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Geoffrey Kaye Museum

Geoffrey Kaye Museum

The Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History is currently undergoing an exhibition redevelopment and will be closed to the public until September 22, 2014.


If you have any questions, or would like to arrange a visit when the Museum has re-opened, please contact the Museum at



Founded in 1935 by Dr Geoffrey Kaye (1903-1986), the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History chronicles the history of anaesthesia, intensive care medicine and pain medicine. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive anaesthetic history collections in the world.



Geoffrey Kaye as a young man, water colour by Norma Bull.
ANZCA Archive Collection.


Through its many activities, the museum explores the important impact the specialty of anaesthesia has had on society and its continuing contribution to the advancement of medicine.

The nucleus of the collection was amassed by Dr Kaye between 1935 and 1955 and includes rare items dating back to 1846. Items include a 1870s nitrous oxide gasometer and rare research material, such as Dr Joseph Clover’s 1846-1853 Lecture and Case Notes.


Dr Kaye's vision was: "To cultivate an interest in anaesthesia and promote the development of the practice among students, physicians and the general public through the display and use of a wide variety of anaesthetic equipment."


A pioneering Melbourne anaesthetist, Dr Kaye promoted the development of research and teaching in anaesthesia in the 1930s and 1940s. He forged strong links with prominent international anaesthetists in the emerging specialty, establishing a scientific basis for a specialty that had hitherto been entirely practical.


The collection continues to grow and now contains over 8000 items gathered from companies, hospitals, donations and exchanged with other anaesthetic collections. See items in the museum's collection here and items from the exhibition All in a Day's Work here.


Visitors can see the collection during business hours and may arrange a guided tour by contacting the curator.


Hear GKMAH Honorary Curator, Dr Christine Ball, explaining the history of the use of nitrous oxide to The Age newspaper.


Geoffrey Kaye Symposium

This two-day meeting, held in Melbourne January 29-30, 2013, celebrated the legacy of Dr Geoffrey Kaye, who founded one of the most important anaesthesia museums in the world.

Further information is available here.


Phone: +61 (3) 8517 5309
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