UK Medical Collections Group


Thackray Medical Museum is proud to lead the UK Medical Collections Group (UKMCG).

The UKMCG is a thriving and influential Subject Specialist Network, set up in 2005 to bring together individuals and organisations with an interest in medicine and healthcare-related collections. We share expertise, ideas and best practice, and welcome new members.

We promote the understanding, development and care of medical collections across the UK and highlight their benefits and uses for the public, scholars, and healthcare professionals. We aim to demonstrate the relevance of our collections and show how we can make a real and positive difference to people’s lives.

The UKMCG supports the development of medical collections, carries out research, and interprets and shares knowledge of the UK’s medical heritage.

Do you care for an historical medical collection or undertake research in this area? To find out more about our work or how to become a member, please contact us.

Examples of our work

Finding the Funny Bone

Finding the Funny Bone is a project that invites partners to explore and share best practice in engaging the public with medical collections through the medium of comedy, leading to a series of special comedy events in participating museums throughout the country in September. You can find out more about the project here and follow the blog here

Medicine at the Movies

The Thackray Medical Museum worked with hearing-impaired people to produce a series of inspirational films. Find out more.

Medical & Healthcare Collections Mapping

A comprehensive survey found that over three million medical and healthcare items are held in museums, libraries and archives throughout the UK, many of national significance. Future work will include exploring opportunities for sharing expertise, improving access to collections, and partnership working.

Read a summary.

History to Health

The UKMCG set up the History to Health project in spring 2012. It builds on previous work that showed how medical museums can successfully engage with a wide range of people and make a positive contribution to health and wellbeing.

Find out more about History to Health.

Delivering Health Outcomes

These case studies summarise two pilot projects run by the UK Medical Collections Group (UKMCG) to investigate ways in which medicine and healthcare collections can deliver health outcomes. The UKMCG funded two short-term projects using a Subject Specialist Network grant from Arts Council England. The Thackray Medical Museum worked to improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia, their families and carers. The Infirmary in Worcester, part of the George Marshall Medical Museum, aimed to increase young people's awareness of sexual health. Both projects ran between January and April 2013.

Conference 2013 - Collections delivering health outcomes

The most recent UKMCG event on the 5th March 2013 invited speakers working in heritage and the NHS to discuss how collections can impact health outcomes. You can download the speaker's presentations below.