The museum is located on the top floor of the Anderson Stuart building, room W601.
|Admission||External visitors are welcome by arrangement. Please contact the curator.|
|Cost||Admission is free to external individual visitors, anatomy students, bona fide researchers and scholars although some services, such as group visits, attract a fee.|
|Research access||Access to the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander skeletal collection may be given once permission is obtained from the relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Access to non-Aboriginal skeletal remains may be given with permission from the curator and the Head of Discipline.|
Our collections are mainly of human, other primate and mammalian skeletons as well as casts and endocranial casts of hominids. These include:
Dr Thorne donated his extensive fossil cast collection to the J. L. Shellshear Museum and it includes the largest collection of fossil casts of the human lineage in Australia as well as the widest range of African, Chinese and Indonesian fossil casts outside of Beijing and Jogjakarta.
This exhibition includes a broad range of material, from journal entries and personal photographs, to skull casts, diagrams, and specimens that help explore J. L. Shellshear’s key research, as well as his contribution to the study of the human brain.
Research in the museum focuses on human osteology, burial practices, forensic osteology, dental morphometrics and identification of skeletal and non-human bone. Specific projects include:
The museum is named after Joseph Lexden Shellshear (1885-1958) a Sydney University medical graduate who was the Research Professor of Anatomy at the University of Sydney from 1937 to 1948. He is known for his work on the development of the peripheral nervous system on the study of the arterial blood supply to the brain and on the comparative morphology of the human skull and brain.
Shellshear donated to the Department of Anatomy a large collection of human brains (no longer extant), skull and brain casts, books, bound scientific papers and records relating to his research work. This material was added to the department's osteological and zoological collections to form this museum, established and named in Shellshear's honour in 1959. Since then, much anthropological and archival material has been added to the collections. The museum has been completely refurbished and has become an important research facility for anthropological, forensic and other research work.