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Anatomy Day Materials at the Wilson Special Collections Library: Home

Anatomy Day Materials at Wilson Special Collections Library

This guide serves as a portal into Wilson Special Collections Library material displayed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's annual Anatomy Day Open House. Anatomy Day takes place in mid-November, and is an opportunity to compare what you’ve seen in the gross anatomy lab with historical representations of human anatomy over the centuries. The 2019 Anatomy Day will take place from noon to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, in the Fearrington Reading Room, Wilson Special Collections Library. The event is free and open the public; no prior registration is required. If you would like to view materials outside of this event, you will need to register and request materials.

Please note that the materials listed below do not represent a complete list of Wilson Special Collections Library materials pertaining to anatomy.

Images from De Humani Corporis Fabrica

Frontispiece of surgical theater


The frontispiece shows Vesalius dissecting a cadaver in a crowded anatomical theater.  Of all the figures, only he glances toward the reader, as his right hand points to the body he is dissecting.  Before this book was published, depictions of anatomical dissections showed the anatomist at a distance from the cadaver, while lower ranking barbers and surgeons did the actual work of dissection.  Here the anatomist stands at the center of the scene, with dissecting instruments close at hand.

Third Skeletal Man

Third Skeletal Man

After a chapter explaining how to assemble a skeleton, and another telling how Vesalius stole a skeleton from a gibbet, comes the famous series of three skeletal men. Before a barren landscape, the third skeleton stands slightly bent, with his back to the viewer, and hands near his face, a pose suggesting grief or pain.


White's Physiological Manikin

White's Physiological Manikin

Life-size chromolithographic anatomical chart, consisting of basic image with superimposed multiple series of hinged flaps illustrating tissue groups, sectional views of the body, internal organs and muscles, with metal tabs to hold flaps in place when not in use; the whole mounted in a double wooden frame, hinged to fold into a protective case.

Manuscript Collections



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