The Museum of the History of Georgian Medicine was established in 1963, on the initiative of Professor Mikheil Shengelia and with the active support of the that time Georgian medical society. It was the first in the former Soviet Union, as a museum of the history of national medicine, and soon found followers in another soviet republics.At the beginning museum was housed in the building 13th-century church, “Blue Monastery”. Later, after the country gained independence, building was returned to the Georgian Orthodox Church and the museum was moved in the one of the building from former Michael’s Hospital complex, which was built as a nursing school in 1872 and now is included in the list of monuments of cultural heritage .
The archives and foundations of the museum preserve materials of unique historical value (up to 19,000 exposition units), works of art, paintings, sculptures (works by L. Gudiashvili, U. Japaridze, T. Mirzashvili and others.) Medical Manuscripts, Archaeological Artifacts, Photo Collection, Personal Archives of Famous Georgian Physicians, Rare Medical Instruments and Equipment. Especially noteworthy is the collection of archaeological osteological material – the osteotheca, which consists of several hundred units and is the object of intensive research (anthropological, paleopathological, genetic and chemical).
A significant part of the exhibits kept in the funds have been obtained as a result of forty scientific expeditions arranged in all parts of Georgia. This is a unique material of Georgian folk medicine: tens of thousands of recipes and hundreds of components of plant, animal and mineral origin, herbariums. The material is systematized according to diseases and regions, scientifically studied and provided with possibilities for use in modern medicine.
The museum is a training-scientific base for students of Tbilisi State Medical University and other higher education institutions, an information and resource center for young specialists, tourists and potential partners.
More than a thousand scientific works, including about sixty monographs, have been created by the museum staff during the existence of the museum. More than five hundred medical manuscripts have been described and cataloged, which making it world unique phenomenon.
Many rare medical, historical, geographical and other books by Georgian and foreign authors are preserved in the museum library. Under the auspices of the Museum, start publication of a multi-volume Georgian medical writing monument – “Georgian Medical Treasure” .