Dittrick Medical History Center

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 10th Open House

Special Saturday hours: the Museum will be open from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. We are opening for homecoming weekend but the general public is welcome to attend, free admission (as always).


Wednesday, October 14th,  Anton and Rose Zverina Lecture by Jonathan Lass, M.D., “The Eye of the Artist.”

Dr. Lass is the Charles I. Thomas Professor, and formerly chair, in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and Medical Director of the Cleveland Eye Bank. His talk will explore the impact of various eye diseases (dacryocystitis, cataract, retinal degeneration, macular degeneration) upon famous artists and the impact of those diseases on their style and productivity, changing the history of art. The artists to be discussed by Dr. Lass will include Pissaro, Monet, Degas, and O’Keefe. The talk begins at 6:00PM, followed by a reception in the Dittrick Museum gallery. Please RSVP to Jennifer Nieves at 216/368-3648 or via email at jks4@case.edu


“Conversations” : A New Public Engagement Initiative

The Dittrick’s newest public engagement activity invites the Cleveland community to “join the conversation.” Beginning with a reboot of the Dittrick Museum Blog (dittrickmuseumblog.com), we present a series of conversations for the curious, subtitled “stimulating discussions across time and space.” Brandy Schillace, Dittrick Research Associate, author and recent TEDx speaker, will present short historical talks (15 minutes) about a health matter that still matters, followed by open dialogue for and by the public. Held in venues across the city, these talks explore the extramural connections of library and museum within the greater Cleveland community. For Fall 2015, the following “Conversations” will take place:

 Wednesday, November 4th, 7:00 PM  Conversation: Bodies Wanted–Anatomy and the Dissection Debate.

Discussion Partner: Richard Drake, PhD, Editor Grey’s Anatomy, Cleveland Clinic College of Medicine. Exhibition: World’s Largest Dinosaur (discount $5) Where: Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Rare Book Room register for this event

For more information on future “Conversations” see http://dittrickmuseumblog.com/conversations-line-up/


November 8-16, 2015, Medical Humanities Tour of London

London-opThe College of Physicians of Philadelphia (home of the Mütter Museum) and the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum are collaborating on a tour to London, Bath and Oxford on November 8-16. This tour will feature visits to medical landmarks and privileged conversations with leaders of world class medical history collections, most notably Simon Chaplin (Director of Culture & Society of the Wellcome Trust), Natasha McEnroe (Florence Nightingale Museum), and John Ford (Worshipful Society of Apothecaries). Our tour leaders will be Sue Weir and Carole Hiley, who bring years of experience as Blue Badge Guides of London. (Sue helped with the Dittrick’s London tours in 2004 and 2013.) Lest you fear that we will oversaturate the tour with everything medical, we’ve added day trips to Bath, via Stonhenge, to visit the Roman baths, and to Oxford to visit the Ashmolean Museum and their Museum of the History of Science.

For more information, visit the Jon Baines Tours site:


November 19th, 2015  Jacqueline Wolf, PhD. (Ohio University) will present “From Ether to Epidural: Obstetric Anesthesia in Historic, Medical, and Social Context.”

WolfDittrick Museum opens its newest gallery! Reproduction, birth, and women’s health in the 19th century shaped the way we practice obstetrics today. One of the biggest changes with wide-reaching consequences has to do with anesthesia—ether and chloroform that was used to kill pain but also to render the laboring mother unconscious. In the gallery’s opening lecture, Jacqueline Wolfe will address the question: Why did the use of anesthetics in labor change so radically in each succeeding generation? Prof. Wolf has explored this topic in the brilliant and evocative book Deliver Me from Pain: Anesthesia and Birth in America (2009), and will share her more recent insights into this intriguing medical conundrum. This lecture is being hosted to celebrate the completion of Childbirth in America, 1840-1940, a permanent exhibition in the main Dittrick Museum gallery, researched and curated by Catherine Osborn, in collaboration with Jim Edmonson and Anna Claspy.

The talk begins at 6:00PM in the Zverina room at Dittrick (3rd floor).
A reception in the gallery will follow Prof. Wolf’s lecture. RSVP to
Jennifer Nieves at 216/368-3648 or via email at jks4@case.edu