The Hughlings Jackson Collection of the Rockefeller Library, Institute of Neurology
George K. YORK1 and Louise SHEPHERD2
Henry Head writes of visiting the elderly Hughlings Jackson at 3 Manchester Square and finding him surrounded by stacks of papers and notebooks. Unfortunately for posterity, Hughlings Jackson instructed his executor to destroy all his personal papers upon his death, an instruction that was carried out. As a result, little autograph material from this seminal neuroscientist remains.
While collecting material for a catalogue raisonné, we came across five boxes of material on Hughlings Jackson in the Rockefeller Library of the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, now part of University College London. Inspection of this material revealed a large number of very rare or unique items, and we have prepared a catalogue of the collection. The Rockefeller Library Collection includes off-prints and tear-sheets from contemporaneous journals, some of which show autograph evidence of having belonged to Hughlings Jackson. It contains the largest known collection of pamphlets printed by Hughlings Jackson for private circulation. Hughlings Jackson’s handwriting is notoriously illegible, so he and James Taylor arranged for the preparation of typescripts of his writings. A number of these items show evidence of being Taylor’s preparatory material for Selected Writings of John Hughlings Jackson; and there is clear evidence that Hughlings Jackson participated n the selection of articles for these volumes. There is a typescript of the monograph Neurological Fragments. The Collection also contains the only one of Hughlings Jackson’s notebooks known to have survived.
The most important items in the Collection are 45 unpublished manuscripts, the authorship of which can be reliably attributed to Hughlings Jackson. They are the only unpublished manuscripts of Hughlings Jackson known to exist, and consist mainly of typescripts prepared in collaboration with Taylor between 1898 and 1910. However, two are hand-written. These manuscripts are in various stages of completion; most contain marginal comments and corrections in Hughlings Jackson’s hand. The Rockefeller Library Collection’s unpublished material treats the full range of Hughlings Jackson’s scientific interests, including epilepsy, aphasia, localization and evolutionary neurophysiology. Historical analysis of this unpublished material will add a new dimension to the story of the birth of modern neuroscience.
Pavia, Italy, 2006