Italian public health documents declaring ships and goods to be disease-free, 1630-1818 14 items — 2 boxes
Fourteen single-sheet printed documents, issued from 1630 to 1818 by officials in northern Italian ports or inland trade centers, declaring that ships, cargo, and crews have been inspected and are free of contagion, chiefly meaning plague. Most are in Italian, but several also include some Latin.
Nine of these bills of health originated in Venice, with others from Brindisi, Guastalla, Milano, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio, San Giovanni in Persiceto, Segna, San Martino, and Trieste. They range in size from 6 x 8 1/4 to 12 x 16 1/2 inches. Almost all bear one or more small woodcuts such as patron saints and coats of arms; blindstamps and seals are also often present.
Typical handwritten content on the front and sometimes back of the sheet gives the name of the ship's owner and his ship, the ship's itinerary, number of containers ("Colli"), and type of cargo. A few of the documents also include lists of crew members, with names, ages, and stature. A few terms of interest that appear include "lazzeretto," indicating a place of quarantine, and "epizootico," a medical term for a non-human epidemic or agent. Forms part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.