The SMU Library is a preservation space for 840 pieces of cloned bones from 21 male disarticulated skeletons. The library bone clone project was initiated by Prof Anna Oettle, Associate Professor of Anatomy Department. With this project, she was trying to ensure that Anatomy students have access to bones beyond the limited hours in in the Department. The Library became the preferred option for access to the bone clones, as it is open after hours and on Saturday. “Housing the bone clones in the Library gives students the opportunity to practically utilise the bones in a relaxed setting with less pressure for time. Students should take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Prof. Oettle.

“The bones were catalogued following the Resource Description and Access (RDA) Standards. They were then sensitized, barcoded, labelled and are now available at the Circulation Desk as part of the Reserve Collection”, said Mmakgoshi Reetseng, Senior Librarian, Technical Services and Project Coordinator.

Among the bones found in the library, the students can find the Human Male Asian Left Femur, the Human Male Asian Coccyx, the Human Male European Left Rib 1, the Human Asian Left Leg Fibula, the Human Asian Sternum Plate, Human Male Asian Left Clavicle, the Human Male European Skull with Calvarium Cut and many more.

The bones are accessible via the library WebOPAC (Online public access catalogue), URL: http://innopac.smu.ac.za/, the link is accessible via the library webpage and Blackboard. Searches can be done using the bone code or label/name as given in the bone clones catalogue. The bones are mostly borrowed by study groups and individual students.