The DeWitt Stetten Jr. Museum of Medical Research, established in 1986, preserves and interprets the material culture of the scientific work of the NIH. In conjunction with the broader Office of NIH History, the Stetten Museum collects biomedical research instruments, photographs, videos, journals, oral histories, and objects related to the general history of the NIH, including architectural artifacts, artwork, and clothing.
The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum holds many collections: objects, images, and documents, and books. We have over 3,100 objects and thousands of photographs related to NIH history. There are many ways to search our collections.
The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum was established to increase historical understanding of the National Institutes of Health and biomedical science among NIH staff, scholars, and the general public. The Office serves as a source of information for NIH history by maintaining a subject and biographical ready-reference collection.
In September 1921, state and federal scientists rented a schoolhouse in Montana to set up a laboratory. They worked there only seven years, but what they did made history: created a vaccine for a highly fatal disease; added to our knowledge of diseases carried by ticks; and established the forerunner of the Rocky Mountain Laboratories.
COVID-19 has impacted the NIH community in many ways—from researching and providing information about the disease, developing therapeutics and vaccines, caring for patients in the Clinical Center, and re-configuring how we perform our jobs. The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum seeks reflections, documents, photographs, and objects about how those at NIH have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic.
NIH & COVID-19 Exhibit
The NIH has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum is collecting NIH staff stories, scientific and personal objects, photos, artwork, etc. to document this important time in history. See a small selection on display in Building 31's main hallway. And contact us if you'd like to do an interview about your work or if you have any objects or images to donate.
Photo by Hank Grasso
We're sad to announce the death of our long-time archivist, Barbara Faye Harkins. After retiring in March 2020, she was greatly missed by our patrons. Now she will be greatly missed by us.
Photo Courtesy of the Lednicer Family
We celebrate the life, work, and friendship of Daniel Lednicer, Ph.D., who joined our office as a volunteer in 2006 and actively contributed to our mission until his death last week at the age of 91. He is greatly missed.
Photo Courtesy of the Tabor Family
We are sad to relay news of the passing of Herbert Tabor, M.D., the world's foremost authority on the enzymatic pathways of polyamines, as well as an esteemed editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for 40 years and, until his death at age 101, a senior principal investigator in the NIDDK Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, where he had served as lab chief until 1999.