Surgeons' Hall Museums

Surgeons' Hall Museums Surgeons' Hall Museums is home to one of the largest and most historic collections of surgical pathology in the World, open to the public since 1832.
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Surgeons' Hall Museums was developed as a teaching museum for students of medicine, its fascinating collections, including bone and tissue specimens, artefacts and works of art, have also been open to the public since 1832, making it Scotland’s oldest museum. Please note photography is prohibited in the museum in accordance with the Human Tissue (2006) Scotland Act.

Operating as usual

This bleeding bowl was used in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.. Medical treatments at the time were often based on the...
08/07/2021

This bleeding bowl was used in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.. Medical treatments at the time were often based on the theory of balancing the body's humours. Incredibly, bloodletting was still being recommended to treat a fever in a major medical textbook as late as 1942!

This bleeding bowl was used in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.. Medical treatments at the time were often based on the theory of balancing the body's humours. Incredibly, bloodletting was still being recommended to treat a fever in a major medical textbook as late as 1942!

The kidney contains several chambers known as calyces. This huge kidney stone has taken the shape of the pelvis and caly...
07/07/2021

The kidney contains several chambers known as calyces. This huge kidney stone has taken the shape of the pelvis and calyces of the kidney it came from, Kidney stones like this are known as staghorn calculi. This one from our collection is around 12 cm in length!

The kidney contains several chambers known as calyces. This huge kidney stone has taken the shape of the pelvis and calyces of the kidney it came from, Kidney stones like this are known as staghorn calculi. This one from our collection is around 12 cm in length!

Novocain has been used as a local anaesthetic from the early 20th century. Previous to this, co***ne was one of the most...
06/07/2021

Novocain has been used as a local anaesthetic from the early 20th century. Previous to this, co***ne was one of the most commonly used local anaesthetics.

Novocain has been used as a local anaesthetic from the early 20th century. Previous to this, co***ne was one of the most commonly used local anaesthetics.

This field surgeon's pharmacy/apothecary kit dates from the late 19th century. It contains glass bottles and a set of br...
05/07/2021

This field surgeon's pharmacy/apothecary kit dates from the late 19th century. It contains glass bottles and a set of brass measuring scales with 4 apothecary weights. One of the bottles still has some remnants of an unknown material.

Our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours are sold out for tomorrow and ther...
02/07/2021

Our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours are sold out for tomorrow and there is very limited availability for Sunday! You can book your space here: https://blood_and_guts_shm.eventbrite.co.uk

The museum is open from 10am- 5pm. There is no need to book to visit. Full information on our covid-19 measures can be found here: https://museum.rcsed.ac.uk/covid-19

Our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours are sold out for tomorrow and there is very limited availability for Sunday! You can book your space here: https://blood_and_guts_shm.eventbrite.co.uk

The museum is open from 10am- 5pm. There is no need to book to visit. Full information on our covid-19 measures can be found here: https://museum.rcsed.ac.uk/covid-19

Discover the history and use of robotics in surgery.Body Voyager opening the 11th of September, 2021. https://buff.ly/3y...
02/07/2021

Discover the history and use of robotics in surgery.

Body Voyager opening the 11th of September, 2021.
https://buff.ly/3ydYQp0

Discover the history and use of robotics in surgery.

Body Voyager opening the 11th of September, 2021.
https://buff.ly/3ydYQp0

If you've been along Lothian Road this may look familiar to you. This is a model  of the watchtower found in St Cuthbert...
30/06/2021

If you've been along Lothian Road this may look familiar to you. This is a model of the watchtower found in St Cuthbert's churchyard. The watchtower was built in 1827 in an attempt to deter the resurrection men. The building was restored in 1990 and is now used as office space.

If you've been along Lothian Road this may look familiar to you. This is a model of the watchtower found in St Cuthbert's churchyard. The watchtower was built in 1827 in an attempt to deter the resurrection men. The building was restored in 1990 and is now used as office space.

The Guinea-worm is a tissue parasite which affects humans and is spread through drinking contaminated water. It travels ...
29/06/2021

The Guinea-worm is a tissue parasite which affects humans and is spread through drinking contaminated water. It travels through subcutaneous tissue, causing severe pain, typically in the joints. After about a year, it will emerge, usually from the infected person’s feet.

Just before it emerges, the guinea-worm causes blisters to form parts of the afflicted persons body (typically the feet.) The blister will burst after 24-72 hours after which, the guinea-worm will emerge from the wound. Removal of the parasite is slow. It is wrapped around gauze or a stick and pulled out gradually, if part of the guinea-worm breaks of it will retreat back inside its host. Depending on the size of the guinea-worm (they can reach up to 1m in length) the removal process can take anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

Thankfully guinea-worm disease is on the verge of eradication. According to the WHO there were only 30 cases of the disease reported in 2017.

The Guinea-worm is a tissue parasite which affects humans and is spread through drinking contaminated water. It travels through subcutaneous tissue, causing severe pain, typically in the joints. After about a year, it will emerge, usually from the infected person’s feet.

Just before it emerges, the guinea-worm causes blisters to form parts of the afflicted persons body (typically the feet.) The blister will burst after 24-72 hours after which, the guinea-worm will emerge from the wound. Removal of the parasite is slow. It is wrapped around gauze or a stick and pulled out gradually, if part of the guinea-worm breaks of it will retreat back inside its host. Depending on the size of the guinea-worm (they can reach up to 1m in length) the removal process can take anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

Thankfully guinea-worm disease is on the verge of eradication. According to the WHO there were only 30 cases of the disease reported in 2017.

If you've visited us you will have probably noticed the literal elephant in the room. Find out more about it in our late...
26/06/2021

If you've visited us you will have probably noticed the literal elephant in the room.
Find out more about it in our latest blog from our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson.
https://buff.ly/3vVdn7H

If you've visited us you will have probably noticed the literal elephant in the room.
Find out more about it in our latest blog from our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson.
https://buff.ly/3vVdn7H

25/06/2021

Join us this weekend for our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours.

Our guides will tell you tales of old Edinburgh, disease, dissection and curious methods of treatment. Tickets also include museum access on the day of your tour!

Due to current restrictions we have a number of safety measures in place, including reduced tour sizes. Book now to avoid disappointment! https://blood_and_guts_shm.eventbrite.co.uk

These little tools are apple scoops. They date from the 1800s and are made of sheep bone. They were common in apple-grow...
24/06/2021

These little tools are apple scoops. They date from the 1800s and are made of sheep bone. They were common in apple-growing districts. The marrow has been hollowed out to allow the user to scrape off pieces of apple if they had few teeth and couldn’t afford dentures.

These little tools are apple scoops. They date from the 1800s and are made of sheep bone. They were common in apple-growing districts. The marrow has been hollowed out to allow the user to scrape off pieces of apple if they had few teeth and couldn’t afford dentures.

Our Learning Officer received some lovely thank you notes from one of the classes that participated in our surgery in th...
23/06/2021

Our Learning Officer received some lovely thank you notes from one of the classes that participated in our surgery in the past Zoom workshop.

Our Zoom workshops are free for schools! If you would like more information please visit: https://museum.rcsed.ac.uk/plan-your-visit/learning

Our Learning Officer received some lovely thank you notes from one of the classes that participated in our surgery in the past Zoom workshop.

Our Zoom workshops are free for schools! If you would like more information please visit: https://museum.rcsed.ac.uk/plan-your-visit/learning

This upper end of the right femur is from a solider wounded by a musket ball at the Battle of Waterloo, #OTD in 1815. Th...
18/06/2021

This upper end of the right femur is from a solider wounded by a musket ball at the Battle of Waterloo, #OTD in 1815. The impact of the musket ball has created a deep cavity in the neck of the femur in which the ball is almost completely embedded. Unfortunately, we don't have a record of what happened to the soldier. There is evidence of suppurative inflammatory reaction at the wound site which would suggest he survived the initial injury.

This upper end of the right femur is from a solider wounded by a musket ball at the Battle of Waterloo, #OTD in 1815. The impact of the musket ball has created a deep cavity in the neck of the femur in which the ball is almost completely embedded. Unfortunately, we don't have a record of what happened to the soldier. There is evidence of suppurative inflammatory reaction at the wound site which would suggest he survived the initial injury.

If you’re interested in the history of medical museums and curation and conservation of their collections our Library an...
17/06/2021

If you’re interested in the history of medical museums and curation and conservation of their collections our Library and Archive have digitised a volume of Surgeons' Hall Museums Minute Books (1859-80). Curators in this volume include Joseph Lister, Henry Littlejohn & Patrick Heron Watson.
This volume includes a range of subjects from donations and collecting, the preparation, preservation and mounting of specimens, visitor numbers, curator and conservator reports, new staff and funding.
You can read the minute book on our Library and Archive's digital collections site: https://buff.ly/2IBZ0Rz

If you’re interested in the history of medical museums and curation and conservation of their collections our Library and Archive have digitised a volume of Surgeons' Hall Museums Minute Books (1859-80). Curators in this volume include Joseph Lister, Henry Littlejohn & Patrick Heron Watson.
This volume includes a range of subjects from donations and collecting, the preparation, preservation and mounting of specimens, visitor numbers, curator and conservator reports, new staff and funding.
You can read the minute book on our Library and Archive's digital collections site: https://buff.ly/2IBZ0Rz

This anaesthetic apparatus was made by Kemp & Co. Edinburgh in early 1847. It belonged to Dr. W Lockhart Gibson who was ...
16/06/2021

This anaesthetic apparatus was made by Kemp & Co. Edinburgh in early 1847. It belonged to Dr. W Lockhart Gibson who was a personal friend of James Young Simpson. The mouthpiece is wooden and is connected to the hand blown glass jar by velvet covered tubing.

This anaesthetic apparatus was made by Kemp & Co. Edinburgh in early 1847. It belonged to Dr. W Lockhart Gibson who was a personal friend of James Young Simpson. The mouthpiece is wooden and is connected to the hand blown glass jar by velvet covered tubing.

This painting by Charles Bell shows injuries sustained by a soldier at the Battle of Corunna. The soldier was struck in ...
14/06/2021

This painting by Charles Bell shows injuries sustained by a soldier at the Battle of Corunna. The soldier was struck in the head by a musket ball, causing several fractures in the skull. Despite the severe appearance of the injury the soldier recovered well.

This painting by Charles Bell shows injuries sustained by a soldier at the Battle of Corunna. The soldier was struck in the head by a musket ball, causing several fractures in the skull. Despite the severe appearance of the injury the soldier recovered well.

11/06/2021
Blood and Guts: COVID-19 Measures

The sun will be shining this weekend so why not join us on our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours?
We will take you through the highs and lows of Edinburgh’s world renowned medical history.
Tickets also include museum access on the day of your tour!

Due to covid-19 restrictions, we have had to lower our walking tour capacity. To avoid disappointment you can book your tickets from: https://blood_and_guts_shm.eventbrite.co.uk

We are thrilled that building work is beginning on our Body Voyager galleries. While the big transformation is pending w...
09/06/2021

We are thrilled that building work is beginning on our Body Voyager galleries. While the big transformation is pending we thought we'd give you an idea of what the space looks like & what it will look like very soon.

Keep your eyes peeled for updates!

You can read more about Body Voyager here: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/whats-on/things-to-do/surgeons-hall-begins-redevelopment-of-new-high-tech-body-voyager-gallery-3260425

We are thrilled that building work is beginning on our Body Voyager galleries. While the big transformation is pending we thought we'd give you an idea of what the space looks like & what it will look like very soon.

Keep your eyes peeled for updates!

You can read more about Body Voyager here: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/whats-on/things-to-do/surgeons-hall-begins-redevelopment-of-new-high-tech-body-voyager-gallery-3260425

If you have bought tickets for "Be it Ever So Toxic- There's No Place Like Home" please check your inbox for details on ...
07/06/2021

If you have bought tickets for "Be it Ever So Toxic- There's No Place Like Home" please check your inbox for details on how to access the lecture.

The lecture will be available to view until the 1st of July.
You can still purchase tickets from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/be-it-ever-so-toxic-theres-no-place-like-home-tickets-147792345885

If you have any technical difficulties please email [email protected]

If you have bought tickets for "Be it Ever So Toxic- There's No Place Like Home" please check your inbox for details on how to access the lecture.

The lecture will be available to view until the 1st of July.
You can still purchase tickets from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/be-it-ever-so-toxic-theres-no-place-like-home-tickets-147792345885

If you have any technical difficulties please email [email protected]

Once upon a time it was believed that cavities in teeth were caused by a worm in the mouth. Travelling "Quacks" would of...
07/06/2021

Once upon a time it was believed that cavities in teeth were caused by a worm in the mouth. Travelling "Quacks" would often remove a maggot from an accomplices mouth at fairs to show they could "cure" the tooth.
You can find out more here: https://bit.ly/3oYC7dh

Once upon a time it was believed that cavities in teeth were caused by a worm in the mouth. Travelling "Quacks" would often remove a maggot from an accomplices mouth at fairs to show they could "cure" the tooth.
You can find out more here: https://bit.ly/3oYC7dh

Join us for our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours this weekend!Hear the ...
04/06/2021

Join us for our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours this weekend!

Hear the highs and lows of Edinburgh's world renowned medical history. Tickets also include museum access on the day of your tour!

https://buff.ly/2HXKORD

Join us for our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tours this weekend!

Hear the highs and lows of Edinburgh's world renowned medical history. Tickets also include museum access on the day of your tour!

https://buff.ly/2HXKORD

New product alert! We have 2 fantastic new products for sale in our shop! The Virtuali-Tee is an augmented reality t-shi...
03/06/2021

New product alert!

We have 2 fantastic new products for sale in our shop!

The Virtuali-Tee is an augmented reality t-shirt that allows you to explore the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems. You can see it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z19NV4wsw2M. T-shirts are available in youth sizes medium and large.

The KidzRobotix motorised robotic hand is great fun for the kids. Build the robotic hand and have it tap out any tune.

Our shop is available from 10am-5pm, 7 days a week.

This case of  trephining instruments dates from the early 19th century. It contains 10 instruments and attachments inclu...
02/06/2021

This case of trephining instruments dates from the early 19th century. It contains 10 instruments and attachments including two circular saw attachments, a pallet knife and a drop nose knife. The box itself is covered in shagreen.

If you are coming along to the second installment of "These Bite:  What Our Teeth Are And What We Have Done To Them" ple...
01/06/2021

If you are coming along to the second installment of "These Bite: What Our Teeth Are And What We Have Done To Them" please check your inbox for details on how to access tonight's session.

If you have any issues please contact [email protected]

If you are coming along to the second installment of "These Bite: What Our Teeth Are And What We Have Done To Them" please check your inbox for details on how to access tonight's session.

If you have any issues please contact [email protected]

The harmful effects of smoking have been discussed for centuries. In 1604 King James I of England and VI of Scotland wro...
31/05/2021

The harmful effects of smoking have been discussed for centuries. In 1604 King James I of England and VI of Scotland wrote one of the earliest anti-tobacco publications in which he likened cigarette smoke to the smoke of hell.
Read about the history of smoking here: https://bit.ly/3yJVRG9
#WorldNoTobaccoDay

(Image: First known image of a man smoking, from Anthony Chute's pamphlet "Tabaco". Via Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chute_tobacco.JPG)

The harmful effects of smoking have been discussed for centuries. In 1604 King James I of England and VI of Scotland wrote one of the earliest anti-tobacco publications in which he likened cigarette smoke to the smoke of hell.
Read about the history of smoking here: https://bit.ly/3yJVRG9
#WorldNoTobaccoDay

(Image: First known image of a man smoking, from Anthony Chute's pamphlet "Tabaco". Via Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chute_tobacco.JPG)

Join our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, as he explores the history of the use of deadly toxins in dome...
31/05/2021

Join our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, as he explores the history of the use of deadly toxins in domestic life!

From arsenic in coloured objects to salmonella in chicken, the talk will look at some of the more harmful aspects of home life which took a toll on the health of families.

Due to current limits on live events in Scotland this talk is part of our Surgeons' Hall On Demand series and will be available to view from Monday the 7th of June!

Tickets are available from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/be-it-ever-so-toxic-theres-no-place-like-home-tickets-147792345885

Join our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, as he explores the history of the use of deadly toxins in domestic life!

From arsenic in coloured objects to salmonella in chicken, the talk will look at some of the more harmful aspects of home life which took a toll on the health of families.

Due to current limits on live events in Scotland this talk is part of our Surgeons' Hall On Demand series and will be available to view from Monday the 7th of June!

Tickets are available from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/be-it-ever-so-toxic-theres-no-place-like-home-tickets-147792345885

Address

Royal College Of Surgeons Of Edinburgh, Nicolson St
Edinburgh
EH8 9DW

Bus numbers: 3,5,7,8,14,29,33, 37,47

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

+ 44 131 527 1711

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Comments

Just had an amazing few hrs in the museum. It won't be for everyone but an amazing museum.
Edinburgh Beckons With Palace, Medical Museum And A Chapel Festooned With Arcane Symbols

When are you reopening?
Devastated to find I've missed out on the opportunity to attend your Down to the Bone: Exploring the Human Skeleton sessions. Will you be doing these again in the future please?
We'll need to go once they're back open
I've been repeatedly unsuccessful at buying a ticket for your upcoming poisons talk. Eventbrite link just returns a "problem with your order message". Can you please help. With respect. Josh Lieberman, Seattle
If you want a good read set in Edinburgh in 1850 with some beautiful illustrations, there's a new murder mystery novel out this week featuring The Surgeon's Hall, St Giles High Kirk, (old) Parliament House and Infirmary Street (when it actually had an infirmary!): "Edward Kane and the Parlour Maid Murderer" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edward-Kane-Parlour-Maid-Murderer-ebook/dp/B08P5S534M/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=edward%20kane&qid=1607717903&sr=8-1&fbclid=IwAR28L9GpXLWUI16-_oqQpcrzyp_qCoBCOmTpMsr0jg5cnBSD0rXRl7Zbx5A
Cant wait for exams to be over so I can visit!!!💀🦴💀
Honestly worth every penny!! You can spend hours looking at all the exhibition's, extremely interesting and enjoyable!! By far the best museum I've been to!!!!
Not sure if this post is allowed. But Channel 5 are showing 3 operations (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday). Tonight's operation is showing open heart surgery (a new aortic valve is implanted), Wednesday operation is a knee rebuild & Thursday is a tumour& surrounding tissue being removed from the bowel
Hi all, the Police have been in looking for a vulnerable adult who has said he is coming here as it is a tall building. If you see someone on site @ 30 years, glasses, beard, grey jumpers, black joggers and black and orange trainers, this could be Matthew who is currently missing. If you do see him on site please can you call 999? Thank you.
Happy Birthday hope you can make it more accessible for us all. Prof Colin Howie and Mr William souter changed my life