e-Skeletons®: The digital library as a platform for studying anatomical form and function

John Kappelman, Timothy Ryan, Myriam Zylstra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Anatomy is one of the fundamental fields that underlie the study of most subjects in the biological sciences. For example, sciences grounded in gross anatomy such as physical anthropology, biology, and paleontology all rely on the study of the skeleton of humans, primates, other mammals, and lower vertebrates, and these studies also form the basis for much of medical science. Until recently, learning anatomy was literally a "hands on" experience, with students studying, measuring, and comparing actual skeletons during their laboratory sessions. Recent advances in three-dimensional digitizing hardware and software now make it possible, practical, and economical to scan complexly shaped skeletal elements and archive these materials in a digital library that in turn can provide broad access for study and research. These materials can easily include a full range of separate skeletal elements from a variety of large and small sized species as well as elements linked together and animated as joint complexes. The e-Skeletons digital library will have wide ranging educational implications because it will make a broad range of study and research materials available to students of anatomy hailing from a wide number of disciplines, across the K through grey levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalD-Lib Magazine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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