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Baltimore Living

Best Collection of Mummies

The Burns Collection

Photo: Christopher Myers, License: N/A

Christopher Myers

Best Collection of Mummies: The Burns Collection


Deep inside the halls of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in the heart of downtown Baltimore, is an amazing group of medical mummies dating back to the 19th century. Allen Burns, at the age of 16, was in charge of the dissecting rooms at the College Street Medical School in Glasgow, Scotland. He and a partner were skilled dissectors and created the collection which was given to the School of Medicine in 1820. Not much is known about where the bodies came from, but best guess is that many were executed prisoners, plus maybe a few grave-robbing victims. The mummies are salted, almost petrified segments of the human form for showing the medical student the intricacies of the body. There is no real place for the mummies as of now, so they sit in a room, stacked in cardboard boxes, like a storage room from the most fantastical horror film ever.

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