Detailed medical pop-up books are enlightening, horrifying

Right in time for lunch comes Animated Anatomies, a gallery released by Duke University of "anatomical flap books." Think pop-up books for children, just for doctor's with iron stomachs.

These flap books are the precursor to what we think of as a pop-up book, in fact, as they were used by 16th century surgeons and physicians to study the body in layers.

From Duke:

Animated Anatomies explores the visually stunning and technically complex genre of printed texts and illustrations known as anatomical flap books. These publications invite the viewer to participate in virtual autopsies, through the process of unfolding their movable leaves, simulating the act of human dissection. This exhibit traces the flap book genre beginning with early examples from the sixteenth century, to the colorful "golden age" of complex flaps of the nineteenth century, and finally to the common children's pop-up anatomy books of today.

Click through the gallery below for more. Obligatory warning: this is a medical gallery, so maybe give it a skip if you're squeamish or offended by the different bits and pieces of the human anatomy. A video of the collection can be seen by clicking this link.

Duke Library Exhibits, via Nerdcore, via Laughing Squid

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