How the »Wellcome Images Database« can help you to conduct research for your next novel
»Wellcome Images« is a database of 100.000 pictures, drawings, sketches & photos. It is connected with the famous Wellcome Library, which stores information about medical history and the human condition.
As an author, you can easily find images for the scenes you want to write.
1. Research for novel with images.
An image can help you to understand how your protagonists & supporting characters might act.
For example: In a scene just after a woman has given birth in 1420. You can see the doctor & a nurse, holding the swaddled child. Or in another birthing scene from 1800 A.D. –– the baby’s father is standing behind the woman, but isn’t touching her at all!
I send articles like these once a week: resources for authors who want to write about the past.
2. The images can help you to explore what was known about a subject in a particular era.
For example: What does a woman’s body look like on the inside? Read, what was then ‘common’ knowledge on this subject in France in 1560.
Click on each picture to learn more, and to read the full credits.
3. You can find first-hand information, like a drawing by an eye-witness.
For example: a patient’s hand covered with green smallpox-pustules. Dating from 1831.
4. You can find additional reading material.
For example: You might unearth the book-cover of a resource, so that you can search for the actual book later. Like the 1850s casebook kept by the surgeons of the Royal Navy ship, listing the all patients & their sicknesses on board the St George.
5. You can explore a certain scene in detail.
For example: the photo series of a female patient suffering from »hysteria« in the 1870s. See here the different stages of a so-called »hysterical attack«.
6. You can find the exact description of an object.
For example: a portable X-Ray machine arranged for radiography, with a tube stand, couch, battery and an interrupter. Dating from 1915.
Side note: this installation is suitable for field use in war & may be stored in a motor transport vehicle. Maybe the right thing for a WW1 scene?
7. You can weave in details that make your novel special.
For example: the 1901-1925 »Indexo« toothbrush which is made entirely of rubber, and shaped to fit over the index finger. The bristles are used to brush the teeth. As the image description reveals, these toothbrushes were provided to all United States and British servicemen during the First World War. (A scene, anyone? Soldiers in the midst of war testing the brand-new toothbrushes.)
8. The best part? You can actually use these Wellcome images.