Dissecting History at The Legacy Center - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »


Dissecting History at The Legacy Center

Spend an afternoon exploring the secretive and sometimes sordid world of 19th-century anatomical dissection at two historic Philadelphia medical schools.

Join Atlas Obscura Society Philadelphia and The Legacy Center: Archives and Special Collections of Drexel College of Medicine for an afternoon exploring the secretive, and sometimes sordid, world of 19th-century anatomical dissection at two historic Philadelphia medical schools: Hahnemann Medical College, the nation’s first homeopathic medical school; and The Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the nation’s first all-female degree-granting medical school.

Our event will take place at The Drexel College of Medicine on Queens Lane in East Falls—a short drive or train ride from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. Attendees will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Legacy Center’s collections area, concluding with a visit to see “Harriet,” the world’s first complete anatomical preparation of the human nervous system, crafted in the 1880s by anatomist and Hahnemann Professor, Rufus B. Weaver, a rare opportunity as Harriet is normally not publicly available to view.

The event will also include a hands-on talk on Philadelphia’s rich medical history— focusing on the crossover between anatomy and photography—featuring documents and artifacts from the Legacy Center’s rare collections, such as anatomical and alchemical texts from the 1500s, medical teaching specimens, student dissecting kits, photographs from the anatomy lab taken by the students themselves, and much more!

The Legacy Center is the repository for the records and heritage of Drexel University College of Medicine and its predecessor institutions, including Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (W/MCP) and Hahnemann University.


  • Please meet at the front entrance of the College of Medicine
  • Parking is available near the College of Medicine and the location is easily accessible via train for 30th Street Station.
  • The Drexel College of Medicine is an active medical school. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to start time in order to complete check-in procedures at the security desk.


Email Ryan Susurrus at  ryan@atlasobscura.com.

Stay connected! Subscribe to the Atlas Obscura Society Philadelphia newsletter and join our Facebook group for a first glimpse at upcoming events.

Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.