Leiden Declaration on Human Anatomy / Anatomical Collections

The Leiden Declaration on Human Anatomy / Anatomical Collections is the outcome of a recent conference in Leiden on the history of anatomical collections and results from the worries all the conference participants seemed to share concerning the fate of many anatomical collections worldwide.

The Leiden Declaration on Human Anatomy / Anatomical Collections is the outcome of a recent conference in Leiden on the history of anatomical collections and results from the worries all the conference participants seemed to share concerning the fate of many anatomical collections worldwide. Without denying that in many institutions anatomical collections are well cared for, we are also aware of many collections kept in appalling circumstances: bone collections stored in sea containers, preparations kept inappropriately in un-acclimatized cellars and attics, wax preparations abandoned to attics where temperatures reach to over 50 degrees Celsius, insecure storage, pots not topped up, provenances lost.

Particularly in times of financial crisis and the strain this puts on academic funding for staff time to sustain the conservation, adequate storage and good preservation of collections, it is important to reinforce oversight of our academic and anatomical heritage. The Leiden Declaration addresses the great importance of good custodianship of anatomical collections. It is our sincere hope that it will help initiate discussion and actions concerning the care of this important part of our international academic and medical heritage.

Last Modified: 12-06-2012