"Record of the transactions of the Gloucester Dispensary, a charitable institution established in 1831 to provide free medical
care for the city's poor. The Dispensary was funded by annual contributions from subscribers. ... [The] manuscript volume
contains records of the first four decades of the Dispensary's existence, from its foundation to its transition from a charity
to a provident society. Each meeting included a detailed report of the Dispensary's finances, number of patients treated (with
outcomes), and comments on current medical conditions, including prevailing epidemics. Also contained in these records are
the names of the Dispensary's governing members, attending physicians and apothecaries. One of the major purposes of the Dispensary
was to make vaccination against smallpox available to the poor; vaccinations were to be performed 'by the Surgeon of the day
in attendance' (p. ). In the Dispensary's 'report for the year ending Mid-summer 1832,' the governing committee was 'glad
to report that 130 children of the poor have been vaccinated, and their prejudices in favor of inoculation are declining'
(p. )."--Antiquarian bookseller's description, 2011.