Between 1800 and 1950 thousands of Irish medics left Ireland for employment around the world in colonial or military service, enticed by regular pay, defined career path or the possibility of travel and adventure. Some would return to Ireland, using their newly acquired wealth and experience to set up in private practice, while others spent their professional lives in service overseas. This exhibition explore the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of some of these individuals, and how they played a part on the international stage.
This exhibition focuses on the life and career of renowned Irish psychiatrist Dr Conolly Norman. The apparent growth of insanity in 19th century Ireland saw the building of an extensive asylum system. Upon his appointment at the Richmond Asylum in Dublin, Norman began attempting to reform the system and use his experiences to shape the future of psychiatry. The exhibition charts his early life, career and work in the Richmond Asylum, followed by his commemorations and accolades. From an epidemic outbreak in the asylum to his delivery of lectures to psychology students, Norman always tried to progress the study of mental illness.
The first recorded vaccination in Ireland took place in 1800 against smallpox, then one of the most serious infectious diseases known. This exhibition explores the discovery of the smallpox vaccination, its introduction to Ireland and how the authorities rolled out the programme of vaccination, and where and when it was opposed. It also looks at contemporary vaccination in Ireland and why, in a time when there are numerous safe vaccines against a number of serious infections which have saved millions of lives, there has been a rise in anti-vaccination sentiment.
An exploration of the prevalence and treatment of tuberculosis in Ireland, focusing on the records of the Royal National Hospital for Consumption and the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum.
This exhibition was curated by Emma Deignan and Rachel Frires, students on the MA in Public History and Cultural Heritage in Trinity College Dublin. Listen to them talk about the exhibition here.
Our 2019 exhibition was created to mark the centenary of the founding of St Ultan's Hospital for infants in Dublin by Dr Kathleen Lynn and her group of female supporters. The exhibition explores the early years of the hospital's existence and the intersection of politics, healthcare and religious interests in the Irish Free State and beyond.
Drawing on our collections this exhibition explores the impact of the period from the outbreak of the First World War to the end of the Civil War on the medical profession in Ireland. Examining the experiences of medics on all sides of the conflict, it delves into the tensions between personal views, political opinions and professional obligations. It was originally held in our home at 6 Kildare Street in 2016 as part of the centenary of the 1916 Rising commemorations.
This 2018 exhibition was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Ireland. It explores the history of the specialty in Ireland, from its origins in the 1600s to the foundation of the Institute as the professional body for the specialty in 1968, and what the future may hold. It also looks at the changing gender balance in the specialty, and how it has gone from female to male dominated, and back again.
This exhibition tells the story of the foundation of the College, from the initial idea of Dr John Stearne to the founding of a fraternity of physicians to the granting of a Royal Charter in 1667 and 1692. It also looks at how the College has change and adapted over time, especially how a Royal College it found its place in an independent Ireland.