Helsinki University Museum – Helsinki, Finland - Atlas Obscura

Helsinki University Museum

A collection of collections ranging from dentistry to minerals. 


TheUniversity of Helsinki Museum is home to a collage of old collections. Visitors can discover a myriad of treasures, from a mid-19th century Finnish pharmacy to a collection of brass cartography tools to moulage (wax models) of infant diseases.

The exhibit includes a few traditional collections, like the history of the University of Helsinki and the Collections of Craft Science, but the most intriguing collections are the Museum of the History of Veterinary Medicine, the Museum of the History of Dentistry, the History of Medicine and the Mineral Cabinet. Curious medical models, skull cross-sections, and torturous-looking dental contraptions are at every turn.

By far the “gem” of the collection is the Mineral Cabinet. Three rooms of beautiful old mahogany cabinets display an enormous geological treasure trove.

Each tiny specimen is displayed in a strange and unique way - held up by its own metal prongs, some under little bell jars, others in groupings of theme and variation.

Update: As of November, 2015, the Helsinki University Museum has been moved to the main building of the university. Due to lack of space most of what was previously on display in Arppeanum is now in storage unavailable to the public. Some of it can, however, still be seen incorporated into the main exhibition. 

Know Before You Go

Due to the renovation of the university's main building, the main exhibition of the University Museum is closed for the time being. The renovated basic exhibition and space for changing exhibitions will open in the university's main building at the end of 2023.

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