Pop-up Medicine

An online exhibit from Duke University Libraries features early anatomy books.

Animated Anatomies explores the visually stunning and technically complex genre of printed texts and illustrations known as anatomical flap books. These publications invite the viewer to participate in virtual autopsies, through the process of unfolding their movable leaves, simulating the act of human dissection. This exhibit traces the flap book genre beginning with early examples from the sixteenth century, to the colorful ‘golden age’ of complex flaps of the nineteenth century, and finally to the common children’s pop-up anatomy books of today.

This display includes volumes from Duke’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, the Duke Medical Center Library & Archives History of Medicine Collection and from the private collections of the curators of the exhibit, Professor Valeria Finucci, Director of Duke’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Professor Maurizio Rippa-Bonati, historian of medicine at the University of Padua.”

From the Duke Library Exhibits site

Image: Joseph Gibbons Richardson. Medicology, or, Home encyclopedia of health :
a complete family guide… 1904. Vol. I
(Courtesy Of Duke University Libraries.)