The Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History showcases over 170 years of advances in anaesthesia and pain medicine, and is the largest and most diverse collection of its kind in the world.
The museum was founded in 1935 by Dr Geoffrey Kaye (1903-1986). He believed that in order to understand our present, we need to understand our past, which helps us better plan for the future.
Housed in Ulimaroa, a heritage listed, 19th century Italianate house on St Kilda Road, Melbourne (which now forms part of our college headquarters), the museum holds temporary exhibitions onsite and online, and a comprehensive collection for historical research. It became an accredited museum in February 2015.
In 2022, the museum went through a reaccreditation process with the Victorian branch of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association. One of the requirements for reaccreditation was to provide a document which outlined plans and aspirations for the future.
The museum prepared a document focused on audiences, the role of the museum, sustainable business, learning, being and representing, and society and the wider world.
In 2023, the museum undertook a whole of collection significance collection. The independent consultant, Dr Megan Cardamone of Circa Museum Services, found the collection to be the most comprehensive of its type in the world, and of national and international. You can read the full significance assessment.
The museum is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Bookings are essential. If you have any questions or would like to arrange a visit, please contact Museum Curator, Monica Cronin.
Explore our collection
The museum houses a collection of over 8000 objects, some of which have been made available online. To see the museum’s collection, visit the Victorian Collections website.
The museum regularly displays temporary exhibitions. You can find all of our exhibitions online.
Events and courses
The Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History runs events and courses to explore the history of anaesthesia and pain medicine and to help medical professionals and members of the public develop and fine-tune their historical research skills.
If you are interested in donating to the museum, please read the information below and contact the museum via email or telephone +61 3 8517 5309.
All offers are put before an acquisitions panel, made up of the honorary curator, curator and members of the History & Heritage Expert Reference Panel. Offers will be assessed against the following criteria:
- Relevance: The museum only collects objects relating to its purpose and key collecting areas.
- Significance: Objects which are significant for their historic, aesthetic, scientific/research or social/spiritual value.
- Provenance and documentation: Objects where the history of the object is known and documentation and support material can be provided.
- Condition, intactness, integrity: Badly damaged material will not normally be accepted into the collection.
- Interpretive potential: Objects that tell a story that adds to the interpretation of museum themes.
- Rarity: Objects may be prioritised if they are rare examples of a particular kind of object.
- Representativeness: Objects may be prioritised if they are an excellent representative example of a particular kind of object.
- Duplications: Objects that duplicate items already in the collection will not be accepted unless they are of superior condition and/or historic value. In such a case the duplicate may be considered for deaccessioning.
- Legal requirements: The museum only accepts objects where the donor/vendor has legal title to the object and is prepared to transfer title to the museum.
We generally won't accept conditional donations and can't guarantee donated objects will be used in exhibitions or otherwise placed on display within any set period of time.