The Society for Preservation of Artefacts of Surgery & Medicine




About the Museum

The Society for Preservation of the Artefacts of Surgery & Medicine (SPASM) consists entirely of members and volunteers with an interest in the history of and the preservation of moveable heritage (items and memorabilia) from both the hospital and non-hospital sectors of nursing and medicine.

The collection was begun by Professor Ross Holland in the early 1960s as a teaching collection within the Department of Anaesthetics at Lidcombe Hospital and has been enhanced over time to include many other items no longer used in the practice of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, pathology, general practice, surgery and psychiatry. These items were donated to SPASM by individual persons and health care organizations and now number in excess of 7000 objects, documents and books.

As the collection grew larger it was necessary to create an organisation that would provide protection for the collection and ensure its preservation – The Society was established with a constitution in 1979.

The collection was originally housed in the old operating theatre and CSSD department at the end of Ward 4 – one of the original Federation ramp wards at Lidcombe Hospital. The establishment of the Area Health Services in NSW and the subsequent closure of and sale of the Lidcombe Hospital site, in 1996, necessitated a move to the recently closed old Tarban Creek/Gladesville Hospital site.

The collection is now housed in buildings 1 and 6 in the 1870s sandstone buildings at the gate of the Victoria Road entrance – one of which was the gatekeeper’s cottage and the other the male attendants’ cottage.


Become a Member

1!!!We invite you to become a member of SPASM. A working experience in a museum or a health based occupation is not essential in order to become a member of SPASM or to participate as a volunteer at the museum. JOIN NOW


You could assist as a volunteer in the following ways: Identification of the objects (specialist knowledge is not required as catalogues are available); Assisting with the creation of new displays; Preparing object labels; Acting as a guide; Undertaking research; Photographing objects.


The Society for Preservation of the Artefacts of Surgery and Medicine is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Charitable Entity and as a Deductible Gift Recipient. Offer your old nursing and medical treasures to the museum as a donation.

Come and explore the history and development of the medical practice

Visit and gain an insight into the practice of medicine from the 1800s to the end of the 1900s. The museum is located at Building 6, Gladesville Hospital, Victoria Road, Gladesville NSW 2111 Australia.

Enter from Victoria Road, Building 6 is the first building on the right. Parking is available in the car park beside the museum. A Victoria Road bus stop is located at the door to the museum.