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On 23 March 1903, Oswaldo Cruz takes office for the first time as General-Director of the Public Health General Directorate, having eradication of yellow fever as one of his priority objectives.  In order to do so, Oswaldo Cruz requested researchers of Instituto Soroterápico de Manguinhos (Manguinhos Institute of Serum Therapy) to conduct an anatomical pathology study on yellow fever and diagnosis in post-mortem exams. After necropsy, major organs presenting changes were preserved by the Kaiserling method and sent to the Museum of Instituto Soroterápico de Manguinhos.

Decree No. 17.512, dated 5 November 1926, presented new rules after Instituto Oswaldo Cruz – IOC (Oswaldo Cruz Institute) increased its objectives and attributions, specifying, in scientific sections, organisation, preservation and control norms for Scientific Collections and museum organisation. The Anatomical Pathology Section, one of the first sections in Manguinhos, was responsible for the maintenance of the Pathology Museum. Article 16 of the referred to Regulation also said: “the services of pathology and surgery will be destined to the diagnosis of surgical pieces sent to the Institute and will serve as a development tool for the Museum.”  Article 17 addressed procedures for maintenance and preservation of the Anatomical Pathology Museum. It mentioned that work and autopsy research results would be regularly and carefully recorded in the Museum, with the creation of a catalogue with all anatomical pieces studied. Article 18 especially addressed the need to organise a Collection of normal and pathological histology preparations, and compared embryology and human embryology preparations.

The 1931 Regulation clearly translated the relevant role of Collections in the scientific and institutional pathway of IOC. Among the auxiliary sections of the Institute, one can find the Museum with organised and defined attributions for the purposes of guarding and preserving the inheritance gained from scientific research.  As to the role of Museum staff, in addition to the tasks mentioned above, they were responsible for organising catalogues of exposed pieces, and recording material ingoing and outgoing activities.

This process of IOC Scientific Collection formation, with evidence in Regulations, shows a pursuit of research qualification through the construction and institutionalisation of its scientific inheritance as an effective means to achieve autonomy, in addition to the conduction, consolidation and expansion of research, which turned the different scientific fields into reality in today’s Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation).

The Pathology Museum is not only an “eye” witness, but also a “concrete” witness of all movements that have taken place in the Institution. One example of that is the collection of the museum that was scattered from 1930 to 1970. In the nineties, the remaining pieces of the Pathology Museum were transferred to IOC Pathology Department (PD). In 2007, after the conduction of a study by the PD team about the Collections under their responsibility, and based on its incorporation history and institutional mission, the team proposed the gathering of all three Collections in the Pathology Museum, which became the museum responsible for keeping the following Institutional Collections that, in addition to being rare, are irreplaceable and were part of the historical, scientific and cultural inheritance of Brazil:

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Manguinhos - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brasil CEP: 21040-360


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