The Anatomy Museum at the University of Otago was established in 1875, four years after the University itself was founded and only 27 years after the first official settlers arrived in Dunedin.
It holds a large collection of anatomical specimens and models, many of which are unique in Oceania. Some models date back to the late 1800s (porcelain models by Steger and wax models by Ziegler). Although there is a "hands-on" policy regarding museum specimens and models, historic and fragile items are protected in cases.
It is an extremely valuable resource for students and researchers. The museum 'tour' is also one the most popular events during the New Zealand International Science Festival.
Access to the collection
Health Science students currently taking papers in the Department of Anatomy are advised to check their lab manuals or 'AnatomyStudent' Moodle, MedMoodle, or Blackboard, for Semester hours of access. We are not open weekends or public holidays.
Postgraduate students and staff from any department in the university may apply for research-based access through the Museum Curator or a senior member of the academic staff from the Department of Anatomy.
Some of the models in the museum are available for use by other University of Otago departments in their teaching.
Schools, other institutions, and community education groups may arrange for visits to the Anatomy Museum, usually run during university teaching breaks in order to avoid clashing with classes. Please contact the Museum Curator if you wish to arrange this.
When you are visiting the museum please do not eat or drink. The use of cameras or other image-recording devices is strictly prohibited without the prior consent of either the Museum Curator or the Head of Department.
Room 201a (inside the Museum)
Lindo Ferguson Building
270 Great King Street
History of the museum.
The lively environment of the modern day Anatomy Museum would probably shock some of the people who were responsible for it's existence.
They would see students from a variety of non-medical courses, in addition to medical students, freely able to handle specimens and models and using the room as a classroom and resource centre.
They would also see artists at work and school children on class trips.
The proportions of men and women using the museum would probably also be a surprise...
It is a very different world to the one the museum originated in, but the journey it took to get here is a fascinating one.
For more info on the history of the museum read this fascinating 1993 Museum Journal article by Fieke Neuman, "Pots and Pieces: The Anatomy Museum of the Otago Medical School and How it Came to Be".
Fieke was curator of the Museum at the time but now managers the department's teaching Labs.