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1884 Catalog of the Mütter Museum

Identifier: CPP 7/002-01

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the three-volume original typescript catalogue of the Mutter Museum begun by Guy Hinsdale in 1884, The catalogue contains entries and emendations to 1941, when it was superceded by a revised typescript version.

The catalogue entries are arranged by specimen type according to catalogue number in a numerical code system. Volume 1 contains numbers 1000-3900; volume 21 4000-7000; volume 3, 8000-18000. A summary of the code system is included in volume 1. The catalogue entries include the type of specimen with sometimes lengthy descriptions, acquisition information, and case descriptions. There are occasional references to published descriptions of the specimen or report of the case and notes on condition and disposition of missing or deteriorated specimens, Many items are laid in the catalogue, including letters of donation of specimens or instruments from William W. Keen, Mordecai Price, and John B. Roberts; notes on the history and use of surgical instruments; photographs; and case and specimen descriptions. Notable sections of the catalogue include descriptions of Joseph Hyrtl's collection of skulls; the Matthew H, Cryer Anatomical Collection; World War I gunshot fractures treated as Base Hospital No. 10; and Douglas P, Murphy's identification of pelves.


  • 184 - 1941


Biographical / Historical

The office of Curator of the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia was established in 1863, following the agreement made by the College with Thomas D, Mutter in 1858. This was originally an elective College office which carried a salary of $300 provided by the Mutter Trust. The first curator of the Mutter Museum, Thomas George Morton, had been curator of the College's Pathological Cabinet, which was absorbed into the museum.

The 1863 by-laws of the College state that the curator was an ex officio member of the Committee on the Mutter Museum. His duties included preparation and labelling of specimens; general care of the museum; and maintenance of a catalogue and records for each specimen. From 1870 to 1914, the curator was required to report on new donations to the museum at meetings of the College. The 1886 by-laws provided for the annual nomination of the curator, who was not required to be a Fellow of the College, by the Committee on the Mutter Museum. The appointment was then made by the College, In 1935, the Committee on College Collections nominated a Custodian to Council; this office was to be filled by the museum curator, In 1988, the title of "Curator of the Mutter Museum" was changed to "Director".

Thomas George Morton compiled a simple catalogue of the Mutter Museum in 1864, following the College's acquisition of the collections, In 1884, Guy Hinsdale began compilation of a comprehensive catalogue of the Mutter Museum; a typescript version was made ,in 1940-1941. A simplified published catalogue appeared in the Transactions and studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia from 1947 to 1949.


3 Volumes

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The Catalogue of the Mutter Museum was transferred to the Historical Collections of the Library of the College of Physicians by Gretchen Worden of the Mutter Museum on 29 August 1991.

The catalogue was processed in 1991 and then returned to the Museum.
1884 Catalog of the Mütter Museum
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States