The Ainsworth Interactive Collection of Medical Pathology (Pathology Museum)

The Ainsworth Interactive Collection of Medical Pathology is situated on the ground floor of the Charles Perkins Centre (D17) on the Camperdown campus. It houses approximately 1600 pathological specimens on permanent display. The collection originated in the Anderson Stuart Building in 1889 and was designated "The Museum of Normal and Morbid Anatomy". The collection has a very long history within the University of Sydney and has grown over many years since Dr A MacCormick (later Sir Alexander MacCormick) began the collection of specimens to illustrate lectures to students.

The first Honorary Curator, Dr S Jamieson, was appointed in 1893. The first preparator of specimens was Mr J Shewan. When the new medical school opened in 1933 the specimens were moved from the Anderson Stuart Building to the Blackburn Building, and more recently to the Charles Perkins Centre where new specimens continue to be displayed.

The Curatorship of the collection remained the responsibility of the Pathology Professor until 1976 when Professor Magarey relinquished the position to the preparator, Mr GL Morrison. Such was the expertise of Mr Morrison in the field of Medical Museum preparation that both local and overseas visitors would often spend intervals of up to one year learning his techniques. Mr Morrison retired in 1998 and Mr G Holden was named Curator. He held this position until he departed in 2001. The current Curator is Dr M Kekic.

The collection is currently staff by the Curator, Dr M Kekic and assistants, Mr A Liau and Mr GL Morrison (on a part-time basis), who maintain the display and prepare specimens. The primary function of the collection lies in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, however visitors (including nurses in training, physiotherapy trainees, school students, and various other interest groups) can attend by contacting the Curator for an appointment. The facilities of the collection are also available for contract work from external sources.

The curatoring team have completed an extensive computerised upgrade of the catalogued teaching specimens. These are stored on CD-ROM disks. To complement this technology we have purchased a slide maker which is capable of reproducing coloured slides from the CD-ROM catalogued specimens.

In addition to the biological specimens, a display of laboratory instruments and equipment of historical interest was opened within the collection in August 1986 by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor RS Gye. For some time the Curator has encouraged the donation of items to illustrate the history and development of laboratory medicine, and a number of the displayed objects have connections with former members of the University. The most prized exhibit on display in the collection though, is a flask of broth prepared by Louis Pasteur for the culture of bacteria.