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Albucasis De Chirurgica

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0046
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Albucasis De Chirurgica
Date(s): 1769
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 5 volumes
Name of creator(s): Channing | John | c 1703-1775 | apothecary and Arabist
Zahravi | Abul-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al- | 936-1013 | surgeon x al-Zahravi | Abul-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas x Albucasis x Abulcasis


Administrative/Biographical history:

Abul-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahravi, known in the West as Albucasis or Abulcasis, was born in 936. He was an Andalusian physician, surgeon, chemist and scientist. He is considered the father of modern surgery and is famous for his original breakthroughs in surgery, his invention of several surgical instruments, and for the Kitab al-Tasrif, a thirty volume encyclopedia of medical practices. He died in 1013.

John Channing was born in London, in c 1703. He was apprenticed to his father, also John Channing, an apothecary, in 1718. He purchased premises in Essex Street, off the Strand, and maintained an apothecary shop until his death in 1775. He was accomplished in translating and editing Arabic texts, and translated the Al-Zahravi surgical volumes into Latin. They were published in 1778.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to the Albucasis De Chirurgica (Surgery of Albucasis or Al-Zahravi), 1769, comprising 5 volumes of manuscript translations from Arabic into Latin, covering various aspects of surgery including general surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology, urology and orthopaedic surgery.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Arabic and Latin

System of arrangement:

The volumes are read from back to front, in the Arabic style. The Arabic text is on the left hand pages, and the Latin translation is on the right hand pages.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment with the Deputy Librarian.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

Finding aids:

Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1928) by Victor G Plarr.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The manuscript volumes were donated to the Library by J W Turner in 1861. There is a letter from J W Turner concerning this donation included in one of the volumes.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.
Sources: University of Hasanuddin (Indonesia) website at and the Library Special Collections website of the University of Glasgow at

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Aug 2008

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