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1: Early Sci Med. 2008;13(1):25-52.

Doctor's order: an early modern doctor's alchemical notebooks.

Timmermann A.

Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, USA.

This is a case study on a series of at least thirty-four sixteenth-century
notebooks from the Sloane collection, which reconsiders early modern notetaking
techniques and the organisation of knowledge. These notebooks were written by an
anonymous compiler, a physician who read widely in the alchemical and medical
literature available in his lifetime, the late sixteenth century. In the
alchemica, he devotes individual volumes to specific alchemical substances, which
are connected with each other by means of a complex system of cross-referencing;
they are constantly revised and change appearance according to the physician's
latest ideas about alchemical medicines. As a result, the notebooks not only
preserve received information (a task otherwise performed by commonplace books in
this period)--they also represent an equivalent to the alchemical workshop, where
the combination of different textual elements generates knowledge.

Last edited on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 10:45 pm by adammclean

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