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Currently on Display

CORPUS DELICTI: THE DOCTOR AS THE DETECTIVE

Although seemingly distinct disciplines, medicine and law—as medical jurisprudence, forensic medicine, or legal medicine—have been intertwined for centuries, and legal medicine itself encompasses a wide range of subjects, such as toxicology, psychiatry, chemistry, pathology, anatomy, autopsy, and suicide.  Harvard Medical School’s involvement with legal medicine as both academic discipline and public service is the focus of a new display at the Countway Library.  Corpus Delicti: the Doctor as the Detective is now open on the L2 level of the library, adjoining the Center for the History of Medicine.

Corpus Deliciti tells the story of the Department of Legal Medicine’s origins, rise, and, eventual fall–in some ways a victim of its own success–and the individuals–George B. Magrath, Alan Richards Moritz, Richard Ford, and Frances Glessner Lee–who shaped, developed, and promoted its work.  Notable items on display include rare texts in legal medicine; Charles T. Jackson’s summons as expert witness in the 1850 trial of John White Webster; course syllabi and publications; a review of “Mystery Street”, the 1950 MGM film where Legal Medicine’s staff help solve a murder; and photographs from the historical records of the Department, showing its researchers at work, the Nutshell Studies, and some of George B. Magrath’s most famous cases. More background information on the history of Legal Medicine at Harvard available online here.

The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Directions to the Countway Library can be found on the Library's main web page here.  

Photographing or recording the cases and artifacts on display is not permitted.

Photograph: Frances G. Lee and Alan R. Moritz at work on the Nutshell Studies, photographed by Gil Friedberg, circa 1948. Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [0002275]

 

THE NATURE OF EVERY MEMBER: AN ANATOMY OF DISSECTION AT HARVARD

Robert M. Green demonstrating an anatomical dissection by Thomas Woolstone Dixon, circa 1929. Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [0002651]

The Nature of Every Member: an Anatomy of Dissection at Harvard, a new exhibit from the Center for the History of Medicine, is now open on the first floor of the Countway Library.  It chronicles the long and distinguished history of the study and teaching of human anatomy through dissection, moving from the very foundation of the Medical School to the present day.  Echoing the changes in teaching human dissection are the developments in anatomical legislation, as the illicit practice of grave-robbing for dissection gives way to Thomas Dwight’s 1896 formulation that cadavers for study are only “loaned to science”, paving the way for the legal instruments of anatomical gift in common use today.

The Nature of Every Member was designed to complement Body of Knowledge: a History of Anatomy (in 3 Parts) which is currently on exhibit at the Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments on the Cambridge campus and incorporates many anatomical specimens, models, rare books, prints, and photographs from the library and museum collections at the Center for the History of Medicine.

The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Directions to the Countway Library can be found on the Library's main web page here.  

Photographing or recording the cases and artifacts on display is not permitted.

Photograph: Robert M. Green demonstrating an anatomical dissection by Thomas Woolstone Dixon, circa 1929. Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [0002651]

 

  

SELECTIONS FROM THE WARREN ANATOMICAL MUSEUM

Museum Exhibition Gallery, 2010 Warren Anatomical Museum Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

The Warren Anatomical Museum is part of the Countway Library of Medicine's Center for the History of Medicine. The Museum's Exhibition Gallery, which displays 300 cases and artifacts from the larger collection, is located on the 5th floor of the Countway Library. The Museum's administrative offices are located in the Center for the History of Medicine on the L2 level of the Library.

The Museum Gallery is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

Please note that the Exhibition Gallery is closed on weekends and during certain Harvard University holidays. For a full list of holidays when the Exhibition Gallery is closed please access the Countway Library's Hours and Holiday Calendar.

Individual visitors or small groups (7 or fewer) need only present a valid photo-ID at the Library front desk and sign the guest register. Groups of more than seven, classes, field trips, and tour groups are REQUIRED to make an appointment to visit the Gallery in advance. Group visits are scheduled according to availability and must be requested at least two weeks ahead of time. The Museum cannot guarantee that all groups can be scheduled when desired, so it is wise to have several dates in mind for a visit.

Appointments to visit the Gallery and to schedule tours can arranged by contacting the Museum by phone at 617-432-6196 or by sending email to the Center for the History of Medicine.

Directions to the Countway Library can be found on the Library's main web page here.

Photographing or recording the cases and artifacts on display in the Museum's Exhibition Gallery is not permitted.