In accordance with the wishes of Dr. John Collins Warren, by whom the founding collection was given to the Harvard Medical School, the Warren Anatomical Museum undertakes to maintain these collections, to add to them when feasible, and to make them available and useful for the study of medicine, anthropology, and the history of science. The Museum seeks to continue in the tradition of promoting the collection for the purposes of medical education in all forms whenever possible, as well as expand its scope to provide public programming and educational resources to the larger community.
About the Warren Anatomical Museum (WAM)
The Warren Anatomical Museum is one of the last surviving anatomy and pathology museums associated with a medical school in the United States. The museum was founded in 1847 by Harvard Medical School anatomist and surgeon John Collins Warren in order to teach Harvard Medical School students anatomy. The Warren was designed and implemented to preserve, classify and make accessible the biologic and artificial preparations and models critical for the education of these 19th- and early 20th-century physicians. Until 1999 the Warren was housed in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, when it was transferred into the Countway Library's Center for the History of Medicine.
Today the Warren collects the artifact history of the health science community, with a focus on the contributions of Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The museum endeavors to make these collections accessible to support the Center for History of Medicine's mission to enable the history of medicine to inform contemporary medicine and deepen our understanding of the society in which medicine is embedded and to support the greater mission of Harvard Medical School to create and nurture a diverse community of the best people committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease.