Harry Daly Museum

Through the ages humans have sought to understand the sensation of pain. Aristotle believed pain was caused by evil spirits entering the body via injury. During the Renaissance pain was believed to be a punishment from god. Today we understand that pain is a response that has evolved to ensure the body avoids harm. A message, sent from nerve receptors in your tissues to your brain resulting in an action that will endeavour to alleviate your pain.

At some point in the life of almost every human pain relief will be required. Our museum allows visitors to explore humanity’s quest for the relief from pain. From the use of the poppy and mandragora, to the discovery of curare and thence today’s highly advanced pharmaceuticals. Visitors can explore the complex history of our search for oblivion and the processes and practices prescribed by professionals to achieve it.

Highlighting uniquely Australian advancements in the science and practice of anaesthesia, the Harry Daly Museum will enlighten all.

Please click on the links below to learn more.

Watch the video

Housed in a high-rise office block in North Sydney, the Harry Daly Museum collection focuses on the advancements in the science and practice of anaesthesia.

The collection of the Harry Daly Museum was established by Dr Harry Daly, an anaesthetist with a passion for preserving the history of the profession. Daly was also a founder of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA), who operate the museum today. Over time the collection was shaped and expanded by donations from many other doctors and hospitals and has been housed in several locations throughout its lifetime.

The Harry Daly Museum, Richard Bailey Library and Gwen Wilson Archives are located at the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA) head office and are under the guidance of the History of Anaesthesia Library, Museum and Archives Committee (HALMA).

Watch an interview with Dr Reginald Cammack and Dr Rajesh Haridas about the Harry Daly Museum collection in North Sydney.


For further information, download the Museum flyer here.


Opening Hours: Thursday and Friday 10am-4pm by appointment

Location: Level 7, 121 Walker Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

Ph: 02 8556 9700 / 1800 806 654


Admission is free