Sources and methodology

The main corpus consists of three Belgian medical journals preserved in the Royal Library of Belgium which were important medical fora for scientific exchange at that time: the ideologically mixed journal Bulletin de l’Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique (1841-1914), the liberal journal Journal de Médecine, de Chirurgie et de Pharmacologie (1843-1914) and its successor, and the Catholic journal Journal des sciences médicales de Louvain and its successors (1876-1913). To highlight their scientific potential and support the digital research of the PhD projects, the Royal Library has digitized the three journals during the first years of the IMPRESS project. Since 2020 all the digitized volumes are accessible online through BelgicaPeriodicals, a portal of the Royal Library giving access to a selection of journals and periodicals published over two centuries.

1 – Bulletin de l’Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique (1841-1914)

The first selected journal assembled the verbatim meeting reports of the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine, in which both Catholic and liberal medical academics participated. Since these reports were widely read and commented upon in both the medical and the general press, the journal formed an influential means for intellectual exchange and a key site for ideological profiling. The Academy was to physicians what the Belgian parliament was to politicians: a space where ideological divides materialized most clearly.

Available online:
BelgicaPeriodicals: 1841-1914.
Google books:
1841-1842 ; 1842-1843 (?)1843-1844 ; 1844-1845 ; 1845-1846 ; 1846-1847 ; 1847-1848 ; 1849-1850 ; 1850-1851 ; 1851-1852 ; 1852-1853 ; 1853-1854 ; 1854-1855 ; 1855-1856 ; 1857-1858 ; 1858-1859 ; 1860 ; 1861 ; 1862 ; 18631864 ; 1865 ; 1866 ; 1867 ; 1868 ; 1869 ; 1870 ; 1871 ; 1872 ; 1873 ; 1874 ; 1875 ; 1876 ; 1877 ; 1878 ; 1880 ; 1881 ; 1882 ; 1883 ; 1884 ; 1885.

2 – Journal de Médecine, de Chirurgie et de Pharmacologie (1843-1895) and Journal médical de Bruxelles (1896-1914)

Published by the Society of Medical and Natural Sciences of Brussels (°1822), this journal was the first and most successful – in terms of its print run – scientific medical journal in Belgium. It was largely run by the professors of the Free University of Brussels and thus had a clear ‘liberal’ profile. Its monthly issues comprise original articles, summaries of articles in the foreign medical press, book reviews, meeting reports of medical societies, and all sorts of professional and scientific news. In 1896, a new journal, Journal médical de Bruxelles, replaced the former one.

Available online:
BelgicaPeriodicals: 1843-1914.
Google books:
1843 (1) ; 1844 (2) ; 1845 (3) ; 1846 (4) ; 1847 (5) ; 1848 (6) ; 1848 (7) ; 1849 (8) ; 1849 (9) ; 1850 (10) ; 1850 (11) ; 1851 (12) ; 1851 (13) ; 1852 (14) ; 1852 (15) ; 1853 (16) ; 1853 (17) ; 1854 (18) ; 1854 (19) ; 1855 (20) ; 1855 (21) ; 1856 (22) ; 1856 (23) ; 1857 (24) ; 1857 (25) ; 1858 (26) ; 1858 (27) ; 1859 (28) ; 1859 (29) ; 1860 (30) ; 1860 (31) ; 1861 (32) ; 1861 (33) ; 1862 (34) ; 1862 (35) ; 1863 (36) ; 1863 (37) ; 1864 (38)1864 (39) ; 1865 (40-41)1865 (41) ; 1866 (42) ; 1866 (43) ; 1867 (44) ; 1867 (45) ; 1868 (46) ; 1868 (47) ; 1869 (48-49) ; 1870 (50-51) ; 1871 (52) ; 1871 (53) ; 1872 (54) ; 1872 (55) ; 1873 (56) ; 1873 (57) ; 1874 (58) ; 1874 (59) ; 1875 (60) ; 1875 (61) ; 1876 (62) ; 1876 (63) ; 1877 (64) ; 1877 (65) ; 1878 (66) ; 1878 (67) ; 1880 (71) ; 1881 (72) ; 1881 (73) ; 1882 (74) ; 1882 (75) ; 1883 (76) ; 1884 (79) ; 1885 (81) ; 1887 (84) ; 1888 (86) ; 1888 (87) ; 1892 (94) ; 1893 (95) ; 1894 (96) ; 1895 (97).

3 – Journal des sciences médicales de Louvain, Revue médicale and Revue médicale de Louvain (1876-1913)

The third journal to be digitized is the Journal des sciences médicales de Louvain and its successors. This publication had a strong Catholic label as it was published by the professors of the Faculty of Medicine at the Catholic University of Louvain. While it aimed for a broad readership, it was mainly intended for those physicians who had studied in Louvain, providing them with a form of postgraduate education. It consisted primarily of original articles, with special (although no exclusive) attention to those topics that might interest ‘Catholic’ physicians.

Available online:
BelgicaPeriodicals: 1876-1913.