Apart from a programme of rebinding in the late 1940s following war damage, very little has been invested in the Collection to ensure its longevity.
One of our recent adopters said "It would be a terrible loss if such beautiful, entertaining and historically important artefacts were lost through lack of love. If vets don't care about their own history, and try to preserve it, who will?"
There is a vast amount of information stored in the 3,000 books and journals held in the Historical Collection. The history of the development of veterinary science and practice can be traced through these volumes from 1514 onwards.
It is not a static collection. To be of continuing benefit to the profession the Collection has to be used. Sadly use has an impact on the often fragile works. Age, too, takes its toll on paper and bindings.
For these reasons the Historical Collection needs to be conserved and preserved for the future. We must act now to prevent our veterinary heritage from vanishing before our eyes.
How you can help
The Adopt-a-Book Appeal was launched in January 2004 to preserve veterinary knowledge and the Historical Collection for future generations. Since its launch, over 140 books have been adopted and over £17,000 has been raised towards our ongoing conservation work.
Preserving one book costs between £25 and £250. By making a donation to the Appeal you can play a very significant role in conserving our veterinary heritage. The books available for adoption are ready to be conserved and are those in most need of such treatment.
By adopting a book you will help us to ensure the Historical Collection can continue to be a source of interest, insight and delight down the years. All contributions are welcome and will be acknowledged.