Friday, 24 October 2008

Medical History of British India Project on microfilm

All 136 volumes from the Medical History of British India project Phase 2 have all been microfilmed and are available to view at the Library. To view what’s on each reel, including Phase 1, enter Mf.IP in the search box on the main NLS catalogue and then select the shelfmark option. The volumes themselves will be returning to the shelves by the end of November; some will be undergoing conservation treatment first, however.
The digital images are undergoing renaming, sorting and conversion to Jpeg format. Then they will be processed by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) so that you can fully search them when they are online next spring . I can’t wait for that, especially to look for names of Indian Medical Service officers.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

I spy ...

Captain Hamilton Bower's Diary of a Journey Across Tibet, published in 1893, details what was essentially a spying mission for the Intelligence Branch of the Quarter Master General's Department in India. He and his party endured bad weather, difficult terrain, stolen horses and "infuriated Tibetans, who had big stones in their hands and were dancing about in a threatening manner".

The first European to cross Tibet - "a huge white blank on our maps" - he received the Royal Geographical Society Founder's medal for his achievement, and the story of the journey is packed full of incident, with photographs and sketches of the scenery and locals.

It is the same Captain Bower who, on a trip to Turkestan in 1890, found the set of manuscripts which now bear his name.