The Historical Relevance of Reconstructing an Early Modern Lemon Pie

In the spring of 2021, students of the Huizinga Institute, the Dutch national graduate school for cultural history, took part in the course “The Sensory Archive”. In this course, they read, transcribed, and prepared recipes from an eighteenth-century recipe manuscript from the University of Amsterdam’s special collections. Here, one student reflects on what he learnedContinue reading “The Historical Relevance of Reconstructing an Early Modern Lemon Pie”

Boerhaave’s furnace: the search for peat

Last week, I heard on the news that global oil demand is expected to fall to a record low in 2020 due to the corona crisis. Given the significant role of fossil fuel combustion in climate change, this may not be such a bad thing. It also reminded me of a fossil fuel that hasContinue reading “Boerhaave’s furnace: the search for peat”

A short history of respiratory illness epidemics (2)

*This blog post first appeared in Dutch on NL-lab.net. * Last week, I discussed that from antiquity until well into the nineteenth century, the idea that contagious diseases were caused by the influence of celestial bodies, the weather, and climate, was common. We still see these ideas in our language: think of catching a cold.Continue reading “A short history of respiratory illness epidemics (2)”

A short history of respiratory illness epidemics (1)

*This blog post first appeared in Dutch on the NL-Lab website on 31 March 2020* The Netherlands are in lockdown to curb the covid-19 epidemic since prime minister Mark Rutte announced social distancing rules on 13 and 15 March. Since that time, various people have asked me, as a medical historian, ‘how we handled thisContinue reading “A short history of respiratory illness epidemics (1)”

A cool oven: Boerhaave’s little furnace, part II

*This post was first published on the Recipes Project on 13 December 2018* By Ruben Verwaal and Marieke Hendriksen Ruben Verwaal is curator of the historical collections at Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, and at the Museum for Communication in The Hague. He obtained his PhD in June 2018 with a thesis on the role of bodily fluids in eighteenth-centuryContinue reading “A cool oven: Boerhaave’s little furnace, part II”

The “Gentle Heat” of Boerhaave’s Little Furnace

This post first appeared on The Recipes Project on 23 August 2018. By Ruben Verwaal and Marieke Hendriksen Ruben Verwaal is curator of the historical collections at Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, and at the Museum for Communication in The Hague. He obtained his PhD in June 2018 with a thesis on the role of bodily fluidsContinue reading “The “Gentle Heat” of Boerhaave’s Little Furnace”

The devil is in the details: turpentine varnish

This post first appeared on The Recipes Project on 5 June 2018. By Marieke Hendriksen One of the first things you learn when you do reconstruction research is that the tiniest detail can make a difference. Recently, I wanted to prepare an injection wax for corrosion preparations according to a 1790 recipe. Corrosion preparations are anatomicalContinue reading “The devil is in the details: turpentine varnish”

Teaching a Perfect Knowledge in the Arts and Sciences: Robert Dossie’s chemical, pharmaceutical, and artistic handbooks

*This post first appeared on The Recipes Project Blog on 7 December 2017* By Marieke Hendriksen Robert Dossie (1717-1777) was and English apothecary, experimental chemist, and writer. Within just three years, he published three very successful handbooks: The elaboratory laid open (1758) on chemistry and pharmacy for ‘all practitioners of medicine’, Theory and practice ofContinue reading “Teaching a Perfect Knowledge in the Arts and Sciences: Robert Dossie’s chemical, pharmaceutical, and artistic handbooks”

The Making of Technique in the Arts: Concepts and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century

*This blog was originally published on The ARTECHNE Project Blog on 26 September 2017* By Marieke Hendriksen The terms ‘technique’ and ‘technical’ are used widely in relation to art, art history and science today, both to refer to the technical analysis of artworks and to a more holistic analysis of creative processes. Yet we doContinue reading “The Making of Technique in the Arts: Concepts and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century”