‘The Quarterly Journal of Veterinary Science in India and Army Animal Management’
We have recently uploaded our collection of ‘The Quarterly Journal of Veterinary Science in India and Army Animal Management’. In our Library we hold all eight volumes and the specimen issue.
This Quarterly Journal was the very first British veterinary periodical to be devoted to India. We are actually quite lucky to hold these surviving volumes as copies are scarce.
Fred Smith (who you can read about here) contributed to the journal by providing noteworthy papers on hygiene and diseases along with clinical records. Smith writes about the ‘The Quarterly Journal of Veterinary Science in India and Army Animal Management’ in his own autobiography, which is an interesting insight into the struggles the journal went through. Smith had to go to great lengths in order for it to be published. At one point in his autobiography Smith writes; “I had to live in the printing office while the Journal was being printed”. The first printer and publisher Smith worked with (who could read English but not speak it) died before the first volume managed to be distributed.
The journal did not make a profit at any time during its print run and Smith and the founding editor John Henry Steel would have to use their own funds to cover its expense.
“We received no help from home. I do not think we had a single English Subscriber … It was a bold and expensive venture and I was glad to be relieved of the financial burden”
In 1885 Smith severed his ties to India as he was invalided back to England and withdrew from co-editorship in 1887 leaving Steel to carry on alone until his death in 1891. With Steel’s death the Quarterly Journal also met its demise.
It’s rare to find out some of the history behind a journal, how it came to be and the obstacles it faced. It’s provided me with a deeper appreciation of the content and certainly explained the continuity errors which, at times, frustrated me during the digitisation process. Now I’m very much impressed by Smith and Steel’s work. Especially Steel; who wrote throughout his serious illness. He shouldered the journal largely alone. You can find out more about this dedicated man, in this blog post here including further insights into this pioneering periodical.
Smith believed the journal was of equal interest to an English audience as it was to an Indian one. I hope those interested in veterinary history and literature will enjoy reading the volumes now.
As you can see the image below features content from the periodical including work by T. J. Symonds: ‘Illustrations of Indian materia medica’. If you are interested in seeing more of these gorgeous full coloured illustrations and also finding out more about their creator please click the link above.
You can read the volumes of ‘The Quarterly Journal of Veterinary Science in India and Army Animal Management’ on our Digital Collections website here