Alumni Services

A medical marvel

Tour the University’s Anatomical Museum from your phone or tablet and win Robert Burns’ skull in our exclusive alumni competition.

Anatomical Museum
The Anatomical Museum, a unique teaching and study space within the old Medical School building.

If you studied medicine at the University then you are probably familiar with the artifacts, drawings and specimens that make up the Anatomical Museum’s collection. You will also remember the vaulted room within the old Medical School building in Teviot Place that currently houses the Museum itself.

Jam-packed with wooden display cabinets, skeletons, charts, models and artworks, the room is still used as a teaching and study space for medical students and until recently was the sole preserve of staff and students of the University.

The Museum has been open to the public for one day a month since 2012, but a new interactive app launched last week means that its treasures are now open to a much larger worldwide audience.

Secret places

As well as providing digital access to the Museum, the free app opens up areas of the Old Medical School building that are not usually accessible to the public even when the Museum is open.

The skeleton of Burke viewed on the new Anatomical Museum app
The skeleton of Burke viewed on the Anatomical Museum app.

These include a room containing more than 1500 skulls from around the world, the University’s morgue (or receiving room), where bodies bequeathed to the Medical School are brought into the building, and the Artists’ Flat, a room above the anatomy laboratories that was historically used to produce detailed drawings and paintings of dissected human body parts for use as teaching aids.

A slice of history

Using the app users can select individual objects to learn more about their history, including the skeleton of infamous serial killer William Burke, who was hanged and publicly dissected in 1829 for his part in the notorious West Port murders.

Other attractions include life and death masks of celebrated figures from history, including Oliver Cromwell, Sir Walter Scott and Napoleon Bonaparte.


Robert Burns’ skull
Win Robert Burns’ skull in our alumni competition.

To celebrate the launch of the app we have commissioned a 3D printed version of one of the items from the collection, a copy of Robert Burns’ skull, as a prize for the first individual who downloads the app and answers the following questions correctly.

The competition has now closed and the winner is:

Stephen J. Johnson, PhD Civil & Environmental Engineering, 2004

Thank you to everyone who entered!


The app is available to download from the following links:

The app has been developed by Edinburgh-based Luma 3D Interactive, a leading technology firm that specialises in 3D scanning and interactive tours as well as virtual and augmented reality. It is free to download and is functional on iOS and Android platforms. A Windows version is coming soon.

Related links

Anatomical Museum

The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Donating your body

Luma 3D Interactive