|Skeletal remains in this collection range from dry bone of all types, to skeletal remains articulated with soft tissue to illustrate anatomy, to a long series of pathological long bones, vertebral columns exhibiting scoliosis, and skulls showing evidence of syphilis, ‘gummatous infection’ and other pathologies. The disease causing the pathology is often described in the associated collection catalogues, particularly the 1909 published catalogue of the pathology collection.
Like the dried and potted specimens in the Pathology/Anatomy collection, many of the skeletal remains exhibit evidence of diseases no longer present in modern ‘first world’ populations, or those that are now treated before they manifest to such an extent. While these items may be of limited use as teaching specimens for today’s medical students, they may be of great educational value for students and practitioners of disciplines studying disease in past populations. The well-documented series of pathological long bones, for example, might provide the basis of a field manual or reference collection for osteo-archaeologists or palaeopathologists, who lack reference material in which pathologies can be correctly identified.