In 1910, researchers from the Oswaldo Cruz Institute and the British Museum collaborate on tropical diseases.
Letter from the British Museum of Natural History to Dr. Carlos Jorge Rohr of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute. Two pages written. In English. 12.3 cm x 19.1 cm. London. February 15, 1910. Good condition.
(...) I take the great liberty to ask you if it were possible for you to spare a copy of your work on ticks "Estudos sobre Ixódidas do Brasil". I really do not know when to get it here in London. I think either the Instituto od Manguinhos or the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz have published one or two short papers on ticks. Would it be too much to ask you if it were easy to get them? (...)
Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, initially called Instituto De Manguinhos and today called Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, or Fiocruz, is a federal institution that is a reference in research in the field of public health. Located in Rio de Janeiro, it was created in 1900 by Oswaldo Cruz (1872 - 1917), scientist and physician, specialist in research and treatment of tropical diseases. Initially focused on the manufacture of serums and vaccines against the plague. The Institute has become the most important health science and technology institution in Latin America, internationally respected.
The British Museum Of Natural History is a British museum founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. From the beginning, free admission was granted to all 'studious and curious people'. Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the 18th century to nearly 6 million today. The building has a large reading room, in which a number of distinguished writers , philosophers and scientists worked, for example Charles Dickens and Karl Marx.
Carlos Jorge Rohr (1888 - 1951) was a bacteriologist who worked at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz and wrote "Studies on ixódidas do Brasil", entirely prepared at the Institute with Oswaldo Cruz himself accompanying him in the bibliography, observations and research. We still have no information about the sender of this letter, Mr "Jerzi" who was probably a scientist working on tropical diseases at the British Museum.
Why is this document rare?
This letter is very interesting because it shows the scientific collaboration between two of the greatest scientific institutions at the time, Brazil's already important role in world research and the difficulty scientists had - without internet or email - in getting books or articles from colleagues.
This document was donated by the Glórias Collection to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in Rio de Janeiro, in October 2014.