Anatomical Museum, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, The University of Edinburgh

Anatomical Museum, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, The University of Edinburgh Displays reflect anatomy teaching from the 18th century to the present day and include human remains, zoology, anatomy teaching models, phrenology busts and masks and artwork.
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The Anatomical Museum, founded and developed by the Monro dynasty, flourished under Sir William Turner, Professor of Anatomy from 1867 to 1903, and Principal of the University from 1903 to 1917. Turner had broad interests in evolution and comparative anatomy and built up the impressive collections displayed. The splendid museum hall was at the heart of the new Medical School designed by the architect Robert Rowand Anderson. It opened with great ceremony in 1884. In the 1950s, the three storey museum hall was reduced to a single upper storey which still survives as museum.

Operating as usual

Monday at the Museum: The Anatomy Flannelgraph Did you have ‘fuzzy felt’ figures when you were growing up, perhaps on to...
09/11/2020

Monday at the Museum: The Anatomy Flannelgraph

Did you have ‘fuzzy felt’ figures when you were growing up, perhaps on topics like ‘on the farm’ or ‘at the seaside’? The Anatomical Museum has an anatomy version!

Made in the 1950s for teachers, each part is made of felt and can be stuck temporarily to teach other. Here is the front view of the skeleton which measures about 60cm (27inches) long and here is a selection of the internal organs that can be placed in position. The instruction leaflet describes the flannelgraph as “cheap and portable and full potential will only be achieved by a combination of skilful handling and artistic imagination”!

Anatomical Museum Weekend Word Search Challenge – The BrainHere is our latest wordsearch for the first weekend in Novemb...
06/11/2020

Anatomical Museum Weekend Word Search Challenge – The Brain

Here is our latest wordsearch for the first weekend in November. There are 40 anatomical terms relating to the brain and hiding somewhere in the grid. Can you find them?

How well did you do with our Tricky Anatomy Crossword Challenge posted on the Friday 24th October? Today you can find ou...
02/11/2020

How well did you do with our Tricky Anatomy Crossword Challenge posted on the Friday 24th October? Today you can find out as here are the answers.

The Anatomical Museum Weekend Crossword Challenge – Tricky anatomy 3For all you anatomy keen folks out there here is our...
24/10/2020

The Anatomical Museum Weekend Crossword Challenge – Tricky anatomy 3

For all you anatomy keen folks out there here is our latest
crossword and this time it is ‘medium to challenging’. Just to keep it interesting you will find we have thrown in a few medical and anatomy history questions too! Have fun!

The answers will be posted on Monday 2nd November at 10am.

Suitable for all here is this weekend's wordsearch and it is all about bones so feel free to print and share with friend...
09/10/2020

Suitable for all here is this weekend's wordsearch and it is all about bones so feel free to print and share with friends, work mates or family. Included are a few bony conditions that may be a little unfamiliar so you may get the urge to search a handy medical book or a suitable web page to find out more! Have fun!

This wax moulage shows the chest of a person with a rare skin condition known as Devergie’s Disease, Lichen Ruber Acumin...
07/10/2020

This wax moulage shows the chest of a person with a rare skin condition known as Devergie’s Disease, Lichen Ruber Acuminatus or Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris.

First described in 1859 by French dermatologist Marie-Guillaume-Alphonse Devergie (1798 – 1879) medical specialists today recognise five variants with this one usually described as ‘Classic Adult 1’ and the little red spots characterised as follicular hyperkeratosis.

The wooden base is signed and dated ‘A R’ 1909 by the artist and it is thought to be a cast from a patient in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

(Object 7163 – Anatomy Collection)

How well did you do with our Shapes and Colours of Anatomy Crossword Challenge posted on the Friday 24th September? Toda...
05/10/2020

How well did you do with our Shapes and Colours of Anatomy Crossword Challenge posted on the Friday 24th September? Today you can find out as here are the answers!

We end our virtual #DoorsOpenDay weekend with a lecture from our Anatomy Professor Tom Gillingwater. We at the museum ar...
27/09/2020
Prof Gillingwater Inaugural Lecture Oct 2018

We end our virtual #DoorsOpenDay weekend with a lecture from our Anatomy Professor Tom Gillingwater. We at the museum are fortunate to have amazing colleagues like Tom who are not only teaching the next generation of medical professionals, but also undertaking some incredibly important research themselves. Find out more here:

Recording of inaugural lecture Monday 29 October 2018.Professor Tom Gillingwater"Diary of a 21st century anatomist: standing on the shoulders of giants"

27/09/2020
Georgi Gill Poetry Reading for Museum Week 2020

#DoorsOpenDay at the museum continues! Georgi Gill is our first ever poet in residence. A mere thing like a global pandemic and a University lockdown, didn't stop Georgi from working with us, in fact she created her own Anatomical Museum in her home! In this film you can hear from Georgi and listen to one of her poems

Georgi Gill, the Anatomical Museum's Poet in Residence, reads three poems for #MuseumWeek 2020.

Welcome to day two of our #DoorsOpenDay weekend! We kick off today with some really exciting news. We, along with our co...
27/09/2020
Medicine in the City - Google Arts & Culture

Welcome to day two of our #DoorsOpenDay weekend! We kick off today with some really exciting news. We, along with our colleagues at Lothian Health Services Archive, are delighted to launch our 'Google Arts & Culture' project, where you can find out more about the history of medicine in Edinburgh and marvel at some of the awesome objects in our museum

500 years of medical teaching in Edinburgh

26/09/2020
Making a murderer_the story of John Howison_FINAL

Many of you will have heard of William Burke and maybe have even seen him on #DoorsOpenDay but there is another skeleton in the museum which belongs to a man called John Howison. Howison, like Burke, was found guilty of murder and dissected after his execution. You can listen to his story here

A podcast about how the University of Edinburgh, the City of Edinburgh Council and Cramond Heritage Trust collaborated on a project which used forensic techniques to re-create the face of 19th century Edinburgh murderer John Howison..

One of the main reasons many people have for visiting our museum on #DoorsOpenDay is to see the skeleton of William Burk...
26/09/2020

One of the main reasons many people have for visiting our museum on #DoorsOpenDay is to see the skeleton of William Burke, who was hanged at Edinburgh on 28th January, 1829

During the 19th century anatomical study became increasingly popular. Teaching of anatomy was not regulated and many students attended ‘extra mural’ anatomy classes. Anatomists like Dr Robert Knox at Surgeons’ Square would guarantee a body for students to dissect. At a time when the legal supply of cadavers was heavily restricted, anatomists (both at this University and elsewhere) often resorted to using bodies that had been dug up from graveyards by ‘resurrection men’ for their lessons. William Burke and William Hare were aware of this illicit trade but were never grave robbers. The duo killed by asphyxiation at least 16 people in less than 12 months in order to supply bodies to Dr Knox. When they were finally caught, Hare turned ‘King’s Evidence’ against Burke and was let off. Burke was sentenced to death and in a final irony, his body was then dissected by Prof Alexander Monro tertius and displayed in the Anatomical Museum.

‘Your body should be publicly dissected and anatomized. And I trust, that if it is ever customary to preserve skeletons, yours will be preserved, in order that posterity may keep in remembrance of your atrocious crimes’
Lord Justice-Clerk, David Boyle at the trial of William Burke, 1829

Kids & Families Crossword Challenge: Easy to medium. Here is our second crossword for this virtual #DoorsOpenDay heritag...
26/09/2020

Kids & Families Crossword Challenge: Easy to medium.

Here is our second crossword for this virtual #DoorsOpenDay heritage weekend. This one is aimed at kids and families. Have fun!

The answers will be posted on Monday 5th October at 11am

Crossword Challenge: The Colour and Shape of AnatomyTo start the virtual #DoorsOpenDay weekend here’s a fiendish crosswo...
26/09/2020

Crossword Challenge: The Colour and Shape of Anatomy

To start the virtual #DoorsOpenDay weekend here’s a fiendish crossword that's going to really test your anatomy knowledge. The subject of anatomy uses a specific language for describing the features of the body and uses colours to highlight anatomical structures to aid teaching and learning. How well do you know this language? Have fun!

The answers will be posted on Monday 5th October at 10am

26/09/2020
An introduction to the University's Anatomical Museum

Sadly this #DoorsOpenDay you can't come and see us in person, but over today and tomorrow we'll be posting content about the museum and our collection. First up, here's a little introduction to the museum itself...

The collection of the Anatomical Museum consists of approximately 12,000 objects, which illustrate the story of 300 years of teaching Anatomy at the Universi...

25/09/2020
Cleaning the whale jaw bones at Teviot Place

Get ready!

Our Heritage Weekend is going to be virtual and so is our preparation! Here’s a vintage clip of Museum and Collections Assistant, Ruth Pollitt and Curator, Malcolm MacCallum busy vacuuming dust from the whale jaw bones in the foyer at Teviot Place.

Look out for posts this Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September with stories about our collections and the museum.

Virtual Heritage WeekendThis Saturday 26th September would have been our museum open day as part of Heritage Open Doors ...
23/09/2020

Virtual Heritage Weekend

This Saturday 26th September would have been our museum open day as part of Heritage Open Doors Days across Edinburgh but this year it will be a little bit different. The Anatomical Museum will remain closed but we will posting regularly here over the weekend. If you want to find out what other venues are doing for this year’s virtual event you can find more information here;

https://www.cockburnassociation.org.uk/doorsopendays/

Edinburgh Medical School
23/09/2020

Edinburgh Medical School

Yesterday, we unveiled a new artwork to commemorate the Edinburgh Seven, the first women to matriculate onto a degree programme at a British University.

It is a re-imagining of the 1632 Rembrandt painting ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Nicolaes Tulp’, a copy of which hangs in our Department of Anatomy. (The original is in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague).

This new version was created by photographer Laurence Winram and features the seven present day students who collected honorary degrees on behalf of the Edinburgh Seven at a special ceremony last year.

The image proudly hangs in the Sophia Jex-Blake common room in the Chancellor’s Building at Edinburgh BioQuarter. Be sure to check it out next time you are passing!
Anatomical Museum, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, The University of Edinburgh Mauritshuis Laurence Winram Photography

Anatomical Museum Weekend Wordsearch Challenge - Muscles of the BodyHere is our latest wordsearch to take you into the w...
04/09/2020

Anatomical Museum Weekend Wordsearch Challenge - Muscles of the Body

Here is our latest wordsearch to take you into the weekend; Muscles of the Body. Just in time to correspond with the start of the academic year and the intake of new 1st years and continuing students studying Medicine, Medical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Nursing Studies, Veterinary Medicine, Archaeology………and of course anyone else who is fascinated by the anatomy of the human body!

The answers will be posted on Monday 14th September at 10am.

How well did you do with our second History of Medicine Crossword Challenge posted on the Friday 21st August? Today you ...
31/08/2020

How well did you do with our second History of Medicine Crossword Challenge posted on the Friday 21st August? Today you can find out as here are the answers.

Dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries the Pharmacology collection includes examples of plants, animals and other...
25/08/2020

Dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries the Pharmacology collection includes examples of plants, animals and other naturally occurring substances from around the world once used in medical treatments and perfumes, as foodstuffs or poisons and as home remedies and cures. This display of dried lizards and a water rat collected in 1900 in China is one of the most fascinating.

The grey coloured specimens facing the camera are two lizards, one behind the other and the orange/cream specimen at the back cold be a Chinese Bamboo Rat (Rhizomys sinensis). The catalogue for this item reads; "Dried water rat eaten with ordinary food or rice is a cure for baldness". The lizards are described as "Dried lizards from Wochow the treaty port highest up the West River. They are made into a soup considered beneficial to people in decline”.

Object 5972 Anatomical Museum

The Anatomical Museum Weekend Crossword Challenge - History of Medicine 2Just in time for the weekend is our second hist...
21/08/2020

The Anatomical Museum Weekend Crossword Challenge - History of Medicine 2

Just in time for the weekend is our second history of medicine crossword inspired by anatomy and the teaching of medicine in Scotland and beyond. We have rated it medium to challenging so we hope it keeps you busy for a while!

The answers will be posted on Monday 31st August at 10am.

We are not open to the public yet as the priority for the University is to prepare for the new academic year and put in ...
19/08/2020

We are not open to the public yet as the priority for the University is to prepare for the new academic year and put in place appropriate procedures for teaching at Teviot Place.

In the meantime we thought you might like to see a couple images of our Asian Elephant skeletons taken in mid-March just before lockdown. They look quite small against the red sandstone pillars and the high vaulted ceiling of the foyer. If you have visited in the past you know that they and the whalebones fixed to the back wall are some of the first items you see on your way up to the museum.
Many young visitors to the museum in the past have said they came specifically to see the elephants! Their black painted wooden bases and metal supports are of the same style as the other skeletons visible in the photographs posted recently of the original museum from the 1950s.

if you are looking for something to do over the weekend you might like to know that our next crossword (History of Medicine 2 - medium to challenging) will be posted this Friday 21st at 2pm!

Phrenology Word search Challenge answersHow well did you do with our phrenology word search posted back on the Friday 7t...
17/08/2020

Phrenology Word search Challenge answers

How well did you do with our phrenology word search posted back on the Friday 7th August? Today you can find out as here are the answers.

Our next puzzle will be posted in the afternoon of this Friday 21st August.

Well done to those FB viewers who commented on the mystery close up yesterday and correctly identified the animal! They ...
13/08/2020

Well done to those FB viewers who commented on the mystery close up yesterday and correctly identified the animal! They were from a male Babirusa, a type of pig from the Indonesian Islands of Sulawesi, Togian, Sula and Buru. Here is the full image.

The Anatomical Museum has a large collection of zoology bones and skulls and some quite weird and wonderful. To what cre...
12/08/2020

The Anatomical Museum has a large collection of zoology bones and skulls and some quite weird and wonderful. To what creature do these tusks belong? Can you guess from this close up? Do you already know or are you going to have to do some research?

Phrenology Weekend Word Search Challenge Here’s our latest word search to take you through the weekend. This time the to...
07/08/2020

Phrenology Weekend Word Search Challenge

Here’s our latest word search to take you through the weekend. This time the topic is the discredited science of Phrenology. The challenge; to find the 36 terms once used to describe the character and personalities of individuals. It contains the most double S’s of any of our word searches so far!

The answers will be posted on Monday 17th August at 10am

In May we posted a couple of images of the original museum taken in the 1950s before it was reduced in size to make way ...
04/08/2020

In May we posted a couple of images of the original museum taken in the 1950s before it was reduced in size to make way for more teaching and laboratory space. The images were really popular and so here is another photograph from this period this time looking down over the main hall from the top gallery.

At the top right you should be able to make out a triangular plinth displaying a group of whale and dolphin skulls with two narwhal tusks positioned vertically at the front corners. The flat cases on the left balcony contain dried specimens from the historical collections used for teaching anatomy and bottom left you can just make out the tiny tiles of the mosaic floor. It is thought that the mosaic floor still exists today hidden under modern office carpets and linoleum. The elephant skeleton (just below the whale) now stands in the 1st floor foyer to the museum at Teviot Place.

How well did you do with our family friendly Easy Anatomy No. 2 anatomy crossword posted on the Friday 24th July? Today ...
03/08/2020

How well did you do with our family friendly Easy Anatomy No. 2 anatomy crossword posted on the Friday 24th July? Today you can find out as here are the answers.

The Anatomical Museum Weekend Crossword Challenge – Easy Anatomy No. 2The Anatomical Museum is still closed at present a...
24/07/2020

The Anatomical Museum Weekend Crossword Challenge – Easy Anatomy No. 2

The Anatomical Museum is still closed at present as Edinburgh slowly adjusts to what is currently being described as the ‘new’ normal. In the meantime here is our newest crossword on human anatomy and zoology which we have rated as an easy to medium challenge and should be suitable for the whole family. Why not print it out and take along with you if you are visiting friends or family this weekend.

The answers will be posted on Monday 3rd August at 10am.

Parts of the anatomical collection are still being catalogued and the contents of this grubby old box is a good example....
18/07/2020

Parts of the anatomical collection are still being catalogued and the contents of this grubby old box is a good example. Filled with a selection of very fragile resin casts of the lungs of small mammals including dog, cat and palm civet it took some time to carefully lift each one out of the jumble and lay them onto the inert, museum grade black foam. It is probable that they were created in the middle of the 20th century because there are similar human resin cast lungs on display in the anatomical museum.

Although the contents had a basic inventory listing as a group the final stage was to properly describe, catalogue and photograph each object individually but this work was halted as lockdown started in March 2020. To protect them in the meantime the little casts were placed in a clear plastic box where they will wait safe from the dust until the work can resume. The old cardboard box went to recycling!

Foreign body No. 2 – a NeedlePreserved in this glass jar measuring 11cm x 4cm (4 ½ x 1½ in) you can only see a portion o...
16/07/2020

Foreign body No. 2 – a Needle

Preserved in this glass jar measuring 11cm x 4cm (4 ½ x 1½ in) you can only see a portion of the tiny paper label which has this handwritten description in ink: "Needle which had transfixed the stomach and liver of a pig. Removed post mortem".

This item is also listed in Sir William Turner’s 1909 Catalogue of the Specimens in the Anatomical Museum of the University of Edinburgh VOL.I - Pathology. Page 205. FOREIGN BODIES. Miscellaneous. Al.I.b.15. A Needle, 3 1/4 inches long, which was found transfixing the stomach and liver of a pig. The eye end was in the cavity of the stomach, the opposite end being in the substance of the liver. Presented by Patrick Dudgeon, Esq. of Cargen.

(Object 6463 – Anatomy Collection)

Tricky Anatomy 2 Crossword answersHow well did you do with our Tricky 2 anatomy crossword posted back on the Friday 3rd ...
13/07/2020

Tricky Anatomy 2 Crossword answers

How well did you do with our Tricky 2 anatomy crossword posted back on the Friday 3rd July? Today you can find out as here are the answers.

Anatomy Weekend Word Search Challenge It’s Friday and almost the weekend again! This time here’s a word search to keep t...
10/07/2020

Anatomy Weekend Word Search Challenge

It’s Friday and almost the weekend again! This time here’s a word search to keep the whole family occupied for a while! Can you find all 50 words?

Foreign body: a pair of CompassesPreserved for over 200 years in this glass jar measuring 12cm (5 in) x 4cm (1 ½ in) thi...
08/07/2020

Foreign body: a pair of Compasses

Preserved for over 200 years in this glass jar measuring 12cm (5 in) x 4cm (1 ½ in) this little pair of compasses has been well described.

In 1811 in The Morbid Anatomy of the Human Gullet, Stomach, and Intestines by Alexander Monro, Jun. M.D.F.R.S.E. Professor of Medicine, Anatomy and Surgery in the University of Edinburgh as; “Even substances of considerable length, and sharp at one end, have passed through the ALIMENTARY CANAL, without injuring any part of it. A celebrated artist of this place, gave me a small pair of COMPASSES, two INCHES and a half LONG, which his daughter, a child of three years old, had swallowed, and which passed through the ALIMENTARY CANAL in three days, without creating at the time, or afterwards, a distressing symptom”.

In 1829 in the Descriptive Catalogue of the Anatomical Museum of the University of Edinburgh as; “ALIMENTARY CANAL IN DISEASED STATE. I. 131. Pair of compasses swallowed by a child two years old, and passed four days thereafter”.

In 1909 in the Turner Catalogue of the Specimens in the Anatomical Museum of the University of Edinburgh VOL.I- Pathology as; "Page 204 FOREIGN BODIES. Miscellaneous. Al. I. b. 7 (1005). A small pair of Compasses, two and a half inches in length, swallowed by a child three years old, and passed per anum three days after. (See Monro's Morbid Anatomy, p.15)".

(Object 6462 – Anatomy Collection)

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Teviot Place, Doorway 3
Edinburgh
EH8 9AG

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Our Story

The Anatomical Museum, founded and developed by the Monro dynasty, flourished under Sir William Turner, Professor of Anatomy from 1867 to 1903, and Principal of the University from 1903 to 1917. Turner had broad interests in evolution and comparative anatomy and built up the impressive collections displayed. The splendid museum hall was at the heart of the new Medical School designed by the architect Robert Rowand Anderson. It opened with great ceremony in 1884. In the 1950s, the three storey museum hall was reduced to a single upper storey which still survives today.

VISITING THE MUSEUM AND LECTURE THEATRE 2020 - CLOSED

The Anatomical Museum and Lecture Theatre are CLOSED due to the Covid 19 restrictions and will remain so until further notice. However you can follow the Anatomical Museum on Facebook and Twitter.

Please contact the museum directly at [email protected] if you require further information.


Comments

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The 2017 Association of Art Historians's Summer Symposium, ‘Re/Presenting the Body: Between Art and Science’ is taking place in Glasgow next week #AAHSS17! Tickets include 11 papers, 2 keynotes, refreshments and lunch, museum tours and a wine reception. Book here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/summer-symposium-tickets-34573626648?aff=es2