Digitized Collections

Medical Instruments and Artifacts (Gallery View)



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About Medical Instruments and Artifacts

Surgical Instruments
(Amputation and Trepanning Set)

Long stored in a sub-basement cage in the Historical Library of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, surrounded by stacks of book treasures, is a large collection of antique medical instruments and related objects. These materials were acquired over the years entirely through donation. By cataloging, photographing and mounting them as a collection in The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Digital Library, we make them available to scholars and the general public.

Although the collection includes a few Roman, Chinese and seventeenth and eighteenth century objects, most are nineteenth and early twentieth century. Many of the objects were the property of Yale Medical faculty and graduates, a number of whom practiced in Connecticut. An important collection of obstetrical instruments was donated by Yale obstetrician Dr. Herbert Thoms. There are included, also, a number of elegantly made surgical instrument kits. Collections of mortars, pestles, apothecary jars and paper wrapped pharmaceuticals await more exact identification.

Many of the items have not been completely identified. If anyone has more information to contribute, it would be appreciated. Please contact us at: historical.library@yale.edu.

The Historical Library thanks Dr. Bernard Kosto, YC 1957, YMS 1961, HS 1962, for volunteering to describe and photographing our instruments, and to enter the metadata into the Digital Library; Florence Gillich for sorting, cropping and otherwise managing all of the images and working with Dr. Kosto on how to work with the Digital Library: interface; and Arthur Belanger for mounting the images on the Digital Library and for programming that enables the user to view several images per instrument.

Yale owns the copyright to all images. They may be freely used for PowerPoint and other lectures. At present, the medical instruments themselves are in storage, as we are renovating air management system in the locked stacks.

There are 1464 objects in this collection.
This collection was last updated 550 days ago.

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