Three books standing on their spines

To collect, preserve and display artefacts of a medical nature


Tonsils to Toenails: The Life of Pat Cotter book cover
Tonsils to Toenails: the life of Pat Cotter, Christchurch surgeon and tree farmer

Written by Claire Le Couteur, this is a biography of Pat Cotter, not only a respected surgeon and later a successful tree farmer in his retirement, but also an avid collector of medical memorabilia now stored at the Cotter Medical History Museum in Christchurch.
‘A highly satisfactory biography’– Dr Geoffrey Rice

Price: $25 plus $8 postage

Quackery Christchurch 1850-1900
QUACKERY IN CHRISTCHURCH, 1850-1900: Alternative Remedies and Marginal Practices

Written by Geoffrey W. Rice, this is an entertaining and at times hilarious account of alternative medicine in late nineteenth century Christchurch. The author concludes with remarks on the COVID pandemic and a warning about the resurgence of folk remedies and quackery in the present day.

Price: $30 plus $8 postage

Scalpels to Keyholes front cover
Scalpels to Keyholes: A history of general surgery at Christchurch Hospital 1862-2022

Written by Claire Le Couteur, this book traces the development of surgery at Christchurch Hospital since the hospital opened in 1862 to the present day.

‘A fascinating account of surgical personnel, surgical trends and incidents over the past 160 years’ – Dr Richard Acland, retired Anaesthetist

Price: $40 plus $8 postage

Coward book cover
COWARD: Christchurch’s Controversial Coroner: the Life of John William Smith Cowatd (1815-88)

Written by Geofffrey Rice, this is a biography of Christchurch’s longest-serving coroner, from 1861 to 1886. Dr Coward ordered the first exhumation in Christchurch and was criticised for awarding autopsies to his favourite doctors. He was also treasurer to the Philosophical Institute and a governor of Canterbury College, deciding on the earliest buildings of what is now the Arts Centre of Christchurch.

Price: $30 plus $8 postage

nedwill front cover image
NEDWILL: New Zealand’s Outstanding Public Health Pioneer

Written by Geoffrey W. Rice, this is a biography of Courtney Nedwill, once Christchurch’s most admired and most reviled doctor. He was admired as a caring GP and a careful surgeon, but mainly for his work as Medical Officer of Health, 1879-1885, getting rid of cess-pits and other ‘nuisances’ while the sewers were being built.

Price: $30 plus $8 postage

Frankish front cover image
FRANKISH: The Rise and Fall of a Prominent Christchurch Physician: the Life of John David Frankish MD (1842-1913)

Written by Geoffrey Rice this is a biography of one of Christchurch’s leading medical men of the nineteenth century. Frankish helped found the Canterbury Medical Society and was its president in 1883. He was a leading figure in the Acclimatisation Society and was a well-known advocate of a railway to the West Coast.

Currently out of print. Copies are available at Christchurch City libraries.

Doctors Divided book cover
Doctors Divided:  Medical Societies in Christchurch, 1865-97

Written by Geoffrey W. Rice, this book has a richly varied account of what interested New Zealand doctors in the late nineteenth century. From advertising and smallpox vaccination to cures for constipation and TB, the use of electricity and antiseptics, and the 1891-3 influenza pandemic.

Price: $30 plus $8 postage

Dodds' pharmacies book cover
Dodds’ Pharmacies: Three generations of New Zealand chemists and their medicines

Christchurch’s Dodds Pharmacy in Merivale was well known to many until its change of owner and name in 2016. This book written by Claire Le Couteur, follows the lives and businesses of the Dodds’ family of chemists since 1877 from Port Chalmers to Akaroa and finally to Christchurch.

Price: $35 plus $8 postage

Surgery book cover
From Southland to Surgery: A Journey Around Values
This magnum opus was written by Rex Ear

An autobiography written by Christchurch surgeon, John Bower Morton. John’s story traverses his early life in Southland, his experiences in kidney transplant surgery and in teaching medical students at Christchurch’s Clinical School.

Price: $30 plus $8 postage

The Microscope – an instrument for progress

Written by Kerry Swanson, this is a history of the Stephen Clark and Cotter Museum collections of Microscopes.

Price: $35 plus $8 postage

Vaccines & Vesicles book cover
Vaccines & Vesicles: a History of Smallpox Vaccination in New Zealand

Written by Claire Le Couteur, this is the somewhat alarming story of how smallpox vaccine was manufactured in New Zealand in the nineteenth century.

Price: $25 plus $8 postage

Welsh Eye Surgeon book cover
A Scientific Welsh Eye Surgeon: The short life of Llewellyn Powell MD (1843-79) Christchurch’s first Public Health Medical Officer

Written by Geoffrey Rice, this is a biography of Christchurch’s first Medical Officer of Health and an important public health pioneer in New Zealand.

Price: $30 plus $8 postage

Camphor for the Collywobbles book cover
Camphor for the Collywobbles: Ship’s Surgeon Dr Augustus Florance’s voyages 1857-1862

Written by Claire Le Couteur, this book contains transcripts of Dr Florance’s medical shipboard diaries of two of his voyages, illustrated with a discussion on nineteenth century medicine as practised by him and notes on his life in St Albans, Christchurch.

Price: $30 plus $8 postage

Pills and Potions book cover
Pills & Potions: At the Cotter Medical History Trust

Written by Claire Le Couteur, this book is a record of selected Museum items.

Price: $20 plus $8 postage

Silent Treasures book cover
Silent Treasures Tell Their Stories

Written by H Bramwell Cook, is a record of selected Museum artefacts.

Price: $35 plus $8 postage

Rex Wright-Sinclair
Historia Nunc Vivat: Medical Practitioners in New Zealand 1840 to 1930
This magnum opus was written by Rex Earl Wright-St Clair and has been digitised by the Trust.

Short Studies of Christchurch Medical Men 1849-1900

Written by Geoffrey Rice, these short studies (mostly based on previously unknown newspaper evidence) form part of a larger project on Christchurch medical men 1849-1900 aimed at producing a biographical dictionary. Full biographies of leading figures such as Dr Llewellyn Powell and Dr Courtney Nedwill have already been completed.

Chemists and Druggists in Early Christchurch and Lyttelton – Download
The Unfortunate Dr Campbell of Lyttelton and Christchurch – Download
Christchurch Trials and Tribulations of Dr Adam Mickle – Download
Clean and Decent in Christchurch, New Zealand – Download
A Fatal Herniotomy and the Medical Libel Case – Download
Christchurch’s Curious Coccyx Case of 1899 – Download
The Notorious Dr Russell of Tristram House – Download
Surgery in Nineteenth Century Christchurch – Download
Death of a Doctor – Download
When Doctors Differ – Download
Breweries in Early Christchurch – Download