• Title
    India Proofs for "Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical" [later "Gray's Anatomy"]
  • Reference
  • Level of description
  • Date
  • Creator
  • Scope and Content
    This consists of one folder of the first India proofs of the engravings, made using wood engraving blocks, by Butterworth and Heath, for the first edition of "Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical" (now known as "Gray's Anatomy") 1858.
  • Extent
    1 folder
  • Language
  • System of arrangement
    As described in the Scope and Content.
  • Conditions governing access
    By appointment only. See College website for contact details of the Archives.
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  • Admin./ biographical history
    Henry Gray (1827-1861) was a distinguished anatomist and a promising surgeon. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1852 at the young age of 25, and later in 1860 was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Henry Vandyke Carter (1831-1897) became a member of The Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1853 and for two years until 1855 he worked as a student of human and comparative anatomy at the College. Carter later travelled to India to work for the Bombay Medical Service where he studied tropical diseases including leprosy. In addition to his skills in anatomy, Carter was also a talented artist. Henry Gray and Henry Vandyke Carter worked together at St George’s Hospital. They began to collaborate to create a practical and affordable textbook to aid anatomy students and emerging surgeons. This collaboration resulted in the creation of the classic text "Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical", now known as ‘Gray’s Anatomy’. As research for the textbook, Gray and Carter carried out many dissections together. Gray was responsible for describing the dissections for the text in the publication, and Carter was responsible for illustrating the textbook. The result was that Gray’s text was clear and easy to understand. Carter’s illustrations were presented in a different way to contemporary textbooks, with the labels for the illustrations as an integral part of the drawing, rather than as a key beside the illustration. Carter’s illustrations were engraved for the publication by Butterworth and Heath using wood blocks. The first proofs of the engravings were printed onto fine ‘India’ paper to be checked before continuing through the publication process. The book was finally published in 1858, with the Lancet and the British Medical Journal both giving very positive reviews. The book was successful due to its size, simple and well organised layout, the clarity of the text, and significantly the fine and detailed illustrations. The publication Gray’s Anatomy is now the longest running anatomical textbook in the world, having gone through 40 editions since its first publication in 1858.
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