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1941 Catalog of the Mütter Museum

Identifier: CPP 7/002-03

Scope and Contents

Typescript catalogue of anatomical and pathological specimens and historical materials in the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, compiled 1940-1941 by Ella N. Wade, with additional information to 1958. The catalogue entries are arranged according to accession number. Volume 1 contains accession numbers 1-2288; volume 2, 2289-4233; volume 3, 4234-7709. Each catalogue entry includes the specimen number, former Mütter catalogue number (where appropriate), specimen description, acquisition information, case description, and current location. There are occasional references to published descriptions of the specimen or a report of the case and notes on condition and disposition of missing or deteriorated specimens. Notable sections of the catalogue describe Joseph Hyrtl’s collection of skulls; the Matthew H. Cryer Anatomical Collection; World War I gunshot fractures treated at Base Hospital No. 10; and the Politzer Series of Tympanic Membranes. Included in volume 1 is an account of the compilation of the catalogue and a list of museum curators and museum committee officers, 1849-1944.


  • 1940 - 1941


Biographical / Historical

The office of curator of the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia was established in 1863, following the agreement made by the College with Thomas D. Mütter in 1858. This was originally an elective College office which carried a salary of $300 provided by the Mütter Trust. The first curator of the Mütter Museum, Thomas G. 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 Mütter 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 Mütter 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’s curator. In 1988, the title of "Curator of the Mütter Museum" was changed to "Director".

Thomas G. Morton compiled a simple catalogue of the Mütter Museum in 1864, following the College’s acquisition of the collections. In 1884, Guy Hinsdale began compilation of the first comprehensive catalogue of the museum’s holdings; a typescript version of the Hinsdale catalogue was made by Ella N. Wade in 1940-1941. A simplified published catalogue appeared in the Transactions and studies of the College of Physician of Philadelphia from 1947 to 1949.


3 Volumes

Language of Materials


1941 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