The Body Collected: A social and cultural history of human specimen collections and museums in Australia, 1862–2015

This thesis examines the role that collected human remains assumed in the production of medical knowledge and attitudes towards the body in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Australia. Located at the intersection of the history of medicine and collecting culture, it challenges previous scholarship that has considered collected specimens to be biological objects, to recast them as dynamic cultural objects. In doing so, this thesis found collected specimens to be not only deeply embedded in the fabric of Australian medical history, but also part of evolving debates concerning the uses of human remains in the present day.