The Dupuytren Anatomical and Pathological Collections: History and Complexity of the Wet Collections

E. Quetel
2020 Collection Forum  
THE HISTORY OF THE MEDICAL COLLECTIONS Since 2016, the Dupuytren Pathological Anatomy Collections have been housed on the Pierre and Marie Curie Campus in Paris, now part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the Sorbonne Université. The then-called Dupuytren Museum was founded in 1835 by Guillaume Dupuytren, anatomist and surgeon, and Dean Mathieu Orfila, a Spanish doctor, chemist, and pioneer of forensic toxicology. It was hosted at the old refectory of the Cordeliers until 1937 and
more » ... n moved to the practice school of medicine at the Paris Descartes medical university (Abelanet and Saint-Maur 1990). In 1880, the collections were composed of approximately 6,000 inventoried items according to the catalog established by Charles-Nicolas Houel (1877) and today comprise 15,000 to 20,000 pieces, many of which were collected throughout the 19 th century and at the beginning of the 20 th century. The collections are structured around several types of objects-anatomical waxes, osteological and anatomical specimens, scientific instruments, specimens preserved in fluids, books, drawings, patient records, radiographs, histological slides, printed pictures, and silver bromide photographic plates. The objects in the collection are of various origins, especially the specimens prepared for medical practical courses-some of them are from research conducted at the Anatomical Society of Paris or from different hospitals in the Public Hospitals of Paris (Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris), whereas others come from international field trips (e.g., Brazil and the UK or from specific collections such as the neuropathological Jules and Augusta Dejerine Collection). This abstract focuses only on the fixed and fluid-preserved specimens in the collection. Today that corresponds to approximately 3,800 pieces representing different preparation techniques (Fig. 1 )-various types of containers, sealants, preserving liquids, and labels with various types of damage (e.g., leaks, cracks, and contamination with mold or grease). FLUID SPECIMENS: COLLECTION OVERVIEW The historical part of the fluid collection is composed of well-preserved specimens supposedly in their original fluid and container. Jars are mostly sealed with Maissiat (tallow, talc, and caoutchouc [unvulcanized natural rubber]) and have historical labels such as "Faculty of Medicine of Paris-Dupuytren Museum" with descriptions of the pieces. Most specimens are attached to glass rods and sometimes to colored (blue or white) glass plates (Fig. 2 ). This part of the collection mainly consists of pathological anatomy
doi:10.14351/0831-4985-34.1.124 fatcat:vkfb3gy2jzheboj7pdggnctoqy