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Special Collections & Archives: Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum

Learn more about the unusual and rare collections that the college cares for.

About the Collection

The Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum, named after the late Transylvania chemistry professor, displays a portion of the University's extensive holdings of nineteenth-century science artifacts, anatomical models, and botanical paintings that were used to teach the principles of physics, chemistry, and biology. The instruments were purchased in London and Paris from 1820 to about 1850 and brought to Transylvania, where they were used extensively by the students in Transylvania's flourishing medical school, which turned out thousands of doctors.

A visiting specialist from the Smithsonian Institution judged Transylvania's collections to be among the finest in the nation for this time period.

The museum is open by appointment.  Contact Curator and Physics Professor Jamie Day to schedule one.

Museum Items

Search the Historic Artifacts Database

  • This database is slowly being built.  We are adding and describing the Scientific Apparatus held in the Moosnick Collection and slowly adding information on artwork and other artifacts. If you are interested in supporting this work with a monetary donation, please contact Susan Brown, Library Director.

You can also learn more about the items in the museum by reading the catalog created by Leland Brown in 1959:
Brown, L A. Early Philosophical Apparatus at Transylvania College. Lexington: Transylvania College Press, 1959.
It has also been transcribed here.

Additional items in the collection are described here.

Wax Medical Venus used by TU students in the first half of the 19th century.

Further Reading on items in the Moosnick Collection

Ambrose, Charles. "Transylvania's Skull with a Hole In It." Transylvania Treasures. 2.3 (Fall 2009): p.2-3.

Bowden, William A. "Celebrating Transylvania's Medical History." Transylvania University Magazine. (Fall 2007): p.10-13.

Day, Jamie.  "Transylvania's Medical Venus."  Transylvania Treasures. 1.3 (Summer 2008): p.6-7.

Day, Jamie "The Magic of Selenite Slides." Transylvania Treasures. 2.2 (Summer 2009): p.8-9.

Day, Jamie. "Barlowe's Amazing Planetarium."  Transylvania Treasures. 5.1 (Spring 2012): p.12-14.

Day, Jamie.  "A Brief Discourse on the Happy Effects of the Tobacco Smoke Glyster."  Transylvania Treasures. 4.1 (Winter 2013): p.8-9.

Day, Jamie. "Robert Peter's Daguerreotype Camera." Image. (Fall 2010–Winter 2011): p. 19.

Gohde, Kurt. "Transylvania's Meat Rain." Transylvania Treasures. 4.1 (Winter 2013): p.12-13.

Landry, Jennifer. "The Scale of Chemical Equivalents."  Transylvania Treasures. 5.2 (Summer 2012): p.8-9.

Merritt, Tanzi. “Cabinet of Curiosities”Smiley Pete Publishing. Sept 26, 2016.

Nusbaumer, Philippe.  "Antoine Chazal Drawings: Precise and Realistic Illustrations of Medicinal Plants."  Transylvania Treasures. 2.3 (Fall 2010): p.10-11.

Van Dussen Schelemanow, Amy. "The Crossroads of Science and History."  Image. (Fall 2010–Winter 2011): pp 14-18.