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Medical Artifacts Collection

January 14, 2014

Find It

The Medical Artifacts Collection, housed in Special Collections and Archives at the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, offers a visual representation of the history of health care in Virginia since 1838. Started in the 1930s by the first Directing Librarian of the Medical College of Virginia, the collection now includes more than 6,000 items. Artifacts range from surgical, dental and diagnostic instruments to the uniforms of health care professionals to medical furniture; the collection also includes a large selection of bedpans. 

The Medical Artifacts Collection is also now available online through VCU Libraries Digital Collections. Images and descriptions of 167 objects were chosen to provide a representative sample of the larger collection. All artifacts also have Medical Subject Headings for better access. 

Find It

To see the collection in person, visit Special Collections and Archives at Tompkins-McCaw Library.

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