Gemma Angel on The History of the Tattoo

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw an explosion in academic interest in the tattoo. Tattoos played a significant role in medico-legal research across a wide range of disciplines, notably forensic medicine, criminology, anthropology and psychiatry. Whilst many scholars collected data on tattooing in the form of drawings and occasionally through photography, tattooed skins where also harvested. These historic collections now reside in a number of museums and archives across Europe.