

Analyzing Census Data

Methods

Analyzing Evidence presents case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. The data from the 1910 census of the Hapsburg Monarchy was collected for most towns and cities throughout the Monarchy every few years from between 1880 and 1910. It covers occupation, disease, language, and literacy for men and women separately. You also... Read More »

Thumbnail image of Glikl

Analyzing Personal Accounts

Methods

Analyzing Documents presents case studies that show how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. Here are excerpts from two personal accounts written by women living in northern Germany in the 17th century. The first is a diary written by a Jewish merchant, Glikl of Hameln. The second is a memoir written by a Protestant midwife, Catharina Schrader. These... Read More »

Article from the Encyclopedia: "Woman"

Source

The article "Woman" was written by four contributors who considered the question from four angles: medicine and the history of opinions about women’s nature; writings about women’s place in the state and marriage; the social differences between men and women; and women’s legal status in different societies. Although the Encyclopedia, the fundamental compendium of the Enlightenment, repeated... Read More »

Birth Rituals in the Codex Mendoza thumbnail image

Birth Rituals in the Codex Mendoza

Source

The image from the Codex Mendoza (produced ca. 1535-1550) describes the Aztec birth ritual of bathing and naming the child, which, according to accounts from the 16th century, was usually held on the fourth day after birth. It was attended by the parents and kin, who gathered in the house before sunrise to feast and observe the ceremony. The midwife who aided the birth conducted the... Read More »

Book of Children by Thomas Phaer

Boke of Chyldren by Thomas Phaer

Source

Phaer was a lawyer and a physician who wrote the first work in English devoted solely to the health of children. It was first published in 1544 and went through many editions. The audience for the book according to Phaer was everyone who cared about children. It is a small book of only 56 pages but it covers most of the common conditions that children suffered – from agues or colds to... Read More »

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