With the oldest items in the collection dating to at least the early 19th century, the collection is the product of the research and teaching activities of staff in Aberdeen and includes some 500 specimens and 400 anatomical models, including a life-sized papier-mâché model of a man dating from 1879 by Auzoux.
The collection of 900 works on paper include late 19th century watercolours of anatomical dissections, some of which can still be matched with their original associated wet specimens prepared, and a collection of anatomical drawings produced for Professor Robert Lockhart’s Anatomy of the Human Body by seven artists and photographers including Alberto Morrocco.
Access to, and display of, much of the collection is restricted by the Anatomy Act (1984) as amended by the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006.
The collection is a unique historical record of disease manifestations in the North-East Scotland in the mid 20th century and includes a few artefacts relating to crimes of note committed in the Aberdeen area around the same period. There are around 1800 fluid-preserved specimens showing both pathological conditions and traumatic pathology, many with associated anonymous clinical case files and supporting contextual material such as weapons and photographic evidence.
The collection also contains late 19th/early 20th century wax, papier-mâché and ceramic models demonstrating a range of pathological appearances, scientific instruments used in the preparation and examination of pathological specimens and associated archival and photographic material. Access to, and display of, parts of the collection is restricted by the Human Tissues Act (1961), as amended by the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006.