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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


International Museum of Surgical Science


1524 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill 60610


(312) 642-6502

Fax Number

(312) 642-9516


Contact Person

Lenard Kliwinski, Curator


Access and Services

Researchers should make an appointment to view the collection. Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m to 4 p.m.


The International Museum of Surgical seeks to inspire students and the public through programming and exhibits on the important developments of the history of surgery and medicine. This is done through: Inquisitor, a self-guided tour book; Video theatre; Scopecam; Magiscopes; Surgical Microscopes; Anatomical models; Civil War replica; and Amputation kits displays.



IMSS Artifact Collection, 17th century to present day

Collection ID


To date, there are over 7,000 artifacts including surgical instruments, paintings, murals and statutes that highlight the history of surgery.

Biographical Note

The museum has collected surgical related artifacts since its opening in 1952 and originally welcomed members of the International College of Surgeons to contribute to the foundation of the collection.

Collection Description

From scalpels to skulls, the museum collection spans over 4,000 years of surgical history. Housed in a land marked status mansion, the collection is exhibited on all four floors. Originally organized by a particular country, the artifacts are displayed by either country or discipline for example radiology, orthopedics, and a turn of the century apothecary. Collection items relating to the history of artificial organs include:

  • Iron lung
  • Heart Valve Collection, approximately 100 objects

Finding Aid




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