Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 > Sir Bernard Spilsbury: A Survey and Catalogue of His Autopsy...
American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e318288757f
Case Reports

Sir Bernard Spilsbury: A Survey and Catalogue of His Autopsy Case Cards From the Wellcome Library, London

Walmsley, Megan L. BSc; Almond, Matthew John DPhil

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Abstract

During his lifetime, Sir Bernard Spilsbury was referred to as the “father of forensic medicine.” He became a household name as a result of several famous cases. Several articles have been written about his life and work, but an objective assessment has proved difficult because of the lack of available material that Spilsbury himself produced. His main legacy has been a series of case cards, but for many years these were unavailable to the researcher. In 2008, a collection of some 4000 of Spilsbury’s case cards was bought by The Wellcome Library in London and therefore entered the public domain. In this article, we report our study of 650 of these cards. We discuss trends in Spilsbury’s work and several specific cases in more detail. These cards allow an objective view to be taken of Spilsbury’s everyday work, and we feel that some reappraisal of his legacy is now timely.

Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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