Type of Work

Research Paper

Publication Date



An inventory does not exist on its own. Through this project I learned about the composition of inventories and pharmacopeias. And with more exposure I realized that each list is a reflection of the environment it was created in. While it may seem simple, sometimes when looking exclusively it was easy to forget its humanity. Somebody had to decide what would go in their inventory. As a researcher part of the Global Pharmacopeia team, I am interested in how human experience shaped the development of medical inventories. I wanted to know how these lists came to be. In the process I would ask myself questions like, where can I find the humanity within their list making? Why was this? order decided? Who chose to write in the first place? The biggest challenge following this framework is sometimes the list does not show enough. However, there is knowledge that is seen and sometimes we do not see it. Barriers like language and unique naming practices prevent us from immediately seeing the importance of the archives we studied. This past summer I worked closely with documents from Spanish speaking nations in the context of colonialism and in European scientific space. Furthermore, I worked closely with understanding language and its relationship with knowledge accessibility through transcriptions and translations of archival documents. Medical knowledge is wrapped up in human choices, each with a history of experiential and experimental knowledge. This project became a study on the choices of the dead: a dead’s guide to healing.

Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Summer Research Group

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Mackenzie Cooley