Dittrick Medical History Center

About the Dittrick Museum of Medical History

The Dittrick Medical History Center is comprised of the museum, archives, and collections of rare books, artifacts, and images. The Center originated as part of the Cleveland Medical Library Association (est. 1894) and today functions as an interdisciplinary study center within the College of Arts and Sciences of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

For a long time, the Dittrick could be said to be a doctor’s museum.  Doctors created it, staffed it, collected for it, and saw it as a vehicle to document and venerate the medical profession. We still do that, but have broadened our mission to encompass a more universal perspective on health and medicine.  Our most recent initiative, for example, presents the history of contraception.  There are doctors and medicine in that story to be sure, but a whole lot more.  We embrace the experience of individuals and society, trying to understand what options they had and what choices they made. We provide narratives about key collection pieces, news and notes about upcoming events,  and interesting and anecdotal reflections on our shared medical past and its connection to our present and future.

Find out more by reading our latest newsletter!


James Edmonson and Catherine Osborn
James Edmonson and Catherine Osborn

Catherine Osborn, voted Campus Student Employee of the Year!

Date posted: May 3rd, 2016

Catherine is a Research Assistant and guest curator for the Dittrick Museum. She assists the Chief Curator and museum staff in creation of public museum exhibitions and exhibit concept and planning. …Read more.


The Dittrick Museum Friends are invited to attend a free tour of the MOCA!

Date posted: April 20th, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 5:30-6:30PM
Tour the MOCA and see the exhibit: STRANGER.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland is a unique and dynamic place for the visual art of our time. …Read more.


Preparing Medicine for War: The Lakeside Unit’s Trial Mobilization in 1916

Date posted: April 6th, 2016

This exhibit, researched and curated by Jennifer Nieves, Museum Registrar and Archivist, is composed of original Lakeside Unit photographs and documents from the Dittrick Museum’s collections. Based on Dr. George W. …Read more.


Skuy Lecture 2016 video is now available

Date posted: March 28th, 2016

Reconceiving the Pill: From Revolutionary Therapeutic to Lifestyle Drug presented by Elizabeth Watkins, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Watkins’s research affirms that marketing decisions, rather than scientific innovations, have guided the development and positioning of contraceptive products in recent years. …Read more.


Saturday Hours begin May 21st 10:00am-2:00pm

The Museum is now open until 7:00 pm Wednesday evenings!

Visit the museum and see all our new exhibits including Childbirth in America, 1840 through 1940 and now showing in our temporary exhibit gallery Preparing Medicine for War: The Lakeside Unit’s Trial Mobilization in 1916.