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Stories from the Square

 It’s been almost a year since we were at the Queen Square Library in the archives, learning more about the history of The National Hospital. We thought it was time to pay them a visit again – but this time, we did it online…

The Queen Square Library contains an important collection of specialist neurology, neurosurgery and neuroscience books and journals, and a Rare Book Collection which extends to some 3000 volumes from 1695 onwards.

The library also houses the Queen Square Archive which comprise the archives belonging to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) and those of UCL Institute of Neurology (IoN). Every month, the Librarian Sarah Lawson selects a piece for Item of the Month on their website.

This month features a lecture on disseminated sclerosis which was delivered by William Richard Gowers at the National Hospital on the 13th June 1895 – 118 years ago.

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Sarah Lawson told us why she chose this particular piece: “I recently received an enquiry about translating one of Gowers’ publications, Epilepsy and other Chronic Convulsive Diseases into Russian. That publication dated from 1881 which prompted me to select the Gowers lecture as Item of the Month, demonstrating how much worldwide interest there continues to be in Gowers’ writings, almost hundred years after his death.” The piece bears corrections on the manuscript which fits with Sarah comments that Gowers lectures were always very polished and published fairly soon after delivery as they were so comprehensive.

Gowers produced over 350 publications between 1872 and 1910 as well as major textbooks such as Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System, which was the standard reference until early in the twentieth-century.

It’s fascinating to see these documents from the past, a reminder of The National’s legacy of groundbreaking research and education, which continues to the current day.

Images courtesy of the Queen Square Library, Archive and Museum.  Copyright National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery (UCLH)/UCL Institute of Neurology

The value of volunteers

There’s always something different going on in TNBA office – but one thing you can be sure of is that every Wednesday, we have a visit from our volunteer, Naomi.

After two and a half years of suffering a mystery illness, Naomi was finally referred to The National where she was diagnosed as having autoimmune disease and received treatment. Seeing her Mum come back to life, Naomi’s daughter Tasha volunteered with us and when she went travelling, Naomi came to take her place. So every week she comes and helps out in the office; today she was filling envelopes with our latest newsletter to send out and is also helping to organise donations of art for an auction. Read more

Matt climbs mountains

Inspired by the treatment and care his father-in-law received at The National, Matt Line braved snow and extreme weather to take part in the South Wales Three Peaks Challenge. He’s since thawed out his fingers and written a piece sharing his experience.

My name is Matt Line and I’m a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Haematology and Blood Transfusion at Gloucester Royal Hospital. My wife, Grace and I have a beautiful five month old daughter called Rose and we live in a small town called Monmouth, located just over the Welsh border between the Wye valley and the Black mountains. Read more

A Marathon effort

Last week was one of the biggest events in our calendar – the Virgin London Marathon – and what a day it was! Here are our highlights …

The day began at 5.30am when Tallulah, our Fundraising Co-ordinator, was at the bus stop on her way to the start line. She was joined by one competitor in his trainers and several revellers still enjoying their Saturday night out. We met at 6.45am on Embankment at the 25-mile mark so we could find the best spot where our banner would be most visible to our runners. Then it was time for a wake-up coffee and a bacon roll so we could be in top form for our runners… Read more

Competing in a crowded marketplace

These days, it feels as if there are so many worthwhile causes to support. Everyone has a specific story to tell and, in this economic climate when people have less disposable income, it can be hard to make your voice heard. Theresa Dauncey, our chief executive, talks about how small charities can stand out in a crowded marketplace.

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