Lancet: From the Beginning

Thanks to year end funds from the Provost’s office provided through USC Libraries Dean, Catherine Quinlan’s office, the Norris Library was able to purchase perpetual access to the Lancet archives. Electronic access to the journal is now available from volume 1, number 1, published in 1823, to the present.

Browse t he table of contents page of the earliest volumes for a glimpse of the practice of medicine in the early nineteenth century.    An article entitled “Stone In The Bladder Successfully Treated By Lithotrity”¹ describes how, after a series of eight surgeries and “…by the means of leeches, poultices, and absolute quiet…” the case was successfully concluded.  However, then, as now, not all cases have a happy ending.  Also noted was “Rhinoplastic Operation, Performed By M. Lisfranc, Followed By Death.” ² Clearly, this patient didn’t fare as well, despite the fact that the autopsy revealed that “On Examination, the organs were found in a state of perfect health.”³

Whether you want to take a step back in time or learn about the most up-to-the-minute  medical developments, take a look at this valuable resource as it endeavors to give “…   a correct description of all the important Cases that may occur, whether in England or on any part of the civilized Continent.” ³

1.  Stone in the bladder successfully treated by lithotrity. Lancet. Volume 10, Issue 265, 27 September 1828, Pages 806-807.

2.  Rhinoplastic operation, performed by m. Lisfranc, followed by death. Lancet. Volume 10, Issue 265, 27 September 1828, Page 808.

3  Preface.  Lancet.  Volume 1 Issue 1, Pages 1-2, 5 October 1823.

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