We had a Spleen-did time at the Anatomy collections!

Anna Rinke, a Museum Studies MLitt student and lover of puns, tells us about her recent trip to see the University’s Anatomy Collection to research objects for the up and coming King’s Museum student curated exhibition Victorian Time: Spirit of the Age.  

In the run up to our summer exhibition, we have been able to visit the various University museum stores to see some of the objects we are thinking of displaying in the exhibition. Heather, Ruth and I went to see the Anatomy collection, which is located at Foresterhill. The collection totals around 2000 specimens and objects and is Recognised as a collection of national importance- it is not usually accessible to the public so we were very excited!


A life-sized papier-mâché model of a man dating from 1879 by Auzoux from the Anatomy collection

The Anatomy collection includes fluid preserved specimens of human tissue, osteological material, historical anatomical models and a selection of other material used in the preparation of specimens and relating to 19th Century grave- robbing. The objects we were there to see were located throughout the Anatomy Department, and many of the objects were actual human remains, which was something I had never come across before. At first I did not even realize that they were human remains, but after close inspection it became apparent that this was indeed the case, which put me off my lunch for a little while. It was a very interesting research trip and we found quite a few objects we would like to feature in our exhibition at King’s Museum and we are hoping for further collar-bone-ration with the Anatomy collections!

Access to, and display of, much of the anatomy collection is restricted by the Anatomy Act (1984) as amended by the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006. However you can visit the students’ exhibition Victorian Time: Spirit of the Age from 10th June 2014. The exhibtion is being held in King’s Museum which is open Monday – Friday 10am -4pm and Saturday 11am -4pm. 



About uoamuseums

The University of Aberdeen's Museums include King’s Museum and the University's Zoology Museum. The museums can claim to be Scotland's oldest, with records of museums and collections as far back as the late 17th century. Thanks to their status as a Recognised Collection of national significance, the Zoology Museum’s displays are currently being improved, while King's Museum hosts changing exhibitions drawn from across the collections, particularly those formerly in Marischal Museum. Visitors are warmly welcomed to the museums, and there are no charges for admission. Marischal College now houses the Museums Collections Centre, caring for and conserving many of the collections.
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