UTMB Moody Medical Library Keiller Drawings in the Blocker History of Medicine Collections


William Keiller, M.D. Department of Anatomy Drawings

In the summer of 1891, Dr. Keiller answered an ad in the British Medical Journal and was offered a position at the new University of Texas Medical Department in Galveston as its first anatomy professor. Dr. Keiller used his art training to demonstrate anatomical structures and relationships in his sketches and drawings.

This training also benefited the university as demand for resources often exceeded tight budgets. Medical and anatomy textbooks were expensive and in an effort to save money, many of the drawings were copied from the illustrations in these textbooks. Most of the drawings measure 24" X 36" and were used as teaching tools in the classroom. Many of them are quite colorful and are labeled in great detail.


View the collection in UTMB Health SHARED

The drawings in this collection provide insight as to how anatomy was studied and taught at the end of the nineteenth-century and the beginning of the twentieth-century. Scholars across a wide variety of disciplines including the history of medicine, nineteenth and twentieth-century medical education, general history, and art history can benefit from access to these drawings.

Anatomy Lab
Dr. Keiller (in white) teaching circa 1900 with drawings in the background.

There are 2,540 drawings in the collection. Dr. Keiller created over 200 while the remaining were drawn by at least 60 UTMB students or faculty members. Artists include: Dr. Marie Charlotte Schaefer, 1900 UTMB graduate and UTMB’s first female professor; Dr. James E. Thompson, UTMB’s first professor of surgery; and medical illustrator, George W. Newman.

A full list of artists is available upon request.

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