Volker Hess

Industrialization of the Medical Notebook

Volker Hess, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Andrew Mendelsohn, Queen Mary, University of London

Discussant: Silvia De Renzi, Open University

Around 1800 the medical notebook changed form. The German and English book markets began to offer a range of printed aids to daily bedside observation, often with advice and instructions on how to examine and document patients. Numerous editions from a growing number of publishers attest to the demand for these pre-formatted casebooks and medical diaries. Demand ranged widely: they were put to use by regular practitioners, homeopaths, and specialists.

This industrialization of the notebook opens up three questions to be addressed in our paper:

1. What models did these printed forms follow? (archaeology)

2. Why did they appear only after around 1800? (historical specificity)

3. How did writing change through their use? (epistemology)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *