Deadly diseases and dangerous therapies at the State Library of NSW

This event is ending soon! Last chance to secure tickets!

Come on a journey back through time to discover how patients were diagnosed and treated through some of the Library’s oldest books in the collection.

From the influence of the stars and the phases of the moon, to healing chants and prayers, the knife-wielding barber-surgeon and game-changing scientific developments of the 19th century, this talk will highlight some of the powerful and enduring ideas in western medicine which have since been debunked and those which we take for granted today.

Join curator Elise Edmonds for a special talk where she will also discuss the exhibition design — the challenge of bringing medical texts to life in ways that draw visitors into an immersive world of old medicine — the desperate remedies, brutal surgeries and lives cut short. You’ll then have the opportunity to visit this new exhibition at your own pace.


  • The talk will last approximately one hour and we recommend a further 45 minutes to visit the exhibition
  • This event is free to attend but advance registration is required
  • Accessibility information for the State Library of NSW can be found here. Please contact us in advance via [email protected] if you have specific access requirements or if we can make your attendance more comfortable.

Event Detail

July 29, 2022 2:00 pm
July 29, 2022 3:45 pm


State Library of New South Wales