A Medical Museum was established with the opening of the Stopford Building in 1973.

The Manchester Medical School’s Executive Dean, Dr F.B. Beswick (1925-2019) was the driving force behind the project to build a modern medical school.

When new, the Stopford Building was the largest university building in the UK. In preparation for the move to the new building, Dr Beswick insisted that any equipment left in the old Medical School on Coupland Street, including any historic items, should be saved.

Charlotte Beswick (1926 - 2013), wife of the Executive Dean, was the first curator. She identified and recorded the vast collection of historical medical instruments and equipment. Her work attracted further donations and the museum grew to include objects from hospitals, clinics and healthcare professionals.

In honour of Charlotte and her family the Museum of Medicine and Health renamed its core collection ‘the Beswick Collection’.

After Charlotte retired in 1995, William A Jackson FRPharmS MSc, Bill to all who knew him (1927-2007), past president of the British Society for the History of Pharmacy and a member of the International Academy of the History of Pharmacy, managed the collection. In 2002 when Bill retired Dr Peter D Mohr, a retired consultant and his wife Julie became volunteers.

The original name ‘Medical School Museum’ was changed to ‘Museum of Medicine & Health’ in 2016.

Dr Peter Mohr has published many articles around the collection and is an active member of the Historical Medical Equipment Society and the Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Society.

Discover more