Napoleon’s post mortem and a letter from Kipling are among recently discovered documents which feature in a new online archive.
The historical items have been found in the collection of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
They have been put online for the first time, allowing academics and members of the public to access them for the first time.
The project to catalogue the tens of thousands of manuscripts and letters is being funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Over 8000 documents have been identified and recorded so they can be opened up to the public.
Items found include the draft post mortem report on Napoleon Bonaparte which was written on St Helena on the day he died. There are also notes about the conduct of Dr Robert Knox who was supplied corpses by Burke and Hare, letters from Rudyard Kipling and correspondence with Edward Jenner as he reported his work developing a smallpox vaccination.
As well as letters from doctors there are patient case notes, drawings and medical illustrations. These include an entry from the Royal Maternity Hospital showing the name of the first woman to give birth using chloroform in 1847.
The documents are all kept in the college’s Sibbald Library.
Librarian Iain Milne said: "Because of the generous support of the Wellcome Trust Research Resources Scheme a wealth of information of both national and international significance has been unlocked and made instantly accessible at the press of a button.
"The biggest collection is the papers of William Cullen, the 18th century physician and president of the College. Not only did he leave all his lecture notes and other writings but also his consultation letters. Patients and doctors wrote to him from all over the world asking for advice and diagnoses. There are over 2500 of these letters covering anything from the eradication of small pox to treating the plague in Russia; from the suitability of Madeira for convalescence to the problems of mail delivery due to the American War of Independence.
"Large parts of our extensive historic collections remain uncatalogued and we hope to continue this work for the benefit of the nation."
- Tourism chiefs in bid to host 2017 Tour de France from Edinburgh
- Royal Yacht Britannia welcomes 100 former crew members for Jubilee
People who read this story also read
- Colin and Justin check out the designs at Citizen M boutique hotel
- Motorcyclist taken to hospital with suspected broken leg after crash
- Body found in hunt for teenager missing during fishing trip at quarry
- Passengers evacuated after double decker bus catches fire in Edinburgh
- Jambo and Hibee drivers wait for final whistle to see who leads the parade