The Cotter Medical History Museum maintains 40 static displays in Christchurch’s hospitals, clinics, health centres and laboratories. The museum is based at Hillmorton Hospital, sharing a building with the Hereford Centre. Volunteers are normally on site from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday and Friday. A guide can be on site at other times, by appointment.
The Trust collects historic artefacts, photographs, books and documents relating to all aspects of health care: surgery, medicine, nursing, dentistry, laboratory and administration.
In 2017 the Cotter Medical History Museum's collection was designated as being of National Significance by the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. The Stephen Clark Microscope Collection in the public foyer of the University of Otago, Christchurch, is an outstanding exhibit.
At the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Heritage Trust’s Heritage Village The Cotter Medical History Trust has equipped a school dental clinic and a house with a 1940s doctor’s surgery, operating theatre and medical and nursing exhibits.
The late Pat Cotter, founder of the Trust, amassed biographical notes on over 1,000 Canterbury doctors. Brief accounts of these notes are now being added to the Cotter Medical History Trust collection on The Community Archive website. Enquiries welcomed.
Pat’s extraordinary life is the subject of a biography: Tonsils to Toenails: the life of Pat Cotter, Christchurch surgeon and tree farmer.
Two new publications by The Cotter Medical History Trust:
Vaccines & Vesicles: a History of Smallpox Vaccination in New Zealand
Camphor for the Collywobbles: Ship's Surgeon Dr Augustus Florance's voyages 1857-1862