Paul S. Russell, MD Museum

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Ether Inhaler

The Russell Museum houses artifacts such as the Morton Ether Inhaler, named after William T.G. Morton, who performed the first public demonstration of surgical anesthesia (ether).

Q: How do I contact the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation or the Massachusetts General Hospital History Program?

A: You may call the museum at 617-724-8009. For questions about the Mass General History Program, please email mghhistory@partners.org.

Q: When is the Russell Museum open?

A: The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is closed on weekends and the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents' Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas


Q: Is there an admission fee?

Boston-based architectural firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates designed the Russell Museum of copper and glass.

A: No. The museum is free and open to the public.

Q: Where is the museum located?

A: The museum is located at 2 North Grove Street in Boston, on the Massachusetts General Hospital main campus.

Q: How can I see the Ether Dome?

A: The Mass General Ether Dome, a surgical amphitheater and the site of the first successful public surgery using anesthetic, is located in the Bulfinch Building. The Ether Dome is open weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, but is closed during faculty meetings. Call 617-726-2862 for more information.

Q: How can I get to the museum?

A: We encourage visitors to take public transportation. The museum is a short walk from the Charles/MGH Station on the MBTA Red Line.

Parking at Mass General garages is limited to patients, their families and visitors. When visiting the museum, you may use on-street metered parking or nearby parking garages. The museum does not offer validated parking.

Q: Does the museum offer any tours?

A: Yes, our specially trained docents are available to provide tours to all visitors.  Large groups are asked to call 617-724-8009 to schedule their visit so we can plan accordingly.

Q: Is the museum appropriate for school field trips?

A: Our subject matter is most appropriate for high school juniors and/or seniors. If you are an educator interested in bringing high school students to the museum, please call 617-724-8009 to learn more.

Q: Is the museum wheelchair-accessible?

A: Yes, the museum is fully accessible for people in wheelchairs. Learn about accessibility at Mass General

Q: Who designed the museum?

A: The Boston-based architectural firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates designed the museum, which won a 2012 Preservation Achievement Award from the Boston Preservation Alliance. The annual awards "honor outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compatible new construction in Boston."

Q: What materials comprise the exterior of the museum?

A: The museum is made of copper and glass. The upper stories are faced with copper, one of the world's oldest architectural materials. The copper has not been treated and will slowly oxidize over time to attain a green finish.

Q: Can I take photos in the museum?

A: Yes, photography is allowed throughout the facility.

Q: Is there a place to eat?


A: Several Mass General cafeterias and cafés are within a short walk of the museum, including the Riverside Café, Coffee South, Eat Street Café and Coffee Central.  

Q: Does the museum host events?

A: Currently, the museum hosts events for Mass General departments and staff only. For more information or to book an internal event, please contact Michelle Marcella at 617-724-2755 or mmarcella@partners.org.  You may also send an email to mghhistory@partners.org.

Q: Can I volunteer at the museum?

A: Yes, we offer a variety of volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in joining the museum staff as a volunteer, please contact the Mass General Volunteer Department.

Q: How can I make a gift to the museum?

A: We are very grateful to those who want to support the museum. To make a monetary gift, please contact the Mass General Development Office. If you have a Mass General-related artifact or document that might be of interest to the museum staff, please email museum director Sarah Alger at salger@partners.org.


Q: Is the museum an independent 501(c)(3) organization?

A: The museum is part of Mass General, which is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. As a result, all donations to the museum via Mass General are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.