Harvey Collection

HARVEY COLLECTION

The remarkable collection of slides, named after Dr. Thomas Harvey (the pathologist who conducted the autopsy of Albert Einstein in 1955), was donated to the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) in Silver Spring, Maryland, after the pathologist’s death.  The museum has a mission to preserve and protect this collection while facilitating its safe, responsible, and scholarly study.  The digitization of the slides captures the vast amount of information contained in the slides at a resolution high enough so that the slides can be stored safely away while the data can be made available to everyone.

About two-thirds of the total slides from the Einstein brain collection have been released to the public. Work is currently underway to release the remaining images.  The digitization project was funded by the Buonacorsi Foundation, which supports projects in the arts and sciences that promise to provide a long-lasting positive impact on the human condition.

 

EINSTEIN BRAIN ATLAS APP

The Einstein Brain Atlas app for iPad was developed for NMHM Chicago by Tyler, Texas-based Eolas Technologies Inc. The app allows neuroscientists, researchers, educators, and others interested in science to explore sections of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist’s brain in microscopic detail. All profits from app sales are being donated by Eolas to support both museums.

NMHM is engaged in a collaborative agreement with the National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago (NMHM Chicago). NMHM Chicago performed digital scans of Dr. Harvey's slide sets. The Chicago team contributed a complete set of the new digital scans of the Harvey slides to the NMHM archives as part of the agreement. Using the digital high-resolution scans of the Einstein slides, NMHM Chicago published a new interactive application called the "Einstein Brain Atlas" in September 2012. Scientists at NMHM Chicago developed an atlas of Einstein's brain from more than 350 neuroanatomical images. The slides can be explored at the cellular level using the innovative new Vscope System, a virtual microscope also designed by scientists working for NMHM Chicago.

 

GALLERY INSTALLATION

To inspire the next generation of brain researchers, the Einstein Brain Atlas iPad app was displayed as an exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) as part of an installation titled "What Can We Learn from a Brain?". The temporary exhibit was on display from March 19, 2013 until June 30, 2013. The app was displayed in the NMHM gallery on a 60-inch interactive screen with a multi-touch overlay, allowing visitors to interact with hundreds of life-size, ultra-high resolution slides of Einstein's neuroanatomy via the virtual microscope system.

"This exciting project represents the first time a cloud-based iPad application of this scale has been adapted to stand alone in a museum environment," said Dr. Michael Doyle, Chairman of the National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago. "We faced significant technical challenges to create a system which provides the same 10 terabytes of Einstein neuroanatomical images that the Einstein Brain Atlas iPad app delivers over the Internet, only in a museum exhibit running an internal virtual cloud. The virtual microscope system that looks cool running on a 10-inch iPad looks amazing running on a 60-inch interactive display in the museum." Also included in the exhibit is the first ever 3D model of Einstein's brain, created using multiple reference photos at different angles. Both the iPad app and the museum adaptation of it are the result of a collaborative research and development agreement between the DoD's national medical museum in Maryland and the NMHM Chicago.

http://www.medicalmuseum.mil/index.cfm?p=media.news.article.never_before_seen_photos_of_albert_einsteins_brain

 

 

Take a look at the Keepsayk scrapbook that we created about the project:

 

3D Model of Einstein's Brain

The exhibit included the first ever 3D model of Einstein's brain, created using multiple reference photos at different angles.

3D model completed by NMHM Chicago's: Amie Zimmerman and Jennifer Rogers

Permission for use of the photographs of Einstein's brain was given by the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Superior view of Einstein brain, prior to sectioning. (OHA184.06.001.001.00004.00011). OHA 184: Harvey Collection. Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine. 
Inferior view of Einstein brain, prior to sectioning. (OHA184.06.001.001.00004.00013). OHA 184: Harvey Collection. Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine. 
Right lateral view of Einstein brain, prior to sectioning. (OHA184.06.001.001.00004.00003). OHA 184: Harvey Collection. Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine. 
Left lateral view of Einstein brain, prior to sectioning. (OHA184.06.001.001.00004.00006). OHA 184: Harvey Collection. Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine. 
Anterior view of Einstein brain, prior to sectioning. (OHA184.06.001.001.00002.00001). OHA 184: Harvey Collection. Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine. 
Posterior view of Einstein brain, prior to sectioning. (OHA184.06.001.001.00002.00006). OHA 184: Harvey Collection. Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine.