History of Medicine Artifacts

Historical medical instruments, artifacts and other objects ranging in age from the 16th to 20th centuries

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Female manikin with ivory pillow on wooden couch covered in green brocade, 17th or 18th century homst52033
View the highlight item: Spring lancet, 19th century
Spring lancet, 19th century homst54050
View the highlight item: Breast pump, undated
Breast pump, undated homst03062
View the highlight item: Surgical instruments in velvet-lined oak case,...
Surgical instruments in velvet-lined oak case,... homst04043
View the highlight item: Trephination kit, 18th century
Trephination kit, 18th century homst52020

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

History of Medicine artifacts collection 1550-1980s

Collection #RL.10155 | 51.5 Linear Feet (about 851 items)

Collection consists of historical medical instruments and artifacts, art objects, realia, and other three-dimensional objects related to the history of medicine, primarily originating from Europe and the United States, but including some artifacts from China and Japan. Ranging in age from the late 16th to the late 20th centuries, objects include medical kits and pharmaceutical items (often in the original cases and bags); equipment used in amputation, obstetrics, opthalmology, surgery, urology, neurology, early electrical therapies, and in research and diagnostic settings; instructional objects such as anatomical models and figurines; and other objects such as apothecary jars, cupping glasses, infant feeders, a bas-relief memento mori, and fetish figures. There are many models of microscopes and stethoscopes, dating from the 17th to the 20th century. Accquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

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Adopted by Harsha Murthy T'81 in memory of M.S.N. Murthy, M.D.