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The draughtsmanship in Norman Dott's (1897-1973) medical illustrations
EANS Academy. Hayes E. 09/26/19; 275941; EP10025
Ms. Elspeth Hayes
Ms. Elspeth Hayes

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Anatomical information and pathologies have been conveyed through the medium of medical illustrations throughout history. In the formative years of British Neurosurgery, Professor Norman Dott (1897-1973), one of its founders, utilised medical illustrations as a means of documenting neurosurgical advances and conveying pathological-anatomical correlation. He commissioned a vast number of medical illustrations over the course of his career, ultimately producing a diverse collection of items now held by the Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA), Edinburgh, Scotland.
In this study, the original material from Dott's personal collection was audited. Of the 172 items that make up the collection, 84 were made available through the LHSA to be categorised and commented upon. Whenever possible, the medical illustrations were considered in the context of research that Norman Dott himself had published on the subject depicted. Medical database searches were used to identify original articles authored by Dott and pre-existing historical articles that mention his work and the medical illustrators who worked for him.
The findings are a reflection of Dott's expertise as an academic and a surgeon. Spanning the years 1925-1968, a wide range of pathologies and procedures are depicted including intracranial aneurysms and their ligation; an area in which Dott was renowned for pioneering surgical advances. The collection stands as a testament to Dott's proficiency as a draughtsman, providing valuable insight into clinical and surgical practice in Neurosurgery when the specialty was in its juvenescence.
Anatomical information and pathologies have been conveyed through the medium of medical illustrations throughout history. In the formative years of British Neurosurgery, Professor Norman Dott (1897-1973), one of its founders, utilised medical illustrations as a means of documenting neurosurgical advances and conveying pathological-anatomical correlation. He commissioned a vast number of medical illustrations over the course of his career, ultimately producing a diverse collection of items now held by the Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA), Edinburgh, Scotland.
In this study, the original material from Dott's personal collection was audited. Of the 172 items that make up the collection, 84 were made available through the LHSA to be categorised and commented upon. Whenever possible, the medical illustrations were considered in the context of research that Norman Dott himself had published on the subject depicted. Medical database searches were used to identify original articles authored by Dott and pre-existing historical articles that mention his work and the medical illustrators who worked for him.
The findings are a reflection of Dott's expertise as an academic and a surgeon. Spanning the years 1925-1968, a wide range of pathologies and procedures are depicted including intracranial aneurysms and their ligation; an area in which Dott was renowned for pioneering surgical advances. The collection stands as a testament to Dott's proficiency as a draughtsman, providing valuable insight into clinical and surgical practice in Neurosurgery when the specialty was in its juvenescence.
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