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Dittrick Medical History Center

Dittrick Medical History Center

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Research

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The listings found on the Research Resource pages of this web site are materials available to students and scholars in the Allen Memorial Medical Library, the home of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum. Anyone may search the collections online, including the public, using CWRU’s Kelvin Smith Library¬†catalog. This list is selective rather than exhaustive; it provides our patrons with a list of those sources that have proved to be most useful and helpful.

Persons coming to do research at the Dittrick Center should know that the historical collections are to be found in two distinct areas within the Allen Library. Secondary historical materials, biographies, and most reference sources [marked Hist ref] are located on the second floor of the Allen, in the Lowman and Cushing Rooms. Rare books [marked RB], medical directories, books on the history of medical technology and instrumentation, and trade literature [i.e. microscope and surgical instrument catalogs; entries marked Museum] are found on the third floor of the Allen, in the Dittrick Medical History Center proper.

Reseach_research-booksConsulting the Rare Book collection and museum materials requires Museum staff assistance, as most are in secure storage areas. For this reason, we recommend making an appointment before commencing research. You may reach us at (216) 368-3648. Hours open to the public: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Research at the Dittrick Medical History Center customarily begins by consulting the online catalog of library holdings at Case Western Reserve University. The CWRU catalog may be searched by author, title, or keyword, yielding a record of the holding (including the all-important call number). Almost 200 online research databases are available through EuclidPLUS, although some are accessible only to users of CWRUnet, the on-campus communications network. EuclidPLUS also provides access to OhioLink (Ohio Library Information Network), a consortium of Ohio’s library systems and networks at college and university libraries, and the State Library of Ohio. Researchers may also wish to consult History of Medicine on PubMed, a database developed by the National Library of Medicine that covers medical history literature published since 1971. This is available through the National Library of Medicine History of Medicine Division website.

A final important word to researchers planning to visit the Dittrick Medical History Center. Some of the very best history of medicine finding aids and reference works are not available online, and must therefore be consulted in the hard copy. These publications are listed among research resources found in the right hand column of this page; their corresponding call numbers will help you locate them within the Allen and the Dittrick. Moreover, while most of our imprint holdings, including rare books and journals, may be accessed through CWRU catalog, a small portion remains to be entered into that database. For this reason, we urge patrons to consult the traditional card catalogue file (accessible upon request). Archival materials are accessible, at present, only in the Dittrick Medical History Center proper, on the third floor of the Allen Library (an overview of these holdings is provided on this website, in the section). Artifacts, too, must be consulted in the Dittrick Museum, although online records for a portion of the collection may be accessed through CWRU catalog or OCLC. Copies of images or documents are available in various formats, access price guide here.