Hidden curiosities shared
SKULL-measuring parties, begging badges and antiresurrection grave covers are just some of the curiosities of Dundee life in centuries gone by.
This week, history enthusiasts had a rare opportunity to see the McManus collections not normally on public display.
A special tour through the collections unit in Barrack Street laid bare details of long-forgotten traditions, practices and pseudo-sciences.
One such “science” was phrenology, based on the belief that personality, thoughts and emotions were located in specific parts of the brain, meaning they could be determined by measuring different parts of the skull.
Christina Donald, curator of early history, said: “Phrenology originated in Germany in the early 19th Century, and was so popular people had parties where the bumps on their heads would be measured. There was also interest in measuring the skulls of criminals, as it was thought their behaviour could be analysed.”