Ralph W. Hale, MD, History Museum

Dr. Ralph W. Hale, ACOG’s former executive vice president, has had a keen interest in all things historical for a long while.  For several years he wanted to find a space at the College for a collection of artifacts related to Obstetrics and Gynecology, some of which we already had, but were unable to adequately display.  When it was decided to create a copy center, the equipment was moved from its location between the Resource Center and the Fitness Room, and the opportunity presented itself.  Dr. Hale mentioned his plans for a history museum to Dr. Noller at one of his meetings with the presidential officers.  At the Executive Board meeting held July 2007, Dr. Noller recommended that the history museum be named after Dr. Hale.  The recommendation passed unanimously.  He then spoke with Margaret Goodman to find out how soon the museum could be completed as he really wanted to be the one to participate in the dedication of the museum at the Executive Board meeting in February 2008.

Design and material selection started soon after.  Renovation began in earnest in October 2007.  The project had a deadline of 9 February 2008, when the Executive Board would next meet, so each new phase of construction followed quickly on the heels of the previous workers.  This included not only the usual electrical, drywall, paint, and flooring, but also modification to the History Library HVAC system to condition the museum space and the installation of a new clean agent fire suppression system for both the museum and the historical collection.  The construction deadline was met with a week to spare; now it was just a matter of unpacking artifacts long stored in the History Library, organizing them into groups, and arranging them in some of the cabinets in time for the dedication.  The dedication came off without a hitch.  Everyone seemed pleased with the result of much planning, coordination, and just plain hard work by several of the College staff.  A video presentation on the History Museum was shown at the 2008 ACM opening ceremonies.  The museum is a fitting honor to Dr. Hale for his many years of service to the College and the ob-gyn specialty.

The management and organization of the History Museum has been turned over to the Resource Center/History Library.  The staff is busy doing what it takes to run a museum – identifying artifacts, creating accession records, catalogs, deeds of gift forms, developing themes for each cabinet, writing booklets identifying and describing the items in each exhibit…the details go on and on.

The History Museum serves as a visual record of the ob-gyn specialty.  Each cabinet has a theme, from obstetrical instruments to contraception devices to educational models.

Your support and interest will help the museum to flourish.  If you would like to donate any items to the History Museum, please contact the Special Collections Librarian at 800-673-8444, ext. 2578, or Resources@acog.org.

In addition, tax-deductible financial contributions are welcome.  Donations may be made in honor of specific individuals or groups.   To make a financial donation, please contact the Department of Development at 800-673-8444, ext.2546, or Development@acog.org


MASH/DGS  9/12/2012



Mary Hyde
Senior Director

Beth DeFrancis Sun
Special Collections Librarian

Jean Riedlinger
Reference Librarian


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998