In June we were delighted to welcome back Prof Stephen Craig, from Bethesda, US. Professor Craig explained why he has journeyed to Edinburgh. “Sir John Pringle's Medical Annotations brought me to the Sibbald Library during my research on the origins of military medicine. Pringle established military medicine as an academic discipline in 1752, the details of which will be published in my paper, "Sir John Pringle, Early Scottish Enlightenment Thought, and the Origins of Modern Military Medicine," to be published later this year in the British Journal of 18th Century Studies. Medical Annotations continues to intrigue me. This 30-year collection of correspondence between Pringle and his medical and scientific colleagues in Britain, North America, and Continental Europe will add a fresh, and I believe unexpected, dimension to understanding 18th century medicine. It will assist in defining the medical personality of the rather enigmatic Pringle and contribute, along with the Cullen correspondence, to the scientific Republic of Letters genre. I hope to continue working with these papers and the RCPE”. Stephen Craig, Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Bethesda, MD, USA The Pringle Collection is one of most valuable manuscript sources of historical information on the practice of medicine in 18th century Europe and had been donated to the College by renowned Scottish physician Sir John Pringle on the condition that his papers would never be printed, quoted in print nor taken out of the College. After acting as custodian to these papers for over 200 years, and recognising the restrictive nature of the donation, the College took legal action to enable these papers to be made accessible to researchers and the public.


If you'd like to find out more, you can email us at

Follow our Twitter account @RCPEHeritage or our Facebook page or sign up to our newsletter to get notifications of new blog posts, events, videos and exhibitions.