Friedrich Tiedemann Library of Anatomy and Physiology


After resigning his professorship of anatomy and physiology at Heidelberg due to deteriorating eyesight, Friedrich Tiedemann (1781-1861) sold his extensive personal library—over 4,600 volumes, assembled over fifty years—to Dr. Morrill Wyman (1812-1904) of Cambridge. On June 12, 1893, Wyman presented the Tiedemann Collection to the Cambridge Public Library, and Oliver Wendell Holmes said of the gift, “It is a great thing to have such a library as that of Tiedemann as a nucleus for a scientific collection. His wide investigations during his life of eighty years, through many branches of anatomy and physiology, must have caused him to bring together a great number of works of which it would be hard to find duplicates outside of the great European libraries.” After Morrill Wyman’s death, the Cambridge Public Library placed the Tiedemann collection on deposit with the Boston Medical Library in 1904; that deposit was then converted to an outright gift in 1966, following the opening of the Countway building.

The collection is rich in works of comparative anatomy and physiology as well as pathological anatomy, ethnology, and natural history, and contains classics by Hippocrates, Eustachius, Andreas Vesalius, William Harvey, Giambattista Morgagni, Albert Von Haller, Johann Heinrich Jacob Müller, Antonio Scarpa, and Tiedemann’s own publications. While the bulk of the collection derives from the 18th and early 19th centuries, there are texts included as early as the 16th century.

Items in the Friedrich Tiedemann Library of Anatomy and Physiology Collection

In 1854, increasing blindness forced Friedrich Tiedemann to resign his position at Heidelberg and sell the anatomical and physiological library which he had been collecting and using for over fifty years. Tiedemann sent copies of this printed…

Tiedemann’s early research on the anatomy of the sea cucumber, sea urchin, and starfish earned him the 1812 prize of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

Reproduced from J. A. C. Schott, Die Controverse über die Nerven des Nabelstrangs (1836) in the Tiedemann Collection of the Boston Medical Library

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