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On the microscopic examination of human excrements

New Historical Material made digitally available

Louis van Ledden Hulsebosch, father of Dutch forensic pioneer Co van Ledden Hulsebosch, starts the prepublication of his monumental work “Makro- und mikroskopische Diagnostik der Menschlichen Exkremente” with the words “Of the many disciplines that are practiced there are few that are so interesting, but none that is practiced so scarcely as the microscopic examination of human excrements” (translation of the Dutch original manuscript). Recently this prepublication (in Dutch) (Originally published in Ned. Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, Jaargang 1897, 2de Deel) has been made available digitally by his great grandson Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Jr.

Leg of a shrimp
Leg of a shrimp, Magnification 16.

Van Ledden Hulsebosch Sr. knows how to entertain us with a mix of solid scientific knowledge and research and day-to-day examples of the use of this knowledge in various criminal cases. In his book Marius describes the case of a double crime (rape and murder) in 1847 in Toulouse. The seeds of figs (fruits) in the last faeces of the victim turned out to be crucial to link the suspect to the crime. The shirt of the perpetrator had been in touch with those excrements and showed the same plant seeds, as was successfully pointed out by the forensic expert.

In tradition of Louis and Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Sr., Co junior sparks our interest and “appetite” for this famous handbook by providing us with an introduction (in Dutch) in the typical CLH style.

The original manuscript (in German) and all illustrations are being digitized by Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Jr. at the moment. You will find it here in due time