The Hunterian Museum boasts unrivalled collections of human and non-human anatomical and pathological specimens, models, instruments, painting and sculptures that reveal the art and science of surgery from the 17th century to the present day.
In 1799 the UK government purchased the collection of the surgeon and anatomist John Hunter FRS (1728-1793). It was placed in the care of the Company (later the Royal College) of Surgeons. Hunter's collection of around 15,000 specimens and preparations formed the nucleus of one of the greatest museums of comparative anatomy, pathology, osteology and natural history in the world.
The Hunterian Collection today contains approximately 3,500 specimens and preparations from John Hunter's original collection. The collection still includes many of Hunter's most famous specimens, including those showing his successful ligation of the femoral artery for popliteal aneurysm and his experiments on collateral circulation. Other specimens demonstrate Hunter's extensive and varied researches on subjects such as bone growth, transplantation and freemartins.
The Museum today also houses The College's Museum Collection containing about 2,500 specimens acquired after 1799. The Odontological Collection, which contains an extensive array of skulls, jaws and teeth from humans and hundreds of species of animals. As well as A Historical Surgical Instrument collection.