University of Glasgow,
Tuesday - Saturday: 10am-4pm
Sunday: 11am - 4pm
Anatomy Museum by appointment only.
0141 330 4221
For the Anatomy Museum in the Thomson Building on the main campus where much of William Hunter’s Anatomy collection, the Cleland collection and the modern anatomy teaching collection are on show, visits are by appointment only.
For the University Library where William Hunter’s books and manuscripts are kept, research enquiries should submitted here:
The Hunterian was opened to the public in 1807 and is Scotland’s oldest public museum. It was established around the collections of Dr William Hunter, the celebrated 18th century anatomist, doctor and obstetrician. As a physician and collector, he was unique amongst his contemporaries in several ways, not least in having had the foresight to bequeath his entire museum collections and library to his alma mater, the University of Glasgow, thereby avoiding their dispersal in the salerooms. Hunter also bequeathed £8000 for the construction of a suitable building to exhibit the collections.
Hunter’s collections were wide-ranging containing coins, art works, ethnographical items, anatomical and natural history specimens, printed books and manuscripts. The core of the collections are the anatomical preparations made by Hunter and his pupils. This material differs from all other parts of his collection in that it was made and used by Hunter for teaching and research work throughout his long, successful medical career. The anatomical material comprises wet preparations of human, and some animal, tissues and organs, skeletal material, air-dried preparations and some animal taxidermy specimens.
Anatomy museum website:
The medical collections have a long and complex history reflecting the intricacies of the history of the University. They were considerably supplemented throughout the 19th century and 20th centuries with new specimens being added by University teaching and research staff. The post-Hunter material includes comparative (animal) anatomy specimens, fine 19th century wax models and specimens made using recent techniques such as corrosion and plastination. The Hunter anatomical collections were moved from the main Hunterian Museum, to the Department of Anatomy in 1901 and were further sub-divided in 1954 when the pathology (morbid anatomy) specimens were re-located to the University Department of Pathology at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the centre of the city. However, in 2012, the pathology collections were reunited with the anatomy material on campus in Thomson Building, home of the Department of Anatomy.
The Hunterian collections also include medical equipment and instruments. Highlights here include Hunter’s own instruments, Joseph Lister’s equipment and the teaching collections of the former Glasgow College of Nursing.