Society for the Preservation of Artefacts of Surgery & Medicine

The museum was begun by Dr. Ross Holland as a teaching collection within the Department of Anaesthetics at Lidcombe Hospital and has grown over time to include many other items no longer used in the practice of medicine, nursing, surgery & anaesthesia. As the collection grew larger and a group of volunteers established, it was decided to create an organisation that would provide protection for the collection and ensure its preservation. In February 1979,Spasm was established and a constitution written to guide the management of the collection and any future activity. Work began on the computerisation and cataloguing of the collection in 1986.

The Area Health service did not wish to accept any responsibility for the collection and wanted the collection moved before the Lidcombe hospital site was sold. Following protracted investigation and negotiation with the Dept of Health a home was finally found on the campus of the Gladesville Hospital site.

The collection was moved in 1996 to Building 6 at Gladesville Hospital,when the site had been declared redundant to the needs of the (then)Northern Sydney Area Health Service and as a result tenants were sought for many of the buildings on the site.

Building 6 is one of the two sandstone cottages situated at the original Victoria Road entrance to the hospital. SPASM is housed in the cottage on the western side of the entry roadway.

The original teaching collection has been enhanced by the addition of equipment now considered to be redundant that has been donated by many individuals and health care organisations.

SPASM was amongst the founding members of HMM (NSW) and is a member organisation of Museums Australia.

Whilst the Gladesville site and ambience is historic in nature, the museum's tenancy is somewhat fragile, however it is hoped that SPASM will continue to function, thus enhancing the understanding of Health and Medicine development in Australia.


The collection contains over 5000 objects, documents and books