The Talbot Medical Museum, which showcases people, places and events that have shaped medicine in Northwest Louisiana, is now open to the public on Tuesdays.
Located inside the WK Innovation Center, 2105 Airline Drive in Bossier City, the museum is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment by calling (318) 212-2512.
The museum was created in 2005 with support from the late Dr. and Mrs. J. Dudley Talbot. Dr. Talbot was one of the area’s first specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, practicing at Tri-State Sanitarium, later Willis-Knighton Medical Center, until 1999. It was initially housed on the campus of Willis-Knighton Medical Center and contained artifacts and documents that had been saved by Willis-Knighton employees, physicians, and retirees over the years as well as donated items from the community.
The museum relocated to the Innovation Center in 2014 where it was vastly expanded and improved. Today, collections focus on the evolution of Willis-Knighton Health System from its beginning in 1924 and include exhibits on the health system’s founders and early years, medicine in the new South, the Tri-State School of Nursing, and services such as surgery and obstetrics.
One exhibit, “Yellow Jack!” chronicles the 1873 yellow fever epidemic. “It is arguably the worst public health crisis to hit Shreveport, claiming at least 700 lives,” says curator Jim Roberts. The exhibit contains survivors’ personal effects, records of first-person accounts and depictions of medical remedies used to combat the fever.
“We want visitors who visit our website or the museum to see how far medicine has come – medicine in their own backyard. We want them to see the progression of human achievement that is reflected in medicine here and worldwide,” Roberts said.
Visitors may also review portions of the collection virtually on the Willis-Knighton website. Among the online offerings are pages of a yearbook from Tri-State School of Nursing, a newspaper article from the day the hospital became Willis-Knighton and biographies of early physicians.