|Description||The Comparative Anatomy Collection comprises over 4,500 objects, including medical models, anatomical and phrenological casts, statues, original anatomical illustrations and prints, photographs, lantern slides, microscope slides, departmental archives, books, medical instruments and various other associated items. The collection consists primarily of extant material from the University’s once large and historic Anatomy Museum.
About 42% of the collection is related to pathology and anatomy, including skeletal remains, dried preparations and specimens preserved in spirit. About 11% of the collection comprises zoological material, both soft tissue and skeletal. The remaining collection is made up of artefacts – documents, statues, busts, lantern slides, ethnographic objects etc.
The Comparative Anatomy Collection at the University of Edinburgh dates back to 1798 when Professor Alexander Monro Secondus donated his collection of anatomical preparations and that of his father (Monro Primus), to the Department of Anatomy. This initial donation, accompanied by three folio manuscript catalogues, formed the nucleus of an Anatomy Museum which was to expand greatly over the next 150 years through the dedicated efforts of subsequent professors of Anatomy.
Unlike many similar collections, the Comparative Anatomy Collection at the University of Edinburgh benefits greatly from an existing and extensive associated archive which contains most, if not all, of its original registers, catalogues, curator notes and some donor correspondence.|