Museum of the Jagiellonian University Medical Faculty
ul. Radziwiłłowska 4
Tel. (12) 422 21 16
Tours available by appointment only. Advance booking is essential, please telephone.
Curators: Prof. Ryszard W. Gryglewski, Dorota Schmidt-Pospuła PhD
The activities of the museum associated with the Medical Faculty of the Jagiellonian University are rather specic and are related not only to the nature, but also to the origins and enlargement of the collections. The Museum of the Medical Faculty of the Jagiellonian University is not the only collection of medical memorabilia housed in the Faculty of Medicine; however from the very outset, it was established with the intention of creating a place where the tradition and history of science and the medical arts would be preserved, and also as the nucleus of a research and educational centre. It is still one of the oldest museums of medicine in Europe and the oldest in Poland. It was created by Prof. Walery Jaworski (1849–1924) who was an aficionado of ancient medicine, an excellent physician and a pioneer of gastroenterology in Poland. Thanks to his initiative, on 27 April 1900 a resolution was adopted to establish a ‛History Museum for the Faculty of Medicine of the Jagiellonian University’. The collection grew rapidly thanks to the generosity of many donors, including Jaworski himself, Prof. Adam Wrzosek, the family of Prof. Ludwik Bierkowski, Maksymilian Lebensbaum MD, the family of Tytus Chałubiński MD and the family of Prof. Adam Bochenek. Although the so-called ‛Jaworski Museum’ gained considerable popularity, there were invariably insufficient funds to house it properly and the exhibits had to be kept in cupboards and boxes due to lack of space. Until the outbreak of the Second World War, the museum was able to organize a few temporary exhibitions and to draw up inventories. A few years after the war had ended the decision was taken to dissolve the faculty and departments of the history of medicine. In 1956 the Department of the History of Medicine was reactivated, but a museum was still out of the question. In 1990, however, thanks to the rector, Tadeusz Cichocki, and Professor Józef Bogusz, chair of the Kraków Medical Society, several rooms on the ground floor of the Dom Towarzystwa Lekarskiego (vel Dom Lekarski) at ul. Radziwiłłowska 4 were designated for the museum, which was officially opened two years later by Professor Andrzej Szczeklik, rector of the Medical Academy. The Museum now has three exhibition rooms as well as a room for educational actitivities and for holding meetings. The museum collections include antique books and medical manuscripts, medical tools and instruments, as well as a medal collection, medical school graduation diplomas, oil paintings and photographs. Of particular value are the plaster casts in the pathoanatomical cabinet set up by Prof. Ludwik Bierkowski – it is the largest collection of its kind in Europe – and the oldest surviving medical records from Prof. Maciej Józef Brodowicz’s Clinic of Internal Medicine, sets of surgical instruments from the early days of the University Hospital in Kraków, as well as a unique sample of a so-called Polish plait (Latin: Plica polonica, Pol. Kołtun polski), which has been the subject of a number of medical inquiries. The permanent exhibition also contains many old medical books and a collection of old microscopes. The museum remains an integral part of the Faculty of the History of Medicine serving the needs of scholars, students and aficionados of the history of medicine. Currently the museum is being reorganized due to the acquisition of new historical memorabilia from the University Hospital in Kraków after being moved to its new seat. The Faculty of Medicine also has the following:
– an anatomical collection, which is the oldest historically because it had its origins in the so-called Anatomical Cabinet located in the Theatrum Anatomicum at ul. Kopernika 12 which was created by Rafał Józef Czerwiakowski at the end of the 18th century, and which was an integral part of the Department of Anatomy;
– the pathoanatomical collection which was set up in the 1830s by Ludwik Bierkowski, and which is located in the Faculty and Department of Pathological Anatomy in the Medical College building at ul. Grzegórzeckiej 16 (the collection is not open to the general public);
– the forensic medicine collection, which is part of the Faculty and Department of Forensic Medicine, also located at ul. Grzegórzecka 16.
Prof. Ryszard W. Gryglewski, Michał Chlipała MA