Anatomical Museum

Located within the Old Medical School of the University of Edinburgh on Teviot Place, the Anatomical Museum opened in 1884. The museum holds specimens collected over the years and intended for the education of medical students. Surgeons originally held their own collections, and the core of the museum dates from 1798 when Professor Alexander Monro (Secundus) (1733 - 1817) donated his anatomical preparations to the University, together with those of his father, Professor Alexander Monro (Primus) (1697 - 1767). The collection was to greatly expand over the next 150 years through the efforts of subsequent Professors of Anatomy. During the tenure of Professor John Goodsir (1814-67) the collection grew to illustrate the evolution and comparative anatomy of vertebrates and invertebrates. Further substantial growth came during the time of Professor Sir William Turner (1832 - 1916) who was responsible for establishing the museum at its current location.

The museum was at the centre of Sir Robert Rowand Anderson's new Medical School and was originally designed as a three-storey top-lit galleried hall, although this was subdivided in the 1950s and many of the non-human specimens were sent elsewhere, such as the National Museum of Scotland. The Anatomical Museum now occupies only the top floor, although still displays elephant skeletons at the entrance and is home to an enormous number of anatomical specimens and dissections. Other exhibits include the skull of the scholar George Buchanan (1506-82), the skeleton of the 'resurrectionist' William Burke (1792 - 1829), who was hanged for murder, and a collection of 19th-century death masks. There is also a life-size full-body hologram, produced in 2014 and thought to be the first of its kind in the world to be used as an anatomy teaching tool.

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