This paper arises out of my research which I have been conducting in the context of my dissertation project. It explores the relationship between teaching, research and collecting practices in Viennese anatomy during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In a time in which Viennese medicine tried to reinvent itself through both the creation of a new curriculum and several other institutional measures the practice of establishing comparative and human anatomical collections can be seen as a strategic key field of action. By concentrating on scientific journals, popular texts, catalogues, correspondences and specimens this paper aims at revealing specific social systems which must be understood as parts of the 'social history' of Viennese anatomy. By looking closely at these social aspects of anatomical teaching and research, this work tries to contribute to recent discussions addressed by historians of science and medicine.