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In consequence of the large number of additions, this building became too small for the adequate display and arrangement of its contents; and more space being at the same time required for the rapidly increasing Library, the greater portion of the present building was erected, wholly at the expense of the College, in 1835, at à cost of about £40,000, and the Hunterian and Collegiate Collections were re-arranged in what are now termed the Western and Middle Museums, which were opened for the inspection of visitors in 1836.
Further enlargement of the building having become necessary by the continued increase of the Collection, the College, in 1847, purchased the extensive premises of Mr. Alderman Copeland, in Portugal Street, for the sum of £16,000, and in 1852 proceeded to the erection of the Eastern Museum, at the expense of £25,000, Parliament granting £15,000 in aid thereof. The re-arrangement of the specimens was completed, and the additional portion of the building opened to visitors in 1855.
The Hunterian Collection was estimated to consist of 13,682 specimens, distributed under the following heads :
chysiological Department, or Normal Structures. Physiological preparations in spirit
292 Pathological Department, or Abnormal Structures. Preparations in spirit
1084 Dry preparations (including bones)
625 Calculi and concretions
536 Monsters and Malformations.
218 Microscopic preparations
215 Of the additions by which the size and value of the Collection have been so materially increased since it came into the possession of the College, very many have been presented by Fellows and Members of the College, and other persons interested in scientific pursuits. Among the largest contributions from this source have been the Collection, consisting of 847 specimens, presented in 1811 by Sir William Blizard, and a valuable series of Pathological specimens presented in 1851 by Sir Stephen L. Hammick. At the same time the Council of the College have availed themselves of various opportunities as they have occurred to purchase specimens of interest, especially at the dispersion of private anatomical and pathological museums, as that of Sir A. Lever in 1806, of Mr. Joshua Brookes in 1828, of Mr. Heaviside in 1829, Mr. Langstaff in 1835, Mr. South in the same year, Mr. Howship and Mr. Taunton in 1841, Mr. Liston in 1842, Mr. Walker in 1843, and, deserving of especial mention on account of the great number and value of the specimens acquired, that of Sir Astley Cooper in 1843.
The Histological Collection, of which the 215 Hunterian specimens (prepared by Hewson) constitute the nucleus, was chiefly formed by the late Professor Quekett, with considerable additions by purchase from Dr. Tweedy J. Todd, Mr. Nasmyth,
and Professor Lenhossek. It now contains upwards of 12,000 specimens, all arranged and catalogued so as to be readily available for reference.
The Superintendence of the Museum is confided by the Council of the College to a Committe of its Members, which Committee has held four meetings during the past year.
A summary of the progress made in the preservation, arrangement, and augmentation of the Collection will be found in the following Report:
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CONSERVATOR TO THE MUSEUM
(Presented June 29th, 1874.) I HAVE much satisfaction in reporting that the Museum has been maintained in good order and has received considerable accessions during the year, notwithstanding the absence from my duties for a period of six months, considerately granted me by the Council on account of a temporary failure of health.
My colleagues, Dr. Goodhart and Mr. Alban Doran (who was appointed Assistant in the Museum in November last in succession to Mr. Lidderdale, resigned), and the whole of the staff have most efficiently carried on the duties of their various departments, according to arrangements made before my departure. The only important work that has been interrupted has been the rearrangement and cataloguing of the Palæontological Collections, the need of which was alluded to in the last Report, and which I hope shortly to be able to resume.
PATHOLOGICAL COLLECTION. As many as 274 of the preparations in this series have been remounted during the year, and 66 new ones have been added. Among the latter is an interesting complete articulated skeleton, showing a very peculiar condition of the vertebral column, arrest of development of the left side of the lower cervical and upper dorsal vertebræ and of the first left rib, with ankylosis of the bodies of the corresponding vertebræ, accompanied by angular curvature of the upper lumbar region.
It may not be out of place to take this opportunity of reminding the Members of the Committee, and through them the profession generally, of the desirability of giving larger support to this department of the Museum by means of donations.
The College, having none of the facilities for obtaining and selecting specimens possessed by the Museums of Medical Schools attached to Hospitals where operations and post-mortem examinations are of constant occurrence, is entirely dependent upon the contributions of those who desire to see the Hunterian Museum worthily maintain its place as a central or national institution for illustrating, as far as may be by preserved specimens, the facts of pathological anatomy.
The Conservators are well aware of the difficulties in the way of obtaining what is here asked for-the trouble and occasional expense of forwarding specimens *, the necessity for promptitude in doing so, the frequent deterioration or destruction of the specimens by packing or travelling, and, lastly, the disappointment which must often be felt by the donor at finding that - the specimen, being a duplicate, or not in good condition, or, as too often happens, from not having any history sent with it, does not obtain a permanent place on the Museum shelves. But an earnest desire to promote the objects of the collection will overcome all of these. The profession may satisfy themselves by an inspection of the annual exhibition of new preparations, and of the collection in the galleries of the Museum, that every specimen which really supplies a deficiency in any series will be duly cared for, properly dissected, catalogued, and, without more delay than is absolutely necessary in preparation, exhibited in its proper place in the Museum. It will be easily understood that discrimination in respect to selection must be left to the Conservators, who in all doubtful cases refer to the Museum Committee. It is almost impossible to say beforehand, without a careful examination of a specimen, and often until it is actually dissected and mounted, whether it ought or ought not to be placed in the Museum; its value depends not on its being an example of a particular disease, but upon whether or to what extent it exhibits and illustrates the anatomical characters of that disease. It is moreover desirable, in a Museum maintained in an efficient teaching condition, that old or inferior specimens should be occasionally replaced by others showing the same facts in a more perfect
Probably the idea that all departments of Pathology are adequately represented already in so large a collection as ours deters many from sending specimens which, although comparatively common, are still desiderata-among which may specially be mentioned Lardaceous diseases of Viscera, Visceral Syphilis, Phthisis (more especially the chronic fibroid form), and Diseases of the Valves of the Heart.
OSTEOLOGICAL COLLECTION. The collection of Comparative Anthropology has been considerably increased during the year; and the series of articulated skeletons of different races of men begin to form an important feature in the Museum. A female Australian from Queensland, and two very characteristic WestAfrican Negroes from the seat of the late war, presented a few years
* It need hardly be said that the carriage and other attendant expenses will in all cases be willingly paid on receipt of the parcel at ths College.
back by Staff-Surgeon J. R. Thomas, though not recent additions to the
It is singular that the very remarkable race which for some thousands
years occupied so important a position in history, and with whom so much of the arts and sciences of the civilized world appears to have originated, the Ancient Egyptians, are most inadequately represented in our craniological collections. Yet this race of all others, by their universal practice of embalming the dead, took the most efficient measures for giving those that lived after them the opportunity of studying their physical characteristics, as by the graphic representations with which they covered the walls of their tombs and temples they perpetuated a knowledge of their manners and customs while living. Our Museum a year ago only contained nine crania ascribed to inhabitants of Ancient Egypt; and the largest general collection of skulls in England, that of Dr. Barnard Davis*, has only ten. It is much to be feared that the opportunity of forming a really valuable collection of the skulls of these people, authenticated as to locality and probable antiquity, is rapidly passing away, and ere long will be entirely lost. In the eager search for papyri, scarabæi, and other archæological treasures, the inmates of all the known and accessible tombs have been literally torn to pieces, and the scattered fragments of their bodies thrown out on the desert sand to perish under the scorching sun, or with their bitumenized wrappings to serve as fuel for their degenerate successors. During my recent visit to Egypt I was fortunately able to secure and bring home ten skulls in tolerably perfect condition from the great necropolis of Thebes, which have now been cleaned and added to the Collection; and I would suggest to others who may have the privilege of travelling in that most interesting land to make a similar contribution to the preserved and accessible
* This magnificent collection, at the time of the publication of the Catalogue in 1867, numbered 1540 specimens. Our Museum contains at present 937, of which 284 are described in the Catalogue published in 1853, and 653 have been added since,
should uore per
7 all case
materials for the history of the human species. As the number of such specimens is absolutely limited, their value will certainly be very much increased in the future in consequence of the greater attention to the subject of Anthropology and the multiplication of Museums.
These skulls, in the injury to the ethmoid bone, all confirm the statement of Herodotus, in his description of the method of embalming practised by the Ancient Egyptians, that "in the first place, with an iron hook, they draw out the brain through the nostrils, and fill up the vacuum by injecting drugs."
Among other additions to the general Osteological Series are two very instructive skulls of fishes, the Salmon and Trout, in which the central cartilaginous portions are reproduced by a plastic composition, and the ossified bones around them are consequently retained in their natural position and relations, which in the old system of mounting fishes' skulls was almost impossible.
Two skeletons of the Fur-Seal of the Falkland Islands (Otaria falklandica), male and female, have been presented by Mr. Coleman, who has thus liberally availed himself of his opportunities, as Secretary to the Falkland Islands Company, of furthering a scientific knowledge of the animals which have hitherto only been treated as a source of pecuniary gain. •Dr. Horace N. Watts, formerly Colonial Surgeon at the Islands, has also presented a very fine skull of the Sea-lion (Otaria jubata).
Mr. Sclater has presented two valuable skulls of young individuals of Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) from Mexico, showing the progress of ossification of the remarkable nasal septum characteristic of this species;
and Mr. R. Swinhoe, of H.M. Consular Service, who has added so greatly to our knowledge of the zoology of China, has, as on several previous occasions, enriched the Osteological Series by various specimens collected by himself, including a perfect example of the Water-Deer (Hydropotis inermis), remarkable for its great canine teeth and absence of antlers. The existence of this animal was quite unknown to science until it was discovered a few years since by Mr. Swinhoe in the neighbourhood of Shanghai. Many of the specimens sent to the Museum by Mr. Swinhoe during the past year are still in preparation, and so cannot appear in the list of additions to the Museum till next year, as is also the case with a small collection of skeletons and skulls of animals which I made in Egypt.
To the series of Cetacean skeletons a long-desired addition has been obtained in a complete specimen of the very singular freshwater Dolphin of the Ganges (Platanista gangetica), received, through the courtesy of Professor Rolleston, in exchange with the Oxford University Museum. The animal was captured by T. P. Griffiths, Esq., about two hundred miles northwest of Calcutta. As
As a duplicate skeleton of a Thylacine or Tasmanian Wolf, sent to us last year by Mr. W. L. Crowther, F.R.C.S., of Hobart Town, formed a considerable part of the per contra of this exchange, we may fairly include the Platanista among the numerous contributions for which the Museum is indebted to that gentleman.