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May. 20, 2011

Antique Anatomy Lessons

by Katherine

Click to enlarge images

Duke University Libraries

A new exhibit at Duke University Library, “Animated Anatomies,” takes a look at anatomical flap books. What’s a flap book?

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. – Duke University Library

To see some beautiful photos and learn more about the history of flap books, visit the exhibit’s website. Lots of great information.

The Library also put up this video showing some archivists carefully flipping through the flaps of these old books. It’s ten minutes of turning pages, but it’s oddly mesmerizing.


If you’re near Durham, check out the exhibit, which runs through July 17.

[via Laughing Squid]

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About Katherine

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