About the Collection

Since its inception in 1967, the Medical History Museum has developed a diverse and varied collection of over 6,000 items encompassing documents, photographs, artifacts, ceremonial objects, medical and scientific equipment and associated research material. The collection has grown through gifts from medical graduates, families and institutions. The core of the collection began with material related to the history of the Melbourne Medical School but has expanded over the last 45 years through major gifts to encompass the history of medicine in Victoria, Australia and internationally.

Melbourne Medical School

The collection encompasses some of the first photographs taken at Melbourne University including its founding professors, buildings and students. The earliest photograph of the Medical School was taken in 1864.

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Pharmaceutical History

The practices of early pharmacists are revealed through the glass jars, ceramic pots, carboys measures, mortar and pestles and the1847 Savory and Moore Pharmacy gifted by the Wellcome Institute.

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Medicine in Society

The history of the practice of medicine encompassing quackery, public health and social history; there are documents, diplomas, illuminated addresses, other records and objects.

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Medical and Surgical Equipment and Instruments

Former procedures and practices are revealed through the collections of medical and diagnostic equipment mapping the development of technology in various fields beginning with Roman Surgical tools.

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Medical Specialties

Many medical and surgical specialties are covered including a collection of ophthalmic microsurgical instruments showing the development and advancement in this field from the early nineteenth century.

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Scientific Equipment

Scientific and laboratory equipment including the x-ray tubes developed and made at the University of Melbourne by William Stone (1859-1949), a pioneer in the field of radiology.

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Photography, Sound and Film

The Photographic, Sound and Film Collection encompasses many photographs, sound recordings and film of prominent contributors to various fields of medicine and activities in the broader community.

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Documents and Lectures

Personal papers, notebooks and registers provide insights into the lives and work of some remarkable individuals and the development of ground breaking treatments.

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Artworks and Commemorative Items

Art works and commemorative items include portraits of prominent medical practitioners, illustrations, statures and medals.

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