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The NIH Stetten Museum preserves and interprets the history of the twenty-seven institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health, using scientific and non-scientific artifacts, photographs and film, oral histories, and other documentation.  The Museum uses a variety of methods such as virtual and physical exhibits, social media, and publications to make this history available to the public and to historical researchers. 

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The DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Museum of Medical Research

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70 Acres of Science


70 Acres of Science: The National Institute of Health Moves to Bethesda 

Michele Lyons - Curator, National Institutes of Health DeWitt Stetten Jr., Museum of Medical Research 

The NIH is the biomedical research organization of the federal government. Why is a government agency located in Bethesda, apparently masquerading as a university? The simple answer is that in the late 1930s, the NIH needed more room and a wealthy couple donated some of their land. The more complex answer involves domestic politics, social reform, international relations, economic depression, scientific advances, and personal ambitions. 

Download: 70acresofscience.pdf (12.3 MB)

A journey into NIH's past…and present

photo of display case containing coloring books from the Clinical Center by its 2nd floor cafeteria

New display cases have been installed around campus. Read a comic book about Joseph Goldberger’s work in pellagra in the early 20th century at the Building 1, 3rd floor case. Be amazed at the variety of Clinical Center patches near the Hospitality Desk on the 1st floor of the Clinical Center.  Think about the social context of coloring books from the Clinical Center by its 2nd floor cafeteria.  And salute a leading woman investigator, Dr. Margaret Pittman, in the Building 60 lobby.  Two cases are coming to the Vaccine Research Center, and one to Building 6.

Read More

Photo of the Cajal Exhibit, showing large image of Cajal and original illustrations on display along with 3d Printed tiles underneath

Current set of seven neuroanatomy drawings by Santiago Ramón y Cajal will remain on rotation in Building 35. 

Santiago Ramón y Cajal Exhibit

Photo of the Cajal Exhibit, showing large image of Cajal and original illustrations on display along with 3d Printed tiles underneath

Current set of seven neuroanatomy drawings by Santiago Ramón y Cajal will remain on rotation in Building 35. 

U.S. National Library of Medicine Photograph by Ernie Branson

Social Media

Tweets by historyatnih

Oral histories are added on a regular basis.


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