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University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Medical Museum
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
University of Iowa

200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
United States
Adrienne Drapkin, Museum Director
(319) 356-7106
1 319-356-7106
Fax: (319) 384-8141

The collections of the UIHC Medical Museum consist of objects and other items related to the history of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the state of Iowa, and the Midwest region of the United States, which are suitable for display, research, educational use, and loan. The collections also reflect our focus on current health care issues. SERVICES: Responses to requests for information on medical topics are limited due to small staff. The primary use of the collections is display in onsite galleries, but scholars and students also use them for educational programs and onsite research.


Collections fall into three categories: the Permanent Collection, the Educational Collection, and the Archives. The Permanent Collection consists of objects and other items, such as photographs, documents, and books. The three-dimensional artifact collections are more than 5,000 items strong and include the following major categories: Ophthalmology (optical lenses, color-blindness test kits, stereoscopes, spectacles, ophthalmoscopes, surgical instruments, etc.); Dentistry (examination chairs, impression trays, dental forceps, etc.); Phlebotomy (fleams, cupping devices, counter-irritation devices, etc.); Surgical Instruments (some 250 items, including WWII surgical field kits, forceps, saws, ligature needles, retractors, etc.); UIHC History (1898 time capsule from first hospital building, yearbooks, portraits, programs, diplomas, journals, etc.); Diagnostic Equipment (approximately 150 items such as stethoscopes, early sphygmomanometers, microscopes, X-ray equipment, blood-glucose testing devices, reflex hammers, etc.); Obstetrics/Gynecology (fetal stethoscopes, forceps, cranial crushers, ether inhaler, etc.); Cardiology (early portable EKG, heart valves, mold for prosthetic blood vessels, etc.); Otolaryngology (monochord, otoscopes, bronchoscopes, hearing aids, etc.); Miscellaneous (1930s examining chair used in the film "Field of Dreams", caned-seat wheelchair, syringe and hypodermic sets, examination tables, WWII first aid kit, appointment cards). Other categories include Anesthesiology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, General Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Internal Medicine, Nursing, Orthopedics, Pathology, Pediatrics, Pharmaceuticals, Psychiatry, Radiology, Therapeutic Devices, and Urology. The photographic collection includes several hundred photographs and negatives, images of current medical procedures and equipment. The manuscripts and documents collection from the mid-1800s to the present includes approximately 400 medical and nursing texts, medical record books, physicians, journals, photo albums, and over 100 books and documents. The Education Collection is a small collection of items used for educational programs and demonstrations. The Archives consists of documentation relevant to the institutional history of the UIHC Medical Museum.

Subject Strengths:
History of Anesthesiology and Anesthesia; History of Cardiology; History of Gynecology and Obstetrics; History of Hospitals; History of Medicine; History of Ophthalmology and Optometry; History of Otorhinolaryngology; History of Pathology; History of Pediatrics; History of Pharmacology and Pharmacy; History of Psychiatry; History of Radiology; History of Stomatology; History of Surgery; History of Urology
Last Updated:
14 Dec 2018