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Virtual microscopy in an innovative historical repository

CSlide is a web platform for virtual microscopy, allowing 24/7 access to ‘zoomable’ (20x or 40x) images of slides that:

  • would normally only be available in the time-pressured environment of the laboratory
  • students might not otherwise be able to see either because they are too few to be provided to each student or too old and fragile for teaching use. 

Slides can be annotated and linked to other learning materials. They can also be embedded in other websites such as this MedLearn resource on nerve cells or even assessment questions.

I greatly enjoy using this website and find it a model of clarity and ease of use.
- Professor of Neuropathology

CSlide is part of a larger Wellcome Trust and Federation European Neuroscience Societies-funded History of Medical Sciences project using virtual microscopy to capture the contributions of great scientists to the medical and other sciences. This funding enabled us to buy a share in an automated slide scanner, housed in the Department of Neuropathology at the John Radcliffe hospital. The website combines virtual microscopy with a database which allows historians of science to describe linkages between slides and contextual material such as journal publications, personal letters, and the scientist and organisations involved.


A Ruffini corpuscle, believed to have been excised by Angelo Ruffini from his own finger and then sent to Charles Sherrington in Oxford.

More on the importance of Sir Charles Sherrington and his slides: You’ve got a nerve

Try it yourself