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Themes

Welcome to the themes page.

The themes are a selection of items from the collection, they do not necessarily contain all the objects and books we have in the collection relating to that subject. 

Apothecary

Apothecaries were the predecessors to modern pharmacists. 
English delftware drug jars
English delftware drug jars

One of the largest collections of apothecary pots in the UK.

European drug jars
European drug jars

Boasting bright colours and beautiful designs.

Diseases and Epidemics

In the 1950s, vaccines were working, penicillin existed, and infectious disease seemed to be coming to an end. But, since then, more than 300 infectious diseases have newly emerged or re-emerged. Preventatives and cures are paramount.

Cholera
Cholera

An infectious disease which can cause dehydration and death.

COVID-19
COVID-19

A global pandemic 2020-2021.

HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS

Emerging in the 1980s HIV/AIDs was a terrifying pandemic.

Polio
Polio

A once very common viral infection, now rare thanks to immunisation.

Smallpox
Smallpox

A former global killer. Smallpox is the only disease humans have eliminated.

Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis

A bacterial infection that affects the lungs.

Vaccination
Vaccination

A way to protect and prevent disease.

Medical advertising

The collections at Thackray Museum are rooted in medical and surgical trade. Manufacturers use advertising in various and creative ways to share their products with the public and professionals.

Apothecary tokens
Apothecary tokens

Small change issued by Apothecaries in the 17th Century.

Trade catalogues
Trade catalogues

A sample of the 16,000+ medical technology and sundries catalogues in the collection.

Medical innovations

The collections represent many of the medical, scientific and engineering breakthroughs used to save or improve people’s lives, as well as some of the failures of modern medicine.

Anesthesia
Anesthesia

From local to general pain relief.

Antiseptics
Antiseptics

Methods to clear germs which can save lives.

Audiology
Audiology

One of the largets collections of hearing aids and equipment in the UK.

Blood transfusion
Blood transfusion

Billions of pints of donated blood saves lives each year.

Prosthetics & orthotics
Prosthetics & orthotics

Devices to support, correct, enhance or replace parts of the body.

Stethoscopes
Stethoscopes

Tools which started modern western diagnostics.

X-rays
X-rays

Imaging technology that lets us see more than bones in the body.

Sexual Health

Sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases have always impacted people, influencing morality, politics and personal relationships around the world.
Chlamydia
Chlamydia

Often symptomless, this is a frequently transmitted STI.

Contraception
Contraception

How have people tried to prevent pregnancy and STIs in the past.

Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea

An often uncomfortable STI that used to be confused with syphilis.

Syphilis
Syphilis

Once one of the scariest sexualy transmitted diseases and now on the up again.