Bottles of pills and potions

To collect, preserve and display artefacts of a medical nature

The Cotter Medical History Collections

The Museum holds:

  • Instruments and health-related equipment, including many nineteenth century ebony-handled artefacts.
  • The Tracy Gough electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) machine, the first to be built and used in New Zealand, the first real time foetal ultrasound scanner used in New Zealand, and significant collections of cystoscopes and gastroscopes.
  • Medical devices of dubious worth and likely to have been developed by unscrupulous or deluded individuals in the past in the hope of effecting a cure or maybe just making a useful profit.
  • The pharmacy collection includes old medicine containers that show the slow progress towards modern medicines and the amusing puffery that accompanied popular medicines for more than a century of New Zealand’s history.
  • The Stephen Clark Microscope Collection of over 100 microscopes, the oldest being a compound microscope manufactured in 1765. This outstanding exhibit can be seen in public foyer of the University of Otago, Christchurch.
  • Nursing memorabilia covering hospital patient care over the past two centuries and includes hospital domestic ware, uniforms and much more.
  • A library of pre-1950 medical books, biographies of Canterbury’s medical practitioners, and books by and about New Zealand doctors.
  • Pat Cotter’s collection of biographical files of over 1,000 Canterbury doctors.
  • Architectural plans and photographs of hospitals and staff in Canterbury District Health Board region.
  • The Sunnyside Collection contains memorabilia, photographs and written material from 1863.
Pat Cotter
Quentin Baxter
Heath Thompson
Hugh Acland
Hand Newton
CWT Little