Atkinson Collection

This invaluable, world-renowned collection, located in Suite 410 of the dental school, consists of more than 1,500 human crania collected by orthodontist Spencer R. Atkinson primarily from autopsies and biological warehouses. Learn more about the history of the collection from Contact Point, Vol. 80, No. 3.

The Atkinson Collection offers an extraordinarily well-preserved, age-graded series of more than 400 crania that span from in utero to adult, representing the most complete assemblage of juveniles in the United States. A number of rare cranial syndromes (hydrocephalaly, microcephaly, cranial dysostoses, cleft palate and others) are found among the juvenile and adult individuals.

CDHCS is collaborating with other educational institutions to sponsor the FOROST Web site ( Through FOROST, free online access to a metabase containing images and descriptions of skeletal lesions is available to the forensic community and related professions. Examples of trauma, found within the Atkinson Collection, have been contributed to the FOROST metabase. Additional information on the availability of Atkinson Collection images is provided here in CDHCS Collection Policies.

Professionals and advanced students are encouraged to submit research applications to study the Atkinson Collection, and Pacific faculty are welcome to request use of a subset of the Atkinson Collection for teaching purposes.

Generous funding from the Pacific Coast Orthodontic Consultation Group has provided support for the preservation of the Atkinson Collection and improved its accessibility as a resource for research and teaching.