Medical History Association

Uppsala Medical History Museum and Uppsala Medical History Association

Uppsala Medical History Association was constituted in 1984 in order to form a foundation of a medical history museum in Uppsala. The surgeon, professor emeritus Lars Thorén was the driving force. In August 1988 the board decided to form a working team in order to investigate the possibilities of such an establishment. Contacts were therefore made with Uppsala University and the county council of Uppsala. The foundation was formed in 1990 with Uppsala Medical History Association, Uppsala University and the county council of Uppsala as principals.

The Medical History Museum in UppsalaNow the work started to find premises. Several were proposed, among others the Ekerman house, next to Museum Gustavianum, but the rental there would be too expensive. Another offer was one floor in the oldest building of the Akademiska hospital built in 1867, but the floor was not available at once. In the year of 1992 the Ädel-reform was presented in Sweden which meant that municipalities should take over socio therapies from the county councils. The socio therapy at Ulleråker´s hospital therefore was discontinued. A whole floor in the old administration building from 1900 was free to hire. The rent in Ulleråker was lower than that in central Uppsala. A psychiatric history museum was located upstairs. It was headed by the division of psychiatry at the Akademiska hospital.

The future museum moved in to the premises in 1992, Lars and his wife, the pediatrician Ingrid Richter Thorén, together with a couple of colleagues, arranged the premises and in April 1995 the museum could open for public. Meanwhile the pharmacist Stig Ekström also had joined them. He contributed with objects and furniture for a room of pharmacy. The museum was taken care of by idealistic staff until spring 2004 when the board realized that their finances allowed them to employ a full-time manager for the museum. In 2007 Lars Thorén died and a halftime museum assistant was employed. The two museums in the same building started to collaborate in 2006. Spring-time 2013 the former two museums could become one common museum. The museum of psychiatric history, which had been taken care of by idealistic staff was incorporated in the foundation Uppsala medicinhistoriska museum. Yet another full-time person was employed and the former half-time appointment was made a full-time. The title manager was changed to director.

The museum reflects the evolution of medicine from popular medicine and early scientific medicine up to intensive care of today. The museum gives since January 2007 lectures when open Sundays with the exception of July and August. Guided tours on reservation are given beside regular open times. The employees have many idealistic staff guides for help. These have formerly worked as doctors, pharmacists or in the psychiatric care.


Program activities are given at Culture night, Culture heritage day, Archives day and Museum day. Children activities are given when sports- and culture holidays.

Before Christmas visitors are able to make their own mustard under supervision of the pharmacist.

Since five years a university course of 7, 5 points in Medical history is linked to the museum. Eva Ahlsten is responsible for the course in the position of additional assistant lecturer.

Eva Ahlsten, former Director of the museum

Link to Uppsala Medical History Museum