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Book of the month

Explore highlights from our collections, from the 15th century to the present day.

Oyntments, powders and syrops – a mysterious medical recipe manuscript

Deep in the Manuscripts Cupboard of the Devon and Exeter Institution library lives a small, roughly bound, handwritten book, containing recipes for the treatment of many ailments, from ‘almond milk for a fever’, to ‘a powder against bleeding of lunggs’ and ‘an oyntment against swellings’. There are even instructions to make ‘a distilled water for the plague’. This manuscript contains no clear indications of authorship, and no definite date of creation. Written in different hands, there is the suggestion of this book being passed down, sharing its medicinal wisdom through the generations.

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The Royal Record

Our collections are full of surprises. August's Book of the Month was discovered by one of our volunteers, Tony Rhodes, while working on the heritage collection in the Outer Library.

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