Atlases of anatomy, and useful adases, also exist in English, but all are quite fragmentary. Some, like the well-known and valuable, but somewhat antiquated, "Illustrations of Dissections," consist of a series of pictures of selected regions carefully prepared on the cadaver: these are models for the imitation of the student in his own dissecting work, but are not of much value for private study.
Others, like Bellamy's English edition of Braune's atlas of frozen sections of the human body, present a small number of anatomical facts from a striking and unfamiliar point of view. But among English works, an accurate pictorial representation of all the data of human anatomy, carefully drawn to scale from actual specimens, and arranged suitably for systematic study, has hitherto been lacking.
Whilst a true knowledge of anatomy, a knowledge that will through life supply the needs of the physician and the surgeon in their practical work, can be obtained only in the dissecting-room, the student's labours with scalpel and forceps must be preceded and supplemented by systematic private study. Now, for this purpose, the textual descriptive treatise is not alone sufficient; or, if sufficient, it is so at an excessive expenditure of time and labour. Both in his work preparatory to dissection and in his revision of his anatomical knowledge subsequent to dissection, the energy of the student will be enormously economized if he has at hand a graphic representation of every structure named and described in his systematic treatise.
An increased use of the visual or graphic method, both in the acquirement and in the revivification of knowledge, is a feature of the age in all educational departments; but this English translation of Professor Toldt's work is, as far as the English-speaking races are concerned, the first adequate application of the method to the study of human anatomy.