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An illustration of Drs. Taylor and Reese performing their forensic testing analysis.

THE MURDER PAMPHLETS IN THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE were mostly collected in the mid- and late 19th century. Some deal with cases catalogued under the subject category of “medical jurisprudence” or “forensic medicine”. Others deal with notorious cases in which doctors were accused of, or were victims of, heinous crimes. Still others have no medical connection whatsoever. Today, murder pamphlets are a rich source for historians of medicine and crime novelists, but also cultural historians, who mine them for material to illuminate the history of class, gender, the law, science, the city, religion and other topics.


'True Crime' Murder Pamphlets in the Collection of the National Library of Medicine banner.