The fate of anatomical collections

Bibliographic Information

The fate of anatomical collections

edited by Rina Knoeff, Robert Zwijnenberg

(The history of medicine in context)

Ashgate, c2015

Available at  / 2 libraries

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Includes bibliographical references and index

Description and Table of Contents


Almost every medical faculty possesses anatomical and/or pathological collections: human and animal preparations, wax- and other models, as well as drawings, photographs, documents and archives relating to them. In many institutions these collections are well-preserved, but in others they are poorly maintained and rendered inaccessible to medical and other audiences. This volume explores the changing status of anatomical collections from the early modern period to date. It is argued that anatomical and pathological collections are medically relevant not only for future generations of medical faculty and future research, but they are also important in the history of medicine, the history of the institutions to which they belong, and to the wider understanding of the cultural history of the body. Moreover, anatomical collections are crucial to new scholarly inter-disciplinary studies that investigate the interaction between arts and sciences, especially medicine, and offer a venue for the study of interactions between anatomists, scientists, anatomical artists and other groups, as well as the display and presentation of natural history and medical cabinets. In considering the fate of anatomical collections - and the importance of the keeper's decisions with respect to collections - this volume will make an important methodological contribution to the study of collections and to discussions on how to preserve universities' academic heritage.

Table of Contents

  • Contents: A museum of my own: notes on the front cover, Lisa Temple Cox. Part I Introduction: Setting the stage, Rina Knoeff and Robert Zwijnenberg
  • Organ music, Ruth Richardson. Part II Fated Collections: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or, what Richard Owen did to John Hunter's collection, Andrew Cunningham
  • Gender, fate and McGill university's medical collections: the case of curator Maude Abbott, Cindy Stelmackowich
  • Resilient collections: the long life of Leiden's earliest anatomical collections, Tim Huisman
  • Inside the charnel house: the display of skeletons in Europe, 1500-1800, Anita Guerrini. Part III Preparations, Models and Users: Adieu Albinus: how the preparations in the 19th-century Leiden anatomical collections lost their past, Hieke Huistra
  • User-developers, model students and ambassador users: the role of the public in the global distribution of 19th-century anatomical models, Anna Maerker
  • Mapping anatomical collections in 19th-century Vienna, Tatjana Buklijas
  • Fall and rise of the Roca Museum: owners, meanings and audiences of an anatomical collection from Barcelona to Antwerp, 1922-2012, Alfons Zarzoso and Jose Pardo-Tomas. Part IV Provenance and Fate: The fate of the beaded babies: forgotten early colonial anatomy, Marieke Hendriksen
  • 'Not everything that says Java is from Java': provenance and the fate of physical anthropological collections, Fenneke Sysling
  • Cataloguing collections: the importance of paper records of Strasbourg's medical school pathological anatomy collection, Tricia Close-Koenig. Part V Museum and Collection Practices Today: Anatomical craft: a history of medical museum practice, Samuel J.M.M. Alberti
  • Restoration reconsidered: the case of skull number 1-1-2/27 at the anatomy museum of the University of Basel, Flavio Haner
  • From bottled babies to biobanks: medical collections in the 21st century, Karin Tybjerg
  • Ball pool anatomy: on the public veneration of anatomical relics, Rina Knoeff. Appendix. Index.

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