‘The Horn of Elizabeth Low’ by Gavin Francis

  Gavin Francis is an author, University of Edinburgh alumni, GP and all round friend of the museum. Here he looks at one of the more unusual items to be found in the occasionally bizarre collections of the Anatomical Museum: ‘There be many Unicorns, and consequently many Horns’ wrote Thomas Browne – physician, naturalist, polymath, wordsmith –…

Internship Conclusion

It’s my final day at the Anatomical Museum and I’m feeling quite sentimental. The nature of my internship –working with an unaccessioned collection for 10 consecutive weeks- means I feel protective over my perhaps unconventional plaster cast ‘children’. I thought I would use this blog post to reflect on the progress of the Phrenology project, rather than focus on research specific to the collection….

‘Male’ of Madagascar, ‘Gambian’ Woman and Chief Bokani

Following on from my previous post discussing Eustache Belin and the ‘New Zealander’, I am keen to showcase  more of the items due to be exhibited from August. In this post I will focus on the lives of three further individuals; Bokani, a Pygmy chief brought to the UK as a living exhibit, ‘Gambian Woman’ a cast mislabeled during…

Darwin and the Anatomical Museum on Halloween: what a treat!

On a daily basis the Anatomical Museum is used by medical students as an important and resource-rich study space, it is also a location for spot exams, academic meetings and conferences. This week we hosted a group of much younger visitors, like everyone else who comes to see us they were eager to engage with the…

Phrenology, Red Hair and Bias!

Our vacation scholar Ruby Hann is coming to the end of her time with us at the Anatomical Museum. In her final blog post on phrenology, Ruby speaks to the geneticist Professor Ian Jackson and asks if we can really tell anything about a person from their appearance? ”Whenever I mention that I’m currently researching…

Phrenology and Slavery

Ruby Hann is undertaking a summer scholarship with us at the museum, her first blog post looks at slavery and it’s links to the pseudo-science of phrenology. Ruby is a history undergraduate and an Anatomical Museum volunteer. She is interested in how perceptions and understandings of the human body have changed throughout history. ”Hidden away at the back…

The Anatomical Museum: Just for men?

  Using the Anatomical Museum as a focus, our volunteer Eleanor Affleck looks at the representation of the female within anatomy collections: ”I started volunteering with the Anatomical Museum at the beginning of 2017, where I spent some time looking through the museum’s collections in order to find out more about the representation of women…