Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Society/BusinessPublic outreachUniversity MuseumCollectionsMedical Sciences

Anatomy and pathology

Petrus Camper
Petrus Camper at his writing desk, painting by Josef de Groot, ca. 1850

The collection consists of anatomical and pathological preparations, the majority of which are preparations in spirits. There are also dry preparations where the veins have been injected with coloured wax (later synthetics). The surrounding tissue was dried and adapted with shellac; modern-day dry preparations are plasticised. There are also wax models and papier mâché models as well as a collection of skeletons and skulls.

The private collections of two important medical scientists of the 18th century, Petrus Camper and Pieter de Riemer, the core of the museum collection.

The collection of Camper, professor of medicine from 1763 - 1774, and his son Adriaan Gilles Camper consisted of anatomical, comparing anatomical and biological preparations, fossils, minerals and instruments. The collection was donated to the museum after Camper’s death in 1820 and there are still around 200 of his preparations in the museum collection.

Another important part is the collection of the medical scientist Pieter de Riemer (1769 - 1831). He was especially interested in anatomy, surgery and obstetrics. The De Riemer collection, containing more than 900 preparations, came into the hands of the university in 1831.

The Anatomical Museum was the home of the anatomical/pathological collection until 2003. Since then the University Museum is in charge of it and uses it for permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Anatomical preparation of tattooed skin
Anatomical preparation of tattooed skin
Glass case with preparations of auditory ossicles
Glass case with preparations of auditory ossicles
Anatomical preparation of a child's arm, collection of Pieter de Riemer
Anatomical preparation of a child's arm, collection of Pieter de Riemer
Anatomical preparation of a 7 months old fetus of twins, collection of Petrus Camper
Anatomical preparation of a 7 months old fetus of twins, collection of Petrus Camper
Plaster model of a 4 weeks human embryo, 1925
Plaster model of a 4 weeks human embryo, 1925
Skeleton of a Nuper Natus, collection of Pieter de Riemer
Skeleton of a Nuper Natus, collection of Pieter de Riemer
Spinal column with scoliosis
Spinal column with scoliosis
Last modified:19 April 2017 10.58 a.m.
printAlso available in: Nederlands