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Clendening History of Medicine Museum

The Clendening History of Medicine Museum was founded as the object-focused portion of the Clendening History of Medicine Library. The Museum seeks to illustrate the history of medicine to the staff, students, & faculty of the University of Kansas Medical Center, as well as the wider community. Drawing from scholarship in the history of medicine and a collection spanning from ancient times to the 20th century, it provides historical context for the educators and innovators of KUMC who are shaping the future of Medicine.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, services at the Clendening Library & Museum and KUMC Archives may be limited.

For questions about visiting the Clendening Library, please contact Dawn McInnis, dmcinnis@kumc.edu, 913-588-7244.


For questions about KUMC history and historical documents, please contact Alex Welborn, awelborn@kumc.edu, 913-588-7243.

Visiting the Museum

  • Due to COVID-19 precautions, the museum is currently closed to visitors.
  • The Clendening Museum is located on the 1st floor of Robinson Hall on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kansas (map).
  • The museum is closed on all state designated holidays.
  • There is no charge for admission.
  • Parking for the Museum can be found in the Olathe II Public Parking structure and in the Cambridge Parking Facility (map). Bring ticket for validation. 
  • Pre-arranged tours of the Library & Museum are available. If interested, please contact us at least 3 days ahead of the requested date. Contact curator Jamie Rees (jrees@kumc.edu) for more information.

The Collection

The Clendening History of Medicine Museum has collected in order to support its mission and its vision for the future. In the spirit of responsible historical stewardship, the Museum is not actively collecting at this time. The Museum has an adequate representation of the following types of artifacts and thus no longer accepts them:

  • Medical bags
  • General medical instruments and supplies
  • Medications

The principal interpretive themes within the existing collection include instruments from 19th and 20th century American medicine; special emphasis on medical practice in Kansas; materials illustrative of ancient, medieval, and early modern eras (notably Etruscan, Roman, Babylonian, Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, and pre-Columbian); pieces of exceptional artistic value (plaster cast of the Stele of Hammurabi, original paintings, portraiture, lithographs, and Japanese and Chinese woodblock prints and scrolls); American Civil War medicine; medicine in World War I; medicine in World War II; and the history of anesthesiology with special focus on the 20th century.

Exhibits

The Clendening Museum regularly features exhibits in the foyer of the Clendening Library drawn from the Clendening's collections, as well as collaborative exhibits highlighting KUMC landmarks and anniversary celebrations. Recent exhibits, often developed in partnership with the KUMC Archives, include: the history of surgery at the KU School of Medicine, the history of anesthesia in Kansas, Civil War medicine, a history of the KU School of Nursing, the integration of the KU School of Medicine, a display of works by disabled artists from the region, a showcase of caricatures by KUMC students and graduates, the science context behind Frankenstein, the discovery of an unusual cancer treatment in a bootlegger's tunnel, and highlights from the collection.

Current Exhibitions:
  • White Coat/Black Bag: the Evolving Kansas Doctor (October 4, 2019-TBD) Final Weeks

  • Beyond Angels of Mercy: Florence Nightingale & the Evolution of the Nursing Uniform (March 25, 2020-TBD) Coming Soon

  • Recent Accessions: QUARANTINE (Dykes Library, 1st floor)

  • Galvani Discovering Bioelectricity (Anaesthesia Department Office, Sudler, 2nd Floor)

For more information about the museum, please contact:

Jamie Rees
Museum Curator & Asst. Librarian
(913) 588-7087
jrees@kumc.edu

Last modified: Jun 22, 2020
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Wednesday, September 30, 12 noon via Zoom: The Ralph Hermon Major Luncheon Seminar Series - Emily Raymond, MA, Department of History, University of Kansas "'Send for a Man of Character': The Performance of Masculinity in 18th-Century British Obstetrics". Please RSVP to Dr. Ryan Fagan, rfagan@kumc.edu if interested in attending.  

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