National Museum of Health and Medicine
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
The National Museum of Health and Medicine of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (NMHM), established in 1862, inspires interest in and promotes the understanding of medicine—past, present, and future—with a special emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. As a National Historic Landmark recognized for its ongoing value to the health of the military and to the nation, the Museum identifies, collects, and preserves important and unique resources to support a broad agenda of innovative exhibits, educational programs, and scientific, historical and medical research. Formerly the Armed Forces Medical Museum, NMHM holds history of medicine material including the records of the Army Medical Museum and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The Otis Historical Archives holds manuscripts, archives, films, prints and photographs, and institutional records. Historical collections hold medical instrumentation and equipment. The Anatomical collections consist of human and veterinary specimens of historical and pathological interest. The neuroanatomical collections focus on the study of the brain and comparative neuroanatomy. The Human Developmental Anatomy Center contains a large embryology collection. SERVICES: The museum is open to the public every day (except Dec. 25) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. Group tours can be arranged with advance notice. The museum is open for research to qualified researchers. Reference services are available by telephone, mail and electronic mail. The museum's web site can be used as a beginning point to search the collections.
The museum has a small reference library with journals and monographs. The archival collections consist of about 1,700 linear feet. Of this, there are about 1,000 films and about 300,000 photographs in all media dating from the 1850's. Holdings also include the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Oral History Collection. Anatomical collections hold 5,000 pathological skeletal specimens and 8,000 fluid-preserved pathological specimens. Historical collections contain approximately 13,000 medical equipment and instruments, including the Billings microscope collection of microscopes, accessories, microtomes and microscopic slides. The staff is compiling a multitude of databases, printouts of which are available on request. The collections are strongest in the late 19th and early 20th century periods. Our Guide to the Collections is available online at our website.