United States National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
History of Medicine

Directory of History of Medicine Collections


DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Museum of Medical Research
and Office of NIH History

National Institutes of Health Building 60, Suite 230
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-1460
United States
Barbara Harkins, Archivist/Librarian
(301) 496-8856
1 301-496-6610
Fax: (301) 402-1434

The DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Museum of Medical Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was founded in 1986 to collect, preserve, and interpret biomedical research instruments and technologies related to the work of the NIH, and non-scientific objects that place the NIH in an historical and cultural context.

Exhibits in the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center (Building 10 on the NIH Campus) are free and open to the public. We also have exhibits located at other buildings on the NIH campus. The Office of NIH History works with all NIH components to foster documentation, preservation, and interpretation of the history of the National Institutes of Health.

The Historical Research Unit collects and preserves papers, photographs, and audio-visual materials, while the Stetten Museum, founded in 1986, collects, preserves, and interprets biomedical research instruments and technologies related to the work of the NIH.

Exhibits are located in several buildings on the NIH campus, including Building 10 and Building 50. Online exhibits include "In Their Own Words: NIH Researchers Recall the Early Years of AIDS,". Other virtual exhibits can be found at https://history.nih.gov/museum/virtual.html. Access to the resources of the Museum of the Office of NIH History is by appointment.


The Stetten Museum collection holds 2,000 objects, such as microscopes, artificial heart valves, cell sorters, and paintings. The Museum also has a large trade catalog and instrument manual collection.

The Office of NIH History has an extensive photograph and video collection dealing with NIH history, as well as documents, biographical files on individuals, oral history interviews,and a collection of medical history reference books. For more information on our holdings, consult our online catalogue by clicking on "our collections" on our home page at https://history.nih.gov/.

Subject Strengths:
History of Medicine
Last Updated:
24 Apr 2017