The Rare Books & Manuscripts Section of Miner Library recently acquired Paul Blocq’s (1860-1896) folio atlas of the spinal cord entitled, Anatomie pathologique de la moelle épinière. Co-authored with Albert Londe (1858-1917), this folio atlas of the normal and diseased spinal cord was published at Paris in 1891. A neurological classic, the Anatomie pathologique is illustrated with forty-six leaves of photographic plates.
The preface was written by J. M. Charcot (1825-1893), who headed the neurological service at La Salpêtrière, and whose preparations were photographed for this atlas by Blocq and Londe. Paul Blocq had been a pupil of Charcot and was a rising figure in French neurology when he died at the age of thirty-six. During his brief career, Blocq wrote authoritative articles on Parkinson’s Disease and senile plaques. Soon after the Anatomie pathologique appeared, Blocq published a second major neurological atlas, the Atlas der pathologischen Histologie des Nervensystems (Berlin, 1892), co-authored with the French bacteriologist Victor Babès. Blocq’s colleague, Albert Londe, headed the photographic service at La Salpêtrière.
Blocq’s and Londe’s atlas of the spinal cord is the most recent addition to Miner Library’s fine collection of 18th-20th century neurological atlases.