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Human Anatomy & Physiology: Anatomical Museums

Resources on anatomical history and modern-day learning.

Anatomical MuseumPhoto by David Jakab for Pexels, 2018. Edited by Meghan Boyd, 2019.

The Warren Anatomical Museum

Located at Harvard University, the Warren Anatomical Museum is not currently open to visitors due to renovations. However, it is open to researchers and much of the collection is viewable online.

Notable Specimens: The skull of Phineas Gage, who survived a piercing to the skull due to an iron-tamping accident in 1848. The museum also holds historical photographs and correspondence related to the life of Gage.


The Mütter Museum

Located within the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, The Mütter Museum originated in the 19th century as a medical teaching museum. Over the course of its history, it has amassed a large collection of anatomically unusual human specimens. 

Notable Specimens: The preserved skeletons of Harry Eastlack and Carol Orzel, both of whom suffered from the extremely rare skeletal condition Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).

National Museum of Health and Medicine

Originally established as the Army Medical Museum during the Civil War, the museum has evolved to address health, medicine and medical history through a modern lens. Many of the pathological and anatomical specimens in their collections were acquired through military medical research and the collection is particularly strong in demonstrated instances of trauma to the human body.

The Cushing Center

As part of the Harvey Cushing and John Hay Whitney Medical Library at Yale University, the Cushing Center is open to the public. It contains numerous drawings, texts, tools, and specimens from neurosurgeon Henry Cushing.

Notable Specimens: Cushing's Brain Tumor Registry, an expansive collection of preserved brains and records detailing their owners.