Lectures

The Percy Skuy Annual Lecture on the History of Contraception will be held in May, 2019. Details to come and will be posted here shortly.

Temporary Exhibit

Coming in January…
Tracing Addiction: Pre-Victorian Knowledge of the Opium Poppy

Illustration from Medical Botany, by Stephenson and Churchill, 1831.


Papaver somniferum
, or Opium Poppy, has been recognized for its use as a narcotic for hundreds of years. This exhibit traces five centuries of opium addiction and poppy’s use in medicine, and explores the relationships between knowledge, experimentation, and medical necessity. Selected works from the Dittrick Museum’s collection of Herbals are on display, and vibrant illustrations and passages illustrate the change in opium attitudes from “miracle drug” to “dangerous poison.” With the United States’ current heroin epidemic, this exhibit provides audiences with a haunting look at the centuries-old magnitude of opioid addiction.