"You are not to expect visible proofs in a work of darkness. You are to collect the truth from circumstances, and little collateral facts, which taken singly afford no proof, yet put together, so tally with, and confirm each other, that they are as strong and convincing evidence, as facts that appear in the broad face of the day."

—Judge Francis Buller, to the jury, Donnellan case, March 1781

Line drawing of body on autopsy slab table.

Visible Proofs is about the history of forensic medicine. Over the centuries, physicians, surgeons, and other professionals have struggled to develop scientific methods that translate views of bodies and body parts into "visible proofs" that can persuade judges, juries, and the public.

X-ray of hand. DNA scans on light box.

Explore significant cases, technologies, and people that have had an impact on the history of forensic medicine. Take an in-depth look at artifacts and images from the exhibition.

Portrait images of missing persons.

Three online activities and three lesson plans introduce forensic medicine, anthropology, technology, and history. Designed specifically for students and educators, the lesson plans provide educators with ready-made resources for the classroom and the online activities promote active learning for students.