In this letter, Osler wrote from Italy describing new book purchases and visits to medieval historical sites. He also mentioned
events at Oxford, especially an unexpected endowment for new laboratory space at the Radcliffe Infirmary.
Item is handwritten.
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3 (703,429 Bytes)
1909-04-02 (April 2, 1909)
[Jacobs, Henry Barton]
Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. William Osler Collection
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
Apr. 2nd. 1909
I am so sorry to hear that you have been knocked out. I hope the voyage has put you to rights. I have changed my plans. Some
matters came up about our proposed new laboratories & clinique & rooms at the Radcliffe, which it is important for
me to try to settle, before the end of next term. An old cove called Briscoe aged 88, formerly surgeon of the hospital, surprised
every one by leaving 80,000 pounds to it. The
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managers have agreed to put up laboratories, but there is a hitch about the land, & I may be able to induce the Trustees
of the Radcliffe Fund to give a bit of land next the Infirmary. We had a splendid month in Florence. Wonderful city -! I picked
up a few treasures. Olsehki was the best Antiquarist outside Germany -- & I suppose for Incunabula the best in Europe.
From him Henry Walters bought his collection - en masse - 900. In Venice I got a fine school of Selernum 1480 -- one of the
earliest editions. Although I have had some fine hauls - particularly of the good old Italians. Bologna & Padua were not
quite up to my expectations. P is perhaps a bit
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disappointing -- the Aula is wonderful. We had nearly a week in Venice & three glorious days. I saw the unique, 1538,
six plates of Vesal -- very interesting in comparison with his 1540 work as the drawings tho. done by Calcar are much inferior.
Many years ago Sir Herbert Maxwell had them reproduced but his copy is very rare. I shall get an estimate from the Press -
they would be worth reproducing. The Italians are very up to date in Library work -- the catalogues are excellent. We spent
the day at Verona -- not much there except the Amphitheatre. They had not even had a copy of Fracastorius' poem in the
Library! I saw the Ospedal Maggiore here this a.m. greatly changed internally since John Morgan's description in 1759.
It is one of the largest in Europe. I am going to see Golgi at Pavia tomorrow.
I have written to Chatard about the date of the meeting as I now shall be out the 22nd but I suppose they may as well keep
the one already fixed. I am sorry to have disarranged unnecessarily their arrangements but I did not know until a week ago
that I would have to go back to England. I am glad to see that Kinnicutt is with you. I am sending him a line as I hope to
catch him in London.
Do let us have a line to say how you are. We leave here Sunday night and will be at the Grand Hotel Trafalgar Square Monday
night. With love to Mrs. Jacobs