Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lost Diary Donated to Bookshop

The BBC reports that a diary covering the last days of Dr. James Young Simpson's life was discovered at an Edinburgh second-hand bookshop after it was dropped off anonymously. Simpson first discovered the anesthetic properties of chloroform.

The diary, written by the doctor's nephew Robert Simpson, "describe the physician's last days in Edinburgh before his death in 1870." It has been purchased by the library of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh and added to the Simpson Collection there, which contains some 3,000 items of the doctor's papers, letters, books, etc.

Early biographies of Simpson cited this diary, but its whereabouts were unknown until it suddenly reappeared.