Indiana Medical History Museum – Indianapolis, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

Indiana Medical History Museum

A medical facility that has been kept frozen in time. 


The Indiana Medical History Museum is in the old pathology building of the Central State Hospital for the Insane. 

This museum has an autopsy room, amphitheater for medical students, laboratories and photo archives as well as old hospital records.  The lab is interesting in that it was set up before germ theory and therefore is frighteningly primitive compared to modern labs, and all the vintage instruments and tools are still there.  In an annex there is a recreated doctor’s office as well.

Part of what makes the Indiana Medical History Museum so fascinating is that this one-time medical school has been kept just as it was over 100 years ago. The building itself is the oldest surviving pathology facility in the nation and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Make sure to see the 1896 teaching amphitheater, where students fainted in their chairs during the autopsies.

Tours are guided only in the museum, but you can see the apothecary garden and some of the grounds anytime.  This is one of the most fascinating and odd museums in Midwest America and if you live in the area you should not miss an opportunity to visit.

Know Before You Go

The Indiana Medical History Museum is located in the Old Pathology Building on the grounds of the former Central State Hospital on the near westside of