Museum Collections

Steel instruments in red velvet-lined wood case
Steel instruments in red velvet-lined wood case

The Mütter Museum has a unique collection of specimens and objects that reflect the human history of anatomy and medicine. Our collection ranges from the seventh century BCE to today, although the majority of our collection dates from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century.  

Our collection includes medical instruments and pharmaceuticals, models, memorabilia, and human and non-human biological materials preserved as osteological specimens, wet specimens, and dry specimens. The Mütter Museum still collects objects and specimens that conform with our Collections Management Policy. For more information on donating to the Museum collection, see our FAQ. 

Searchable Museum Collections Portal

Check out our public collections database for images and information about many of the over 35,000 specimens and objects held by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia!

Support for the Museum Collections Portal has been provided by . The views expressed are those of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage or The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Mütter Museum accepts some donations per the College’s Collections Management Policy. Please contact the Collections Manager at and include:

    • Your name and contact information

    • A list detailing each item you wish to donate

    • Digital images of each item you wish to donate

    • The measurements of each item and the approximate weight; and

    • Any details or history about the items, such as previous owners, manufacturers, what it is made of, how it was used, or other relevant information

    • Any manuals or instructions you have

    Please know that we cannot accept any items that may pose a threat to our staff, patrons, or the collection. Each donation query will be examined case‐by‐case, and we will respond within three weeks after receiving the offer.

  • While we would love to answer all the queries about people’s personal collections, we are a very small staff and we do not have the resources to provide such services.

  • The Mütter Museum does not conduct appraisals on any specimen or object. To find an appraiser in your area we recommend the American Society of Appraisers.

  • The Historical Medical Library may accept donations subject to the College’s Collections Management Policy.  Please contact the Library at and include:

    • Your name and contact information

    • A full citation of the book you wish to donate—title, author, and date and place of publication

    • A digital photograph and a general description of the condition of the book

    The Library will not accept any book in disrepair or that poses a risk to the staff, patrons, or the collections.