microscopes image

To collect, preserve and display artefacts of a medical nature

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OBJECTS... some new, others restored.

The Cotter Medical History Museum

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. VISITORS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – Please contact us.

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.


We rely on volunteers to manage and preserve the museum’s collection and to publish books on New Zealand’s medical history using the museum’s resources.

We would greatly appreciate monetary donations to help us continue in this venture. We are a Registered Charity No. CC38402.

Donations and payments for books can be made through SBS account no. 031355 0557857 00