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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


Thackray Museum


Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN, United Kingdom


+ 44 113 244 43 43

Fax Number

+ 44 113 247 02 19


Contact Person

Mike Cooper, Director


Access and Services

The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum's library, archive and collections can be accessed through the Medical History Resource Centre, which is open by appointment Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


The Thackray Museum opened in March 1997 and displays the historical collections of Paul Thackray. The Thackray Museum presents the ways in which people's lives have changed over the past 150 years as a result of improvements in public health, medicine and health care.



Thackray Museum Collection, from about 1600 to present

Collection ID


Over 40,000 objects, books, trade catalogues and other materials

Biographical Note

The museum was the inspiration of Paul Thackray, grandson of Charles F. Thackray, founder of the medical company bearing his name in Leeds in 1902. Paul Thackray established a small historical collection relating to the medical supply industry within the firm, and then following the sale of the company, and with the aid of a £3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the museum was established in a former workhouse building adjacent to St. James's Hospital.

Collection Description

The museum collection contains items relating to most aspects of the history of medicine and health care. There are particularly strong collections of surgical instruments, material relating to medical supply trade, 17th and 18th century pharmacy jars and hearing aids.

Collection items relating to the history of artificial organs include:

  • Modified Kolff artificial kidney machine, 1956;
  • Numerous hearing aids

Finding Aid

A computer catalogue is available for most of the collection.



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