History of the Museum of Medicine and Health

The Museum of Medicine and Health dates back to the closure of the old Medical School in Coupland Street and its transfer to the new Stopford Building in the 1970s.

George A. G. Mitchell (1906 - 1993), the professor of anatomy had built up a collection of antique medical instruments that were kept in his office. The transfer of the Medical School to the new Stopford Building in 1972 was overseen by Dr F. B. Beswick, the Executive Dean, who decided that any equipment left, including Professor Mitchell's collection, should be stored underneath one of the lecture theatres.

Such items could not be left to deteriorate. Charlotte Beswick, wife of the Executive Dean, volunteered to act as curator and started to identify and record the vast collection of objects. The work of Charlotte Beswick and displays arranged by her in the Medical School foyer, attracted further donations.

After Charlotte retired in 1995, Bill Jackson was appointed as the new Honorary Curator. He is a past president of the British Society for the History of Pharmacy and a member of the International Academy of the History of Pharmacy. His expertise in medical antiques, especially stomach pumps, added a new dimension to the collection.

Today the museum employs a part-time Heritage Assistant and Dr Peter Mohr, a retired hospital consultant and his wife Julie are active volunteers, contributing their time and efforts for the benefit of the museum. 

Find out more about the University of Manchester's History: Visit our Heritage pages