Adopt an Artifact

An integral part of the National Museum of Civil War medicine’s mission is to collect and preserve the history and story of Medicine from the Civil War through an extraordinary collection of thousands of artifacts.  Only 25% percent of these artifacts are on public display at any one time, but the rest still need proper housing and care.

We are offering you the opportunity to help the National Museum of Civil War Medicine to properly care for all the artifacts in its collection by “adopting” an artifact. Levels of adoption begin at $50.  Call for more information.  On this page you will find a few artifacts that we have showcased to give you a sampling of options.

Your tax-deductible donation to the Adopt an Artifact program will help pay for the care, maintenance, conservation and storage of the Permanent Collection after your artifact has been displayed with your name on it for the public to see!

Currently, the Schaadt Collection is going to be put up for adoption!

In August of 2012, Kristen Schaadt donated her late husband’s collection of Civil War medical items to the NMCWM, with the request that the museum display the pocket surgical kits and identify them as coming from her husband’s collection.  Mark J. Schaadt, M.D. was a member of our museum, authored the book “Civil War Medicine; an Illustrated History” which we sold in our bookstore for a number of years.  Some of these pocket surgical kits and some of the instruments are pictured in his book.

What is a pocket Surgical Kit?

Each Surgeon and Assistant Surgeon carried his own pocket surgical kit, which contained the instruments they used most often.  The kits varied by maker and personal preference of the physician, but generally they at least contained scalpels, bistouries, scissors, forceps, lancets, needles, probes, suture materials, trocars, and catheters.  The instruments themselves were smaller than those found in the regular surgical kits, and many of them folded to be even more compact.  These kits allowed the doctors to keep their most essential instruments literally, in their pockets, and with them at all times.

Artifacts Needing Adoption

Endangered List

In addition to the Schaadt Collection, there are other artifacts some of which are too delicate to be put on display; but are such an important piece of Civil War medical history, they need to be conserved and preserved to help generations to come to understand the evolution of medicine.   These are what we call Endangered Artifacts, and much like an endangered species, they are rare and preserve a legacy that will be lost forever if they are not saved.  Please consider donating to this special fund and become one of our “Angels of the Artifacts”. 

Endangered Artifacts Needing Adoption


The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is classified as a charitable organization in accordance with Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) (3).