Show/hide main menu



Archives and Special Collections host regular free exhibitions in the Weston Room at the Maughan Library and at the Strand campus, open to both King's staff and students and the wider public.

Weston Room exhibition caseThe material exhibited gives an indication of the breadth and depth of our collections.

Recent exhibitions have seen material exhibited on topics related to World War One, Byron and politics, Book illustration and the Battle of Waterloo.

When these exhibitions are taken down, we often digitise them to create online exhibitions.

King's building foyer exhibition

arr_geoiiimus1843Georgian Papers Programme: King’s Observations is an exhibition in the King’s Building foyer based on medicine and exploration in the long eighteenth century.  

The exhibition forms part of the Georgian Papers Programme, a project to digitise and allow online access to the historic manuscripts of the Hanoverian period.

The research for the exhibition was provided by King’s academic staff and students through the King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship (KURF) scheme.

Items on view include facsimiles of Royal papers relating to the last hours of George IV, extracts from a “book of cures” by Lady Augusta Murray, alongside a King’s College London Archives’ notebook on the 1769 observation of the transit of Venus by the Royal household, recent digitised.

The foyer exhibition runs until 3 February 2017. It is free and open to all during college hours, Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm.

Permanent displays

Displays of items from the College Archives are on view in the Student Informal Study Space and foyer of the Physics department offices.  Access to some of these areas is controlled.

Forthcoming exhibitions include:

Peace, love and world war: the Denmans, Empire and Australia, 1910-1917

3 July – 25 September 2017

The Weston Room, The Maughan Library, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LR

An exhibition examining the political, cultural and Imperial interests of Australia’s fifth governor-general and his wife, against the backdrop of a world on the brink of World War.

More information will be available in due course.

Parkinson of the disease

11 October – 16 December 2017

The Weston Room, The Maughan Library, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LR

We are holding an exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of James Parkinson’s seminal medical work, An essay on the shaking palsy. The exhibition, Parkinson of the disease, will explore the life, work and legacy of this man of many interests (medical, geological and political), drawing on books, pamphlets and manuscripts from our own holdings and from those of other libraries and archives.

Title page of James Parkinson's 1817 Essay on the shaking palsyParkinson’s Essay argued that particular types of involuntary movement - which he termed tremor, shaking and agitations - together with weakness and altered posture and gait, which develop slowly and differentially over time, were ‘the same species’ of disease.

He defined the shaking palsy as:

Involuntary tremulous motion, with lessened voluntary power, in parts not in action, and even when supported; with a propensity to bend the trunk forwards, and to pass from a walking to a running pace: the sense and intellects being uninjured.

Drawing on testimonies collected over many years in consultations in his apothecary-shop, and observations on the streets of London, Parkinson constructed an intricate account of the development and trajectory of the shaking palsy, focusing on the pattern of its bodily effects and how they impinge on daily life.

As the disease proceeds … the hand fails … to answer with exactness to the dictates of the will ... The legs are not raised to that height, or with that promptitude which the will directs … writing can now be hardly at all accomplished … whilst at meals the fork not being duly directed frequently fails to raise the morsel from the plate.

The Essay was very well received in the medical press of the day and later in the century by a host of international medical authorities. Although the term ‘Parkinson’s disease’ was first coined in 1865, it was from Jean Charcot’s use of the term ‘la maladie de Parkinson’ that the eponym gained wide usage. Charcot advised his students at the Salpêtrière to read and translate the Essay. ‘It will provide you’, he said, ‘with the satisfaction and knowledge that one always gleans from a direct clinical description made by an honest, careful observer.’

James Parkinson delivers an alehouse sermon. James Parkinson, The way to health. London: 1802. Image courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London

James Parkinson delivers an alehouse sermon. James Parkinson, The way to health. London: 1802. Image courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London

More information will be available in due course.


Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions Privacy policy Accessibility Modern slavery statement Contact us

© 2017 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454