About

By Lisa Smith

I am a historian of early modern science and medicine and Lecturer in Digital History at the University of Essex. Since 1997, I have been working on the correspondence of Sir Hans Sloane, an eighteenth-century physician, botanist and collector. As a PhD student I used the letters, which are held at the British Library, to find patients’ experiences. But over time, I’ve become fascinated by the problems of finding Sloane’s own voice — few letters in the collection were written by Sloane! This blog will highlight the stories of patients, natural philosophers, collectors — and, of course, Sloane — that are found in the letters. Sometimes, guest bloggers will also contribute.

The Sloane Letters Blog is part of my project “Reconstructing the Lives of Doctor Sloane and His Patients in Eighteenth-Century England”, which was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (April 2013-August 2015). To read an overview of the project, see my post on “Doctor Sloane and His Patients in Eighteenth-Century England“. An integral part of the project is my database, Sir Hans Sloane’s Correspondence Online, which makes the letters more accessible to researchers. The letters are a rich source of material on early modern science and medicine — and so much more… Please, read on for glimpses into Sloane’s wonderful correspondence!

Questions? Work on a Sloane-related project? Contact me at lisa.smith [at] usask.ca.