Skip to main content

Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

The History of Vaccines

People's Choice:
1 vote


The College of Physicians of Philadelphia


Night Kitchen Interactive




The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, home to the Mütter Museum, established The History of Vaccines to further its mission of advancing the cause of health while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine.

The History of Vaccines aims to educate students and teachers in high school biology, health, and history classes, as well as parents who are making vaccination decisions for their children. The site illuminates the history of vaccination and its continuing role in human health so that visitors can appreciate the development of this medical field and make informed decisions about health practices. More than 16% of adult Americans have looked for information about immunizations online, so the need for accurate information is great (Online Health Search 2006, Pew Internet and American Life Project). 

The History of Vaccines is the only scientifically vetted source of online information about the history of vaccination, a medical practice that has saved hundreds of millions of lives.

The History of Vaccines: The home page allows a visitor to select a content-focused direction by offering paths to timelines, activities, articles, and a media gallery, or to select an audience-focused experience by offering entry paths to educators and parents.

Timelines: Multimedia timelines allow a sweeping view of disease and vaccines, scientists’ lives, and social issues, and they also give the visitor a chance to explore each topic in-depth.

Activities help visitors learn by doing, in fun, interactive exercises that show how vaccines work, how they are made, how to visualize risk, and more.

Game: A complex game lets players direct the medical progress of a society, while working to contain disease epidemics and develop vaccines.

Articles provide in-depth information on disease states, historical and cultural implications of vaccination, and the history of vaccine science.