Paolo Mascagni's Anatomia Universa consists of 88 plates. Forty-four are hand-colored lithographs of anatomical preparations and 44 are outline plates containing nomenclature for identifying the anatomical parts in an accompanying volume of text. The plates are so large that the text block has never been bound and is stored in a large book-shaped wooden box especially constructed for that purpose. Each plate is 99 cm x 72 cm and the image itself measures 72 cm x 53 cm. The colored plates were photographed during the 1980s on high quality 35-mm color film from which 2x2 slides were made. In 1999 the 44 slides were scanned at high resolution directly into Adobe Photoshop using a Polaroid SprintScan scanner and archived at three resolutions on a CD-ROM.
The web site was originally designed and developed by Gek Choo Yeo, a former Information Commons Graduate Consultant who received her Master of Fine Arts degree (printmaking and graphic design) from The University of Iowa in 2000. Other contributors to the development of the site include Tim Bryant, former Information Commons Graduate Consultant who graduated from the Library and Information Science Masters Program in 2002; Richard Eimas, former Curator of the John Martin Rare Book Room; Scott Fiddelke, Digital Media Project Manager; and Jim Duncan, Coordinator, Information Commons & Electronic Services.
Christy Stevens, an Information Commons Graduate Assistant studying Library and Information Science, redesigned the site in 2003, replacing the QuickTime VR images with "Zoomify" ones. "Zoomify" is a technology that allows for higher resolution zooming and panning.
In 2006 Elaine Beck, an Information Commons Graduate Assistant studying Creativity in Community (an interdisciplinary PhD) redesigned the banner and layout and reworked the site using cascading style sheets (CSS), making it standards compliant, quicker loading, and more searchable. Elaine recieved her Masters of Fine Arts degree (intermedia and painting) from the University of Iowa in 2004.