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
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.
Charity number 1084890