This site is intended as a self-tutorial on the basics of histology, the study of tissues and cell types.


There are two main sections. One is a series of lecture recordings, which are in essence narrated Power Point presentations. To view these you will need to have Flash video capability in your browser. Clicking on the link will open the recordings and you will hear a voice-over as the slides change.


The second section contains practical study exercises. Many images of the material have already been embedded into the software, so that it serves as a sort of on-line histology textbook. In addition to the embedded images you'll find that the exercises make reference to "slide numbers" throughout their text. In order to view these slides you'll need to have a high-speed connection to the Internet.


The VM slides come from two sources. The first is a slide collection at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, where I taught histology for 29 years. For the last ten of those years I digitized many of the glass slides in the CVM teaching collection, converting them into "Virtual Microscope" format. Virtual Microscope (VM) in essence puts a "microscope" into your computer. It allows the user to change magnification, and to move from place to place on the slide, just as in a "real" microscope.

Many of the exercises contain a logo image of an antique microscope labeled with the words, "See It In The Virtual Microscope." Clicking on that image will get you access to the slides in the CVM collection. To view them you'll need to download the free program NDPView, which was used to create the VM slide files.

Once you've downloaded and installed NDPView, click the link, which will open a dialog box. Log in as "Guest" and work your way through the links until you see a display of thumbnail images. The numbers of these images correspond to those in the exercises.

NOTE: If you are accessing the VM site through your browser and the links provided, you should be using Internet Explorer; Chrome and Safari and most other browsers will create "tiled" images. This is due to incompatibility between NDPView and non-IE browsers; my apologies, but there is nothing I can do to correct it.

The second source of images is a vast collection provided by Olympus America called Webslide Enterprise. To use it, you'll need the corresponding program, which is also free. Once installed it takes you to the Olympus America server, which houses an enormous collection of virtual slides that work in the same way as the ones at the CVM site.


Throughout the exercise reference is made to slide numbers, those of the images in the two collections referenced above. Several different numbering schemes were used to assemble these collections, so there isn't really any rationality to the numbering "system," just use 'em as you find 'em. Both collections have search functions to permit you to find any slide number cited.