Media: Slideshow

Cadaver Societies

Sixth Club Cadaver Society (1899–1900)

Members of the Sixth Club Cadaver Society at the University of Virginia pose for a macabre photograph during the 1899–1900 term. As part of their studies, these white medical students dissected corpses in the Anatomical Laboratory, a building near the Anatomical Theatre on the university's grounds.

A corpse lies in the laps of the students in the front row, and a dead body in the back row is made to look alive, with a cigarette placed in his mouth and his shriveled arms draped over the shoulders of two of the students. A coffin-like plank at right bears the drawing of a skull and bones and lists ten names, presumably the names of the students. An eleventh name, barely visible, is separated from the other names by two drawn lines—perhaps the name of the African American at left, who holds a saw in one hand and a long knife in another. African Americans worked as custodians in the anatomical buildings.

Citation: University of Virginia Visual History Collection, RG-30/1/10.011, prints21919. Historical Collections & Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: 1899–1900

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

"3rd Club" Cadaver Society

Members of the "3rd Club" cadaver society at the University of Virginia pose with corpses and body parts in 1909. As part of their studies, these white medical students dissected corpses in the Anatomical Laboratory, a buding near the Anatomical Theatre on the university's grounds.

At bottom right is an African American man, probably a custodian who worked in the laboratory. Names are written on a coffin at left, among them "Frank Stiff Doctor."

Citation: University of Virginia Visual History Collection, RG-30/1/10.011, prints21920. Historical Collections & Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: 1909

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Sixth Club Cadaver Society (1893)

Members of the Sixth Club Cadaver Society at the University of Virginia pose with corpses and a skeleton in 1893. As part of their studies, these white medical students dissected corpses in the Anatomical Laboratory, a building near the Anatomical Theatre on the university's grounds.

An African American man, probably a custodian who worked in the laboratory, is seated next to the table holding a dead body. Hanging on the wall behind the group is a coffin-shaped plank with a humorous inscription noting that the law class died on March 21, 1893. Beneath that is a list of athletic events the class presumably lost.

Citation: University of Virginia Visual History Collection, RG-30/1/10.011, prints21917. Historical Collections & Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: 1893

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

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  • Sixth Club Cadaver Society (1899–1900)

    Members of the Sixth Club Cadaver Society at the University of Virginia pose for a macabre photograph during the 1899–1900 term. As part of their studies, these white medical students dissected corpses in the Anatomical Laboratory, a building near the Anatomical Theatre on the university's grounds.

    A corpse lies in the laps of the students in the front row, and a dead body in the back row is made to look alive, with a cigarette placed in his mouth and his shriveled arms draped over the shoulders of two of the students. A coffin-like plank at right bears the drawing of a skull and bones and lists ten names, presumably the names of the students. An eleventh name, barely visible, is separated from the other names by two drawn lines—perhaps the name of the African American at left, who holds a saw in one hand and a long knife in another. African Americans worked as custodians in the anatomical buildings.

    Citation: University of Virginia Visual History Collection, RG-30/1/10.011, prints21919. Historical Collections & Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: 1899–1900

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

  • "3rd Club" Cadaver Society

    Members of the "3rd Club" cadaver society at the University of Virginia pose with corpses and body parts in 1909. As part of their studies, these white medical students dissected corpses in the Anatomical Laboratory, a buding near the Anatomical Theatre on the university's grounds.

    At bottom right is an African American man, probably a custodian who worked in the laboratory. Names are written on a coffin at left, among them "Frank Stiff Doctor."

    Citation: University of Virginia Visual History Collection, RG-30/1/10.011, prints21920. Historical Collections & Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: 1909

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

  • Sixth Club Cadaver Society (1893)

    Members of the Sixth Club Cadaver Society at the University of Virginia pose with corpses and a skeleton in 1893. As part of their studies, these white medical students dissected corpses in the Anatomical Laboratory, a building near the Anatomical Theatre on the university's grounds.

    An African American man, probably a custodian who worked in the laboratory, is seated next to the table holding a dead body. Hanging on the wall behind the group is a coffin-shaped plank with a humorous inscription noting that the law class died on March 21, 1893. Beneath that is a list of athletic events the class presumably lost.

    Citation: University of Virginia Visual History Collection, RG-30/1/10.011, prints21917. Historical Collections & Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: 1893

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library