C. U. Ari¨ens Kappers brain collection (the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience)

 

Netherlands | Amsterdam

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The C. U. Ari¨ens Kappers brain collection, at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam, is one of the largest and oldest of the world’s catalogued repositories of specimens that reveal the course of brain evolution and the resulting panoply of neural biodiversity. Established a century ago, it has served since then as the basis of the encyclopedic texts authored by its founder, as well as research publications into the current time. It consists of 726 specimens: these include 309 mammals, 134 birds, 81 reptiles, 21 amphibians, and 179 “pisces”—a grouping of bony fish, sharks, and cyclostomes. Housed in the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, the collection is the result of a life time’s labor by Cornelius Ubbo Ariëns Kappers during his directorship (1909-1946) of the institute and contains representatives of over 300 species of vertebrates, including man.

Relevant People:

C. U. Ari¨ens Kapper

Museum Vrolik

 

Netherlands | Amsterdam

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Museum Vrolik is the anatomical museum of the University of Amsterdam/Academic Medical Center. It was founded as a private collection by anatomist Gerard Vrolik (1775-1859) en his son Willem (1801-1863). The collection comprises around 15.000 anatomical preparations of both man and animals, normal, pathological and malformations, skulls, skeletons, bones, dried organs, preparations in liquid, microscopic slides, instruments. The historical core collection of the museum (brougt together between 1750 and 1950 includes specimens of neuroanatomy: topographical and regional anatomy of the brain & development of the fetal brain (both late 19th century and early 20th century), largely collected by anatomist Lodewijk Bolk; it also includes specimens of neural tube defects and other neurananatomical malformations (early 19th century & early 20th century)(mainly collected by father and son Vrolik and Lodewijk Bolk; finally it includes a small collection of comparative neuroanatomy (brains of different animals (early 19th century-early 20th century) Since 2016 we are the owner of the historical collection of comparative neuroanatomy of the Dutch National Brain Institute. This collection consists of both specimens in liquid and microscopic slides, collected between 1909 and 1940 (By neuroanatomist C.U. Ariens Kappers) Since 2017 we are the owner of the historical collection of comparative anatomy and zoology of the faculty of sciences (University of Amsterdam); this collection includes specimens of comparative neuroanatomy (brains of animals) collected between the 1880s and the 1940s, for a large part by zoologist Max Weber.

Relevant People:

Gerard Vrolik, Wilhem Vrolik, Lodewijk Bolk

Museum of Brain Evolution (Neurological Scientific Centre, Moscow)

 

Russia | Moscow

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The Museum of Brain Evolution is the only exhibit in Russia and CIS dedicated to the evolution of the brain. It was opened in 1928 as a part of Neurological Scientific Centre in Moscow. Its collections include phylogeny of the nervous system, ontogeny of the human brain and brain anatomy. The Phylogeny of the nervous system collection features over 300 items (from coelenterates to primates). The exhibits of the museum serve as an initial introduction to the structure, development, functions and mechanism of animal and human nervous systems. It also provides an in-depth study of the general and specific issues of neurophysiology. The Museum of Brain Evolution offers a course of lectures on neurophysiology and related topics.

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The Geneva Brain Collection

 

Switzerland | Geneva

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The University of Geneva brain collection was founded at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, it consists of 10,154 formaldehyde- or buffered formaldehyde–fixed brains obtained from the autopsies of the Department of Psychiatry and, since 1971, from the Department of Geriatrics. More than 100,000 paraffin-embedded blocks and 200,000 histological slides have also been collected since 1901. From the time of its creation, this collection has served as an important resource for pathological studies and clinicopathological correlations, primarily in the field of dementing illnesses and brain aging research. These materials have permitted a number of original neuropathological observations, such as the classification of Pick’s disease by Constantinidis, or the description of dyshoric angiopathy and laminar sclerosis by Morel. The large number of cases, including some very rare conditions, provides a unique resource and an opportunity for worldwide collaborations.

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Anatomisches Museum Basel (Anatomical Museum, Basel)

 

Switzerland | Basel

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The Anatomical Museum in Basel is part of the Faculty of Medicine. It is a centre for research and medical studies and houses a unique collection of historical preparations. Original preparations of human body parts, organs and tissue are displayed, which show the structure of the human body in a systematic and topographic way. Exhibits of prenatal development are also shown. Special exhibitions explain specific areas of anatomy and connected sciences in a way, which is understandable for all visitors. The Anatomical Museum of the University of Basel was founded by Prof. Carl Gustav Jung in 1824. Original preparations of human body parts, organs and tissue are displayed in the museum. They are shown in a systematic and topographic order and describe the structure of the human body. Exhibits of prenatal development are also shown. Special exhibitions explain specific areas of anatomy in a way, which is understandable for all visitors. The museum houses contemporary exhibits as well as numerous historically valuable preparations, which were restored using modern techniques and are now shown in new displays. Of particular interest is the skeleton, which was prepared by Andreas Vesale in 1543 in Basel. It is known as the oldest anatomical preparation of a skeleton in the world. Also of interest is a preparation made in 1573 by Felix Platter, wax models made in 1850 by Carl Gustav Jung and body cross-sections (slices) made in 1900 by Hanson Kelly Corning.

Relevant People:

Prof. Carl Gustav Jung

Musee Dupuytren

 

France | Paris

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This museum has displays of anatomical malformations, consisting of a large collection of specimens and wax models from the 17th century. The museum also has brains studied by the great Paul Pierre Broca. It was named after anatomist and surgical professor Guillaume Dupuytren. In 2016, the Dupuytren museum collections were transferred to the Jussieu campus, joining eight of UPMC’s scientific collections. The collections are installed in reserves and are not accessible to the public. They are open to research projects and notwithstanding students by appointment.

Relevant People:

Paul Pierre Broca

Musee d’Anatomie Delmas-Orfila-Rouviere

 

France | Paris

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France’s largest collection of anatomical models and specimens began as small collection cultivated by Honore Fragonard (a professor of anatomy at the University of Paris). The collection was enhanced by Mathieu Orfila ( the dean of Medicine at U. of Paris), after he visited London’s Huntarian. In true french patriotism he sought to out shine the British. The museum contains specimens of humans and animals, including embryological reconstructions and pieces of neuro-anatomy.

Relevant People:

Honore Fragonard

Musée d’Anatomie de Montpellier

 

France | Montpellier

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The oldest and the largest anatomy museum in France, the museum is situated inside the world famous and historic University of Montpellier. Structured with wide Doric columns, the museum‘s collections were listed as historic monuments in 2004. The museum’s educational dimension cannot be missed amidst the eeriness which envelops it. The main features of the museum are: -Deformed foetuses preserved in jars -Human and animal skeletons -An “ethnological” collection of skulls.

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Kings College, London: The Gordon Museum of Pathology

 

England | London

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Gordon museum is the largest medical museum in the United Kingdom located in Kings College, London. Their collection includes many historically important artifacts including the Joseph Towne anatomical and dermatological wax models, the Lam Qua pre-operative tumour paintings and the specimen and artefact collections of Hodgkin, Thomas Addison, Bright and Astley Cooper.

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