The Thackray Museum of Medicine is the UK’s largest independent medical museum with collections covering most areas of medicine and healthcare. It has its origins in a small family-run chemist shop, opened in 1902 by Charles Thackray, in Great George Street, Leeds. The business became a major medical supply firm, supplying drugs and medical instruments and equipment around the world. The company was sold in the 1990s and the museum was founded to share stories from the history of medicine. The collections cover objects, books and archives relating to medicine and healthcare and are particularly strong in British, European and American Medicine in the 19th and 20th Centuries. 

If you’d like to find out more, make an enquiry or have an object to donate, please see our collections pages

To contact us please email: 

Frequently asked questions

How do I make an enquiry?

We are proud of our collections and enjoy being able to share them with everyone. If you have a question about an object in our collection, something of yours that you think we can help provide further information on or general queries about the museum you can use our enquiries service. 

Please contact us at or if you are unable to email, call us on 0113 244 4343. We aim to provide an initial response within three working days, subject to workload.

Can I view the Collections On-site?

Library holdings and objects from our collection can be viewed in the Research Room every Wednesday, from 10:00am to 3:00pm, subject to availability.  The requested items will need to be located and condition checked before viewing so unfortunately, we are only able to offer pre-booked appointments rather than a drop-in service.

Please email stating which objects you would like to view, and you will be contacted by a member of our team to discuss your requirements and arrange an appointment. We aim to provide an initial response within three working days, subject to workload. Please include all relevant information in your enquiry to aid a search of the collections.

Many of our objects are old, fragile or may contain hazardous substances and as such some may be unsuitable for viewing. You will be informed if this is the case before you are given an appointment and we will work with you to find a solution.

Large objects may be viewed in our stores by prior arrangement with the Collections Access Assistants, however these appointments are subject to staff and resource availability. 

Please contact to enquire about this service.

Can I make a Donation?

Please remember that we already have over 70,000 accessioned items in our permanent collection and can only consider those items which fit the criteria of our collection development policy, the document which outlines what we can and cannot collect. A copy of our CDP can be viewed by clicking here. All items which we accept have to go through a strict review process with our acquisition and disposal panel before they can be accessioned. Please note that we cannot accept:

  • Items sent in the post
  • Items left at the Thackray Medical Museum without an appointment
  • Human remains or pathological specimens
  • Controlled drugs
  • Duplicates of items we already have
  • Anonymous donations

If you would like to donate to our collection please email and include a description of your item, photographs and any interesting details you might have about its back story.

Can you do a valuation for me? 

We’re sorry, but we are not able to value objects for members of the public. Please ask an independent antique expert for a professional valuation.