Medical Museum

Iron Lung at museum

The Royal Berkshire Medical Museum is part of the Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre which was founded in 1997.

Our aim is to preserve and display items of historical medical interest particularly those with a local connection.

We do this by means of our museum, peripheral displays at other sites in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, photographic exhibitions, by recording oral histories and by publishing and promoting books on local healthcare history.

We are a registered charity run entirely by volunteers. Our collection includes many hundreds of artefacts and photographs relating to medicine, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry. We have been granted custody of the archives of the Royal Berkshire Hospital, which include records dating back to 1837.

We receive curatorial advice from the Reading Museum Service and are members of the Association of Independent Museums. We are a nationally accredited museum.  

The Royal Berkshire Medical Museum is the hub of the Centre's activities. It is housed in the splendid old hospital laundry, built in 1881. Additional displays may be found along the concourse in the Centre Block, in the foyer of the Maternity Unit, in the Radiology Department and in the Trust Education Centre.

Other activities of the Centre include the compilation of oral histories from former patients and from those who have worked in the local hospitals. We also participate in the loan box scheme of the Reading Museum Service both for schools and for their ‘reminiscence’ boxes project.

Heritage Lottery Grant 2008

In 2008 the museum underwent a major redevelopment following generous grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Manifold Trust and Intavent International.

We now have specific displays on pharmacy, surgery, anaesthetics, blood letting, blood transfusion, medicine in wartime, ENT, ophthalmology, dental surgery, nursing, fibre-optics, infectious disease and quack medicine.

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Charity number 1084890

Useful Contacts

Medical Museum
Royal Berkshire 
NHS Foundation Trust
London Road
Reading
RG1 5AN

0118 322 7788

  • CONTACT DETAILS: Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, London Road, Reading RG1 5AN
  • Email us
  • Tel: 0118 322 5111