Public domain anatomy

Hello everyone,

I try to find anatomical illustrations/books that are now in the public domain.
There must be plenty of ‘not-so-old’ drawings that can now be used to teach/leran anatomy and still I do not find a good database of the copyleft libraries.

Happy new year, gentlemen!

Well, I found this:

This free book looks quite comprehensive:

I find traditional anatomical textbooks helpful for getting the physiology, nomenclature, etc. but the artistic drawings are often very misleading when trying to understand 3D anatomy. I would expect that annotated (segmented) 3D images and colored surface scans will largely replace these idealized 2D drawings, especially when you explore them in virtual reality, interacting with 6-degree of freedom controllers and head tracking (which have become very affordable recently). Virtual reality should be able to replace rigid physical anatomical models and may partially replace cadaver labs.

There is a strong push towards gathering high-quality, reliable anatomical segmentation in

From our OpenAnatomy collaborators I’ve also learned that doing manual image segmentation on CT and MRI is a very effective exercise to learn shape and spatial relationships between structures: Students learned anatomy from textbooks and lectures and then tried to segment selected structures from CT. Students said they were confident they understood the anatomy well after reading textbooks, but when they tried to segment the images they realized they had no idea what they were seeing. They had to work very hard to come up with the segmentations and developed a good understanding of 3D anatomy during the process.


If I was in charge, I would work on a full detailed 3D body and use it to generate 2D illustrations, or at least prepare selected view to show only certain zones of interest at a time.

The way to add labels with filters in 3D is probably pretty similar, and can be solved but for the moment, I do not even find more than one single illustrated book with anatomical illustrations.

My question reflects my intent to understand the state of the public domain. It seems that the way to organise, distribute and promote the content owned by everybody could still evolve.