Dispensing History, Art and Mystery in the Medical History Museum of University of Melbourne


  • Ann Brothers University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


The installation of an 1849 Savory & Moore Pharmacy has been a popular attraction for visitors, yet under-utilised in the Museum as a means through which a deeper understanding of the making and taking of medication could be told. The opportunity to research and present these stories to a wider field of viewers in an online multimedia production is discussed  here, and is set within the context of the challenges met by the Museum in terms of its relevance and sustainability within a University focused on the future as a graduate University. Under the radical reform of its curriculum, funding and students are more likely to be attracted to medical science than medical history, unless new questions are put to historical items and ways sought to draw on the curiosity and imagination of students who might gain a greater breadth of knowledge by learning through engagement with original objects.