United Kingdom

The Veterinary History Society was founded at an inaugural meeting held in the Welcome Historical Medical Library in London on 31st October 1962.

The aims of the Society are to foster all aspects of veterinary history by means of: promoting meetings for members and guests; publishing a regular bulletin; preparing exhibitions; sponsoring lectures for students, other veterinary associations and at joint meetings with other societies; encouraging the preservation of artefacts of veterinary historical interest; and assisting research workers and others on any matters related to the history of the veterinary art.

The Society's bulletin Veterinary history is published twice yearly and is distributed without extra charge to all paid-up members. Non-members may receive the bulletin on payment of the current subscription.

Membership is open to all and is not confined to veterinary surgeons. The Society has about 100 members and there are about 25 libraries that subscribe to the journal.

Contributions to Veterinary History should be addressed to the acting editor: Evelyn Barbour-Hill, BVsc MRCVS. Tan y Coed, Penlon, High Street, Bangor, North Wales LL57 1PX, U.K..

Correspondence concerning membership and subscriptions should be addressed to the membership secretary, Mr R.D. Bone, BVMS MRCVS. 608 Warwick Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 1AA.

Of considerable interest for other countries may be an initiative of the Business Archives Council, aiming to locate and list any surviving historical record of the veterinary medicine profession in the UK. The survey will tract down records in as many of the following categories as possible: veterinary practices; companies and businesses which manufacture or distribute veterinary pharmaceuticals, scientific instruments or surgical applicances; professional associations; research and learned groups; veterinary hospitals; veterinary colleges; government agencies and the military.

The results of the survey will be published as a reference guide and the contents will go into an electronic database, installed at the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

The project is funded by the Wellcome Trust. The Veterinary Survey Project Officer is Dr. Julie Stevenson, to be reached at the Business Archives Council, 4 Maguire Street, London SE1 2NQ. Fax: 0171-234 0300.

At June 14th, 1999 the official opening took place of The World of James Herriot at Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England. The opening was performed by Christopher Timothy, the James Herriot of TV series "All creatures great and small".

At the cost of £ 1.4 million the original surgery of Alf Wight (the real name of James Herriot) at 23 Kirkgate and the neighbouring property at number 25, is transformed into the Herriot Centre, that will be a unique place in the UK displaying veterinary science on a popular level. Visitors will be taken on a journey through Alf Wight's life, who came to Thirsk in 1939, first as a vet and then as an author. They will be able to explore a typical Yorkshire farmyard, 'look inside' common animals in the interactive gallery and take a trip through veterinary life, past, present and future.

An appeal to veterinary practices up and down the country saw more than 4000 pieces collected. Our member John Broberg, who is an expert in old veterinary instruments, helped in identifying a lot of the unusual items.

The British Veterinary Association, the Yorkshire Veterinary Society and the World Veterinary Association made Thirsk the venue of their Council Meetings.

To obtain further information call Aly Thompson, Press and Public Relations Officer, Hambleton District Council, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 2UU England. Tel. +01609 767063; fax +01609 780017. E-mail: