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The Lancaster Medical Heritage Museum is a treasure trove of rich medical history—a place for history buffs, future physicians, and local residents to expand their knowledge of the medical world and Lancaster County’s place in it.
Founded by the Lancaster City and County Medical Society, the origins of the museum date back to 1982, tucked away in the Burle Business Park for most of its existence. In December 2022, the museum launched its new era, now housed at the Flory Building at 410 North Lime Street. Over 14,000 objects were transported to the museum’s new home, and the team began curating stories from the various objects in the museum’s possession.
“The stories are more important sometimes than the objects,” Executive Director Kim Jovinelli said. “I can put a glass vile in a room with no explanation, but why is it important?”
The museum boasts extensive ophthalmology and dentistry exhibits, as well as forceps, syringes, and lancets donated by local doctors. Most notable of its items on display is an iron lung dating back to the 1950s, a remnant of the polio epidemic.
“History tends to repeat itself, including medical history,” said Museum Board President Dr. Barton Halpern. “We hope people come to the museum, look at our history, and think about how we can do a better job.”
In addition to exhibits on display, there is an archive of publications with new research and information, which is updated by Lancaster-based physicians, historians, and students.
“We want to bring the medical history not just of Lancaster, but of the world here,” Kim said. “I hope this museum will be one of the go-to places in Lancaster County.”
Make plans for your visit to the Lancaster Medical Heritage Museum at lancastermedicalheritagemuseum.org.