Surgeons’ Hall Step Into The Future

We’ve told you about the history of surgery. Now it’s time to take a step into the future. Surgeons’ Hall Museums are delighted to announce two new galleries which are set to open in the autumn of 2020. The new galleries are the second phase of the museum redevelopment, with phase one being completed in…

Pathology Spotlight: Advanced neurological syphilis and the Tuskegee study

In July’s Pathology Spotlight, Ken Donaldson, Senior Museum Research Fellow, takes a look at a specimen showing neurological syphilis. He also discusses the highly unethical Tuskegee Study.   This specimen is of the dura mater, the outside covering of the brain. Normally this is a thin membrane as visible at the top and bottom of…

An Army That Cannot Bite Cannot Fight

In our latest blog, guest author Iain MacLeod takes a look at a British War Office issued dental stoppings (fillings) kit from our collection and tells us why it is so remarkable. Amongst the museum archive collections of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is a small wooden box containing the equipment required to…

Pathology Spotlight: Horse-Shoe Kidney

Sometimes during development the lower ends of the foetal kidneys fuse together, resulting in one u-shaped organ, rather than the normal pair of kidneys lying either side of the spine. This is known as a horse-shoe kidney, or ren arcuatus. The fusion usually takes place between weeks 7 and 9 of development. The horse-shoe kidney…

A Quest for Healing: Contemporary Art by Zhang Yanzi

In April, Surgeons’ Hall Museums opened its newest temporary exhibition ‘A Quest for Healing.’ Created by award-winning Chinese artist Zhang Yanzi, this contemporary art exhibition is the first of its kind to be shown at the museums.   Zhang Yanzi completed a residency in Edinburgh during 2017, where she became inspired by Surgeons’ Hall Museums,…

Pathology Spotlight: A Holey Kidney

The figure shows the cut surface of a kidney revealing dozens of cysts, like bubbles, visible at the cut surface. Polycystic kidney disease (PCKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the development of numerous cysts of varying size, averaging about 1,000 per kidney. PCKD cysts, which are filled with urine, can enlarge the kidneys, obliterating…

X-Posed – A glimpse into the injuries of WWI

The museum has recently acquired a series of First World War Glass X-ray plates from Bellahouston Auxiliary Hospital in Glasgow dating from 1918-1919. NHS Fife donated the X-rays after they were discovered in Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy in 2014. Bellahouston House in Glasgow was converted into a military hospital during the First World War and operated…

Preliminary Diagnosis

Our new Assistant Curator Louise Wilkie writes about her first month at Surgeons’ Hall Museums.  I have now been the Assistant Curator at Surgeons Hall for one month and what a month it has been. There is so much to learn of the rich collections here, not to mention a whole range of new medical…

Unmaking a Murderer

John Baxter writes for Surgeons’ Hall Museums in this guest post chronicling William Burke’s movements in his final 24 hours.  The story of the West Port Murders is one of the most shocking ever recorded in Scottish judicial history.  Over a period of 10 months in 1828, William Burke and William Hare murdered 16 people…