Blechschmidt Collection

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Blechschmidt Collection
The model room at the University of Goettingen.

(University of Goettingen, Germany)

The Blechschmidt Collection, named for Erich Blechschmidt (1904 – 1992), developed methods of human embryo reconstruction from serial sections and generated large models describing the embryonic period of human development. The models include whole surface views as well as detailed views of embryo internal structures.

The collection consists of 64 models[1] and from about 120 human embryos approximately 200,000 serial sections. Some of these embryo serial section sets were incorporated in 1972 into the Carnegie Collection (assigned Carnegie Nos. 10315-10434), but have since been returned to the University of Goettingen.

Image source: The Blechschmidt Collection images are reproduced with the permission of Prof. Christoph Viebahn, director of the Institute of Anatomy and Embryology, , University Medical Center Göttingen. Images are for educational purposes only and cannot be reproduced electronically or in writing without permission.

Embryo Collections: Human Embryo Collections | Embryo Collections | Blechschmidt Collection | Carnegie Collection | Domenech-Mateu Collection | Harvard Collection | Hill Collection | Hinrichsen Collection | Hubrecht Collection | Kyoto Collection | Madrid Collection | Embryology Models | DEC Information | DEC

University of Goettingen

Department of Anatomy and Embryology Göttingen Seminar (Apr 2015)
University of Goettingen - Department of Anatomy and Embryology.jpg Gottingen2015symposium slide01.jpg

University of Goettingen - Department of Anatomy and Embryology

Erich Blechschmidt

Erich Blechschmidt (1904 – 1992)[2] was a German anatomist and director of Göttingen University’s Anatomical Institute from 1942 until 1973.

He held alternate theories for embryogenesis based upon "morphogenetic fields" and also believed that more than just genes might act to control development. He wrote several embryology books and research articles (32 are listed in PubMed between 1955 to 1976) all originally published in the German language.

Erich Blechschmidt (1904 – 1992)

Erich Blechschmidt
(1904 – 1992)


Embryo Models

Embryo Model Movies

Embryo 1.6mm icon.jpg
 ‎‎Embryo 1.6mm
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 ‎‎Embryo 3.1mm
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7.5mm Embryo movie 1 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Embryo 7.5mm
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Embryo 10mm surface icon.jpg
 ‎‎Embryo 10mm
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Embryo Serial Sections

Stage 11


Sagittal section through embryo (CRL 4.2 mm) week 4 approximately Carnegie stage 11 to 12.


More lateral section of the above embryo showing the yolk sac.

Stage 14


Sagittal section through embryo (CRL 7.2 mm) week 5 approximately 14. Only the upper part of the embryo is shown.

35 mm Embryo


  1. BLECHSCHMIDT E. (1954). [Reconstruction method by using synthetic substances; a process for investigation and demonstration of developmental movements]. Z Anat Entwicklungsgesch , 118, 170-4. PMID: 13227045
  2. . (1992). [In memory of the anatomist and embryologist Erich Blechschmidt (1904-1992)]. Ann. Anat. , 174, 479-84. PMID: 1476247

Miyazaki R, Makishima H, Männer J, Sydow HG, Uwabe C, Takakuwa T, Viebahn C & Yamada S. (2018). Blechschmidt Collection: Revisiting specimens from a historical collection of serially sectioned human embryos and fetuses using modern imaging techniques. Congenit Anom (Kyoto) , 58, 152-157. PMID: 29105173 DOI.

The prenatal developmental stages of man. An Introduction to Human Embryology. Karger, Basel 1960 (German-English parallel text).


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University of Goettingen

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 19) Embryology Blechschmidt Collection. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G