A wooden box of glass microscope slides belonging to Sir Charles Sherrington and labelled "Histology Demonstration Slides" has survived in the University Laboratory of Physiology at the University of Oxford since 1936.

This box contains 21 drawers of slides from Sherrington's years at St Thomas Hospital (1888-1895), Liverpool University (1896-1914) and Oxford University (1914-1935). It also contains slides presented to him by other leading contemporary neuroscientists (Ruffini, Brown, Sanderson, Fritsch).

The earliest slide is a preparation of the human large intestine from 1898, the latest slide is dated 1960, having been added to the collection after Sherrington's death. These added slides are clearly labeled with the names of the contributors (Denny-Brown, Gibson, Cooper, Ruffini, Burdon Saunderson, Mellanby, Mann and Fritsch).

The slides are from a large variety of species and utilize diverse staining methods.

There were some very helpful notes written by Sybil Cooper and identified by Marianne Fillenz placed in some of the trays.

For more information on Sherrington, with reference to this box of slides, please refer to the following article:
Insights into the life and work of Sir Charles Sherrington, Zoltán Molnár & Richard E. Brown, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11429-436 (June 2010)

Keepers of the box

  • Charles Sherrington (until 1935)
  • Sybil Cooper (Creed) (1935-1968)
  • Marianne Fillenz (1968-1992)
  • Clive Ellory (1992-2005)
  • George Radda (2005-2007)
  • Zoltán Molnár (2007-present)