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Biomedicine in museums

Anatomical collections as part of the cultural heritage

By September 7, 2011No Comments

As you can see if you scroll down a bit (or search for ‘anatomy’/’anatomical’ in the search field), we have written quite a lot about different activities, both in Europe and elsewhere, around the topic of anatomical collections.

The next initiative on this central topic for medical museums is a conference titled ‘Cultures of Anatomical Collections’ to be held at Universiteit te Leiden, 15-18 February 2012. The aim is to explore anatomical preparations and collections and anatomical models (e.g., moulages) as parts of the cultural heritage — asking questions like

  • What do the technical details of anatomical preparations tell us about the ideas of their makers?
  • How do ideas on beauty and perfection shape anatomical preparations?
  • How have anatomical preparations been handled and used for teaching purposes?
  • How have the interest of non-medical audiences shaped anatomical preparations and collections?
  • How have particular anatomical collections been built up?
  • How have curatorial decisions affected the build-up of collections
  • How does the housing of a collection affect its outlook and popularity?

Deadline for proposals is already next week — 16 September!!  The organiser, Rina Knoeff ( is prepared to extend the deadline with a week or so if you let her know if they intend to submit an abstract. For more general info, see here.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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