Skip Navigation Bar

Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Medical Museum


200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242


(319) 356-7106

Fax Number

(319) 384-8141


Contact Person

Adrienne Drapkin, Museum Director


Access and Services

The Museum is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Museums is also open most holidays (please call in advance). Admission is free of charge. Researchers should make an appointment. All the collections are available for short-term loan to appropriate institutions. Responses to request for information on medical topics are limited due to small staff. The primary use of the collections is display in onsite galleries, but they are also used for educational programs and onsite research by scholars and students.


The collections of the UIHC Medical Museum consist of objects and other items related to the history of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the state of Iowa, and the Midwest region of the United States, which are suitable for display, research, educational use, and loan. The collections also reflect our focus on current health care issues.



Permanent Artifact Collection, late 19th century to present day

Collection ID


Approximately 5,000 objects

Biographical Note

The stimulus for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) Medical Museum was the donation of a case of surgical instruments to the UIHC by Phoebe Wilcox of Newton, Iowa, in 1982. These instruments belonged to her grandfather, Dr. Vinton S. Wilcox, who was a member of the fourth graduating class of the University of Iowa Medical Department in 1874, and who became a general practitioner in Malcolm, Iowa. With these instruments as one of many exhibits designed to appeal to an audience of patients, visitors, the hospital community, and the general public, the Museum opened in February, 1989. Since then, its goals to promote patient welfare and an understanding of the history of health care and current issues in the health sciences have been implemented through exhibitions and programs.

Collection Description

The Permanent Collection: consists of objects and other items (photographs, documents, books, etc.), which are significant or related to the mission and collecting objectives of the Museum. The three-dimensional artifact collections are approximately 3,000 strong. Some of the major categories are ophthalmology, dentistry, phlebotomy, surgical instruments, UIHC history, diagnostic equipment, obstetrics/gynecology, cardiology, and otolaryngology.

Collection items relating to the history of artificial organs include:

  • heart valves;
  • mold for prosthetic blood vessels;
  • iron lung;
  • pacemakers;
  • hearing aids;
  • Distal Ulnar Head and Scaphoid implants
  • Miller/Galante Total Knee System

Finding Aid

Consult Museum Director.


Consult Museum Director.

Related Material

Education Collection: consists of objects and other items which are related to the mission of the Museum but are either in relatively poor condition or represent unnecessary duplication of items in the permanent collection. This collection is used for educational programs and demonstrations to groups of all ages. The education collection was started in 1995 so it is currently small, but growing.

Archives Collection: consists of any and all documentation related to the history of the Medical Museum. The archives include all correspondence, policies and procedures, financial records, and any other documentation relevant to the institutional history of the UIHC Medical Museum. These records are used by appropriate parties for research on the Museum and its history within the UIHC and the University of Iowa.

Museum Photographic Collection: consists of approximately 500 photographs related to medicine in Iowa