Museum of History of Belarusian Medicine
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State Institution Republican Scientific Medical Library

History of the museum

Museum of the History of Medicine in Belarus

The idea of museum creation belongs to professor G.R. Kruchok an outstanding historian of medicine. It's really hard to determine the date of museum foundation, but the first item was registered on September 8th, 1958. In 1958 there was also established the museum group: I.I. Vaxer, M.N. Krasnoschekova, A.I. Berlin, F.A. Sagalchik, N.F. Zmachinskaya, V.S. Eleynikova, A.F. Petrova and others. G.R. Kruchok was the head of the museum group.
Later the main directions of the museum work were formed: collecting, scientific work and keeping of museum items; expositions, scientific research and education. The main goal of the museum was to collect as many items as possible. Even students were involved into this process at the end of the 1960-s. They collected about 1500-2500 museum items during an academic year. As a result the collection included 20000 items by 1970: unique medical instruments, documents, photos, editions. Such a rich collection let to make expositions.
The first exposition Medicine of Belarus at the beginning of the 20th century (1901-1917) was opened in 1965. All expositions were very popular among medical students and health care specialists of Belarus.
Since 1973 the museum was headed by A.F. Petrova (1973 1979) and P.N. Sviridenko (1980 1985). They developed all main directions of the museum activity with financial help of the Medical Institute.
In 1985 the museum group was headed by A.K. Kosach (1985 1989). He began reforming of the museum group and turning it into independent establishment. Medical museums existed already in Latvia (Riga), Ukraine (Kiev), Lithuania (Kaunas) and other countries. It was very important to create such museum in Belarus. So, the republican museum of history of Belarusian medicine was based on the museum group of the Medical Institute. T.G. Svetlovich was appointed to be a director. The museum worked as educational base of the Medical Institute for teaching of the history of medicine.
Later employees of the museum created the exposition Development of Belarusian medicine from ancient times to the 20th century. They managed to gather a unique collection of pharmacy crockery of the 18-20th centuries, hygienic devices, medical instruments. The opening of this famous exposition took place in April 1993. In 1994 the museum began to create another exposition Modern Belarusian medicine. In 2005 it was changed for a new exposition Belarusian medicine during the Great Patriotic War.
In 1990-s the museum started to develop international collaboration. It has become a member of European association of medical history museums since 1994.
In 2005 the Ministry of Health decided to reform the museum by joining it to the Republican Medical Scientific Library.

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