The first International Symposium on the History of Anaesthesia (ISHA) at Rotterdam in 1982 was a catalysing event which brought together many pioneers of anaesthesia and individuals studying the history of the profession. The meeting established the tradition of producing edited proceedings, initiated the process towards establishment of societies dedicated to the study of the history of the profession and immensely enhanced the publishing of anaesthesia history. According to the Australian historian Gwenifer Wilson, the first ISHA was a historical event in its own right. The second ISHA in London was glamorous and successful beyond wildest expectations, definitely demonstrating the intellectual and scientific maturity of the profession. ISHA was staged again in Atlanta and Hamburg, and its international appeal increased so much that it was decided to organise it at a 4-year interval. Historians of anaesthesia attended the fifth ISHA in Santiago de Compostela, a very suitable and rewarding venue along ISHA camino towards the sixth event, which will be staged at Cambridge, September 15–18, 2005. © 2002, Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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