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The learning process changes greatly over time and I was able to witness part of this change through a field trip to the Oslo Library that archives medical document as old as clay tablets from 2700 years ago. The book I had the chance to work with is the 12th edition, published in 1792, of an anatomical manual entitled The Anatomy of the Human Body by W. Cheselden, a surgeon of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea, London. It is a book the size of a small agenda and of a few hundreds of page.

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So I ended up with a very small book, with the dimensions of around 3x5 inches and weighed approximately 1 pound, by Culpepper published in 1751 titled, “Complete and Experienced Midwife.” This book was probably used by lower-classed midwifes during the 18th century as a guide to child bearing and proper remedies for the diseases. At first glance of the book, the cover is made from leather and is probably the original cover, since the cover seems to used and scuffed with marks.

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Mercurius Compilalitius: or, a Guide to the Practical Physician is the extravagant title of this three-hundred-year-old book written by Theoph Bonet available at the Osler Library for consultation. The binding is half ripped off due to its age. Its cover is hard and woody, with nothing written on it. It is of a dark brownish color with a tinge of red and the fore edge of this book is also of this same color. Only a few words are carved on the spine of the book. From far, it looks like a large brick.

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     The rare book observed is called The Works of Ambrose Parey. It was published in the late 17th century, between the years 1678 and 1691. It is written in only English and it is a very big book. Its dimensions are around one foot in width, one and a half feet in length and one to two inches in thickness. The book’s size makes it also quite heavy. The cover of the book is very worn down.

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