In its stocks the museum holds quite a few medical historical collections which are described in greater detail in the museum’s volume ‘Der zweite Blick’ (“On second glance”), Berlin 2010. These collections provide objects for an ongoing material research in the fields of the history of science and medicine. In addition, they form a base stock of artefacts for exhibitions in the museum (permanent plus temporary) and for loans that other museums request.

The thematic focus of the museum’s collecting activities lies in all aspects concerning the history of medicine in Berlin and the Charité, as well as the history of pathology in general and more specifically the history of pathology at the Charité and the Institute of Pathology starting with its founder Rudolf Virchow.


The museum holds the following special collections:

Collection of Pathological Specimens

Originating in the collecting activities of Rudolf Virchow, the specimen collection today comprises some 10.000 pathological-anatomical dry and wet specimens.

Contact: Navena Widulin

Albrecht von Graefe Collection of Ophthalmological History

Given to the museum on a permanent loan basis by the German Ophthalmological Society (Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft, DOG), the Albrecht von Graefe Collection contains some 1.100 objects from the history of ophthalmology: letters, college records, lecture manuscripts, instruments, graphics, photographs, and medals mostly from the biographical context of the Berlin eye physician Albrecht von Graefe (1828-1870)

Contact: Beate Kunst

Manuscript and Rara Collection

Starting with Rudolf Virchow, some biographical sources have survived in the museum from the working spheres of Charité pathologists. Amongst these there are dissection protocols, laboratory books, specimen lists, photographs, slides, reprints, images, congratulation notes, paper cuts, letters, ex libris, notes, and lists of expenses. Aside, there are some rare prints from the fields of anatomy and pathology.

Contact: Judith Hahn

Collection of Medical and Dental History

The museum holds quite a few objects from the history of dentistry which stem from the formerly two separated Berlin Institutes for the History of Medicine (the GDR one belonged to the Humboldt University the FRG one to the Free University of Berlin). Amongst them there are mostly teaching devices, thematic tables with extracted teeth, tables of illustrations, specimens, models, wax moulages, prostheses, as well as objects from other fields of the history of medicine like diagnostic and therapeutic instruments with a focus on urology, microscopes, operation chairs and disinfection devices.

Contact: Beate Kunst