Australia has a new website, dedicated to the results of ongoing research into the history of homeopathy in Australia : www.historyofhomeopathy.com.au. While there are a number of websites with the same theme, this one has made a special effort to be especially complete, accurate and up to date. Students and researchers will now have access to very reliable information on this topic.
The new website’s owner and author, Barbara Armstrong, says: “My aim is to create a single, consolidated site which provides the latest, authoritative information about the early history of homeopathy in Australia – practitioners, supporters, chemists and dispensaries, and hospitals. I want to expand our knowledge of those early pioneering days, to provide the story of homeopathy’s emergence in Australia and our rich heritage in this area of medicine.”
Prior to Barbara’s efforts, fewer than fifty names of Australia’s pioneer ‘homeopathists’ were known. Australian students were taught mainly British and American homeopathic history, and had few Australian resources available to them to learn about their own rich Australian heritage. As a result of Barbara’s research, her website now contains 230 names of Australia’s homeopaths, chemists and supporters, and that number is steadily increasing.
“Through ongoing research, I want to correct the factual inaccuracies which have crept into other publications and websites,” says Barbara. “Some people have suggested that I should write a book. However, the nature of a book is such that as soon as it is published, it is already out of date as a result of ongoing investigations. With my website, I can immediately update and correct the previous information.”
Barbara’s sources include newspaper articles of the time, various genealogy records, advertisements, and a rapidly expanding collection of annual post office directories for each of the Australian colonies. “Sometimes I can spend a whole weekend at the State Library, scrolling through endless microfilm records, and only discover one ‘find’. But if the ‘find’ is a gem which answers a conundrum or provides another previously unknown name, then the tedium becomes instantly worthwhile. It’s a bit like being a detective or an archaeologist. Each little piece helps to expand our knowledge of the whole story.”
Barbara has written many articles for Similia, the journal of the Australian Homeopathic Association. “Most articles have taken a number of years to research before I submit them for peer review and publication. There is one person I have been investigating for over six years now!”
Barbara’s helper in this project is Peter Torokfalvy, previously National President of the Australian Homeopathic Association. He is the webmaster and content manager for the site. He also assists by providing most of the photographs included on the website – photographs of historic buildings which have been used by homeopaths and chemists, and the graves of our homeopathic pioneers.
Lecturers, students, genealogists and those with an interest in the early history of homeopathy in Australia are encouraged to look at the website www.historyofhomeopathy.com.au