The Public Health Museum in Massachusetts, Inc.
Tewksbury, Massachusetts 01876
The museum has the history of infectious diseases displayed through artifacts collected by donation. Topic areas include smallpox, tuberculosis, mental health, the history of nursing, polio, and more.
Located on the campus of Tewksbury Hospital, the former alms house was also a point of historical significance in Massachusetts.
Through original artifacts, memorabilia, and archival materials, the museum explores the history of public health in America and the story of Tewksbury Hospital, one of the first public health hospitals in the country. The history of infectious disease and innovations in public health are cornerstones of the museum.
The Public Health Museum is a non-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to public health history. The Museum serves as a resource to the community, exploring public health initiatives that address current health issues with online content and programming, including a summer program for high school students interested in public health careers. The museum partners with libraries and senior centers to bring its programs to the community. Indoor and outdoor walking tours are available on a reservation-only basis, and the museum offers informative content on both its website and through ongoing public programs.
The museum is open every Thursday and one Saturday a month for tours. Tours are by reservation and we offer an indoor museum tour and an outdoor grounds tour as long as the weather is good.
For more information visit https://www.publichealthmuseum.org/visit-us.html
Intake records from 1853-the early twentieth century are in the process of being digitized. Some records are already available through the Mogan Center and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
Holdings of note include an iron lung, an exhibit about patent medicines, smallpox needles, the history of nursing, and mental health breakthroughs. Currently on exhibit is the History of Penikese Island. Penikese Island off the coast of Cape Cod was the site of a leper colony in the early twentieth century. It was closed 100 years ago and we remember the patients and the stigma associated with what is now known as Hansen's Disease.