Beswick Collection objects added to Manchester Digital Collections

Mon, 22 Nov 2021 09:52:00 GMT

Have you heard of the Museum of Medicine and Health, but never explored the collection before?

As well as the 'Instruments of Change' exhibition currently on display in the foyer of the University's Stopford Building, the museum is proud to launch a selection of digitised objects from the Beswick Collection as part of Manchester Digital Collections (MDC).

MDC is reaching out across the University to garner content that reflects the diversity of the organisation, the cultural assets it holds in trust and the research it delivers. The MDC is a growing resource for exploring ultra-high quality images.

The Museum of Medicine and Health has its origins in instruments and equipment from the old Medical School. The Medical School’s Executive Dean, Dr F B Beswick (1925-2019) decided that any equipment left should be moved to the new Stopford Building. Dr Beswick’s wife, Charlotte Beswick (1926-2013) was curator and she identified and recorded the vast collection of objects, now totalling over 8000.

The carefully selected 24 objects includes a unique reservoir penicillin syringe used on the battlefields of the Second World War and a Manchester made amputation set dating from the 1880s. Other notable objects include a 1940’s leucotome and a 1970’s mammography X-ray tube, highly prestigious and rare items. Their inclusion in this high profile digitisation project enables us to highlight the exceptional careers and research impact of individuals like the infant healthcare reformist Dr Catherine Chisholm, and the radiotherapists Drs Ralston and Edith Paterson.

Objects from Beswick collection at the Museum of Medicine and Health have been used successfully with MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies and also the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Over 400 students have worked directly with the collection in modules and external exhibitions, as well as 240 widening participation school students between 2016 and 2019. Furthermore, these students have been responsible for showcasing this outstanding collection to over 150,000 visitors. So, if you have a passion for the history and advancement of medicine and health, find out more from the comfort of your home on what the museum holds, cares for and makes accessible within the Faculty and beyond.