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The History of Surgery Museum

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The History of Surgery Museum explores Edinburgh's unique contribution to surgical practice in modern times. It also highlights the College's connection with   Joseph Bell, the man credited as the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, as well as   tracing the history of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh from its inception in 1505 to the present day. 

This Museum traces the key dates in Scotland’s surgical advanc
es and focuses on key figures such as James Syme and pre-anaesthesia surgery, Joseph Lister and the breakthrough discovery of antiseptic and James Young Simpson and the discovery of chloroform as an anaesthetic. 

The History of Surgery Museum also features a dedicated Anatomy Theatre, with an interactive dissection table. Allowing for interpretation of the College's history and of the objects within the collection.

Burkes pocketbookVisitors to the Museum are able to learn about forensics in Edinburgh, view some of the museums oldest specimens; originally collected by John Barclay and learn about common surgical procedures whilst trying their hand at newer ones.

Visitors will learn about murderers Burke and Hare and discover how dissection was used as a punishment (pictured left a pocketbook said to be made out of the skin of William Burke).

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