Diseases are as old as human life yet in each era there have been illnesses, characteristic of the particular period, which people had suffered from (and had to live with). The book introduces a collection of photographs containing the pictures of the diseases of the patients treated in the Surgery Clinic of Tartu University (Chirurgische Klinik Dorpat) during the years 1860-1918. The documented case histories of the patients of the surgery clinic give us important information about the most widely spread diseases not known to us today, and also about the diseases which have changed in the course of time or not been combated until the today. The historical background of the photo collection is constituted by the development of treating patients and diagnosing diseases in the first half of the 19th century, and also the developments in medicine and natural sciences taking place in the second half of the century. The collection is as well an important compendium of early photography which gives a good overview of the stages in the development of paper photos into the types of photos we have known during almost the whole 2oth century.