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The Auckland Medical History Society is keen for visitors to explore its library collection.

Tucked away in a corner building at Auckland Hospital is a little-known library housing fascinating medical, nursing and dental artefacts, and even artworks. The Ernest and Marion Davis Memorial Library has everything from beautiful apothecary jars to gruesome-looking stainless steel catheters and cupping devices, along with 5,000 books.

It’s the home of the Auckland Medical History Society (AMHS) founded in 1964, the brainchild of Dr Laurie Gluckman, father of Sir Peter. The society holds regular health-related talks and presentations and hopes to run tours of the museum in the near future. To encourage new members, it’s free for students to join. Each year the society runs a medical humanities essay competition for students and the 2021 winners will be announced on 2 September.

The library itself was founded in 1961 so is celebrating its 60th birthday this year and Judith

Murphy, an honorary academic in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences who is on the

executive of the AMHS, says it’s a good time to let people know about the library and the society.

“I’ve seen many medical museums around the world but this one is unique and has one of the most interesting collections of apothecary jars,” says Judith. “And many objects have been donated by Auckland alumni or their families.”

■ Auckland Medical History Society:

Info about library:

As published in UniNews August 2021, reprinted with permission.


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