St. John’s Hospital in Damme was founded in the thirteenth century by Hospital Brothers and Sisters of the Augustinian Order to care for those who were elderly, ill, or impoverished, and those passing through who needed a bed for the night. All the objects in the collection of this infirmary therefore have a link to the hospital brothers or sisters or to the site.
The collection is extremely diverse, ranging from devotional objects, paintings, and art objects to utensils such as crockery, furniture, gravestones, tools, and archival material. It also includes a few medical items, including two enema syringes, nursing jugs, and two booklets about medicinal herbs.
In total, the collection contains around 900 objects, dating from the thirteenth to the twentieth century. It is displayed in the form of temporary exhibitions at the Damme Heritage Lab (Erfgoedlab Damme).
Jan Hutsebaut, Expert on the City and the Public Center for Social Welfare (OCMW), Damme (February 2023)