Dittrick Medical History Center

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Upcoming Events

Friday, Sept 22, 2017 5:30-6:30PM BOOK LAUNCH at Dittrick Museum
Clockwork Futures: How Steampunk Science (Re)invented the Modern World by Brandy Schillace

Airships and electricity―Meet the intrepid souls who pushed Victorian technology to its limits and paved the way. Brandy Schillace presents Clockwork Futures, a social history of technology and steampunk in an age of manufactured power. *Followed by Launch Party at Happy Dog, 7:30-10:00pm

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Wednesday, Sept 27, 2017, 7:00 PM
CONVERSATIONS! at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

“Dance Macabre: The Medical Archeology of Plague”
Our first fall “Conversation” series event, the evening will feature a short TED-style talk by Brandy Schillace followed by a panel of experts and a public round-table. Learn about the history of plague from the black death to “vampires,” and how digging up the past sometimes requires a shovel. (Admission to CMNH: 8$– the talk itself is free)

Registration is Full

Friday, October 13th, 2017 6:00PM
Annual ZVERINA Lecture at the Ford Auditorium/Allen Memorial Library

“Medical Museums and the Digital Turn”

Join us for our annual Zverina Lecture, also our October Symposium Keynote address. The speaker will be Lisa O’Sullivan, PhD who serves as Vice President and Director of the Library and Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health at the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. O’Sullivan most recently served as Senior Curator of Medicine at the Science Museum London, where she curated the Wellcome collection, one of the world’s preeminent historic medical collections. She joined the Science Museum in 2003 and worked on permanent and rotating exhibitions, including the Living Medical Traditions gallery. She was Head of Research for the Wellcome Trust-funded Brought to Life website highlighting the global reach of the Wellcome and Science Museum’s medical collections. (Free event)

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Oct 13-14, 2017, Symposium HOW MEDICINE BECAME MODERN: Technology in Museums and Education

The Symposium will mark the official Grand Opening of the How Medicine Became Modern digital exhibition wall, a touch-screen interactive that previews the collection through stories and images. We will open the Symposium with a lecture titled “Medical Museums and the Digital Turn” by Lisa O’Sullivan, PhD who serves as Vice President and Director of the Library and Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health at the New York Academy of Medicine. The Symposium will begin the following day, with morning talks dedicated to the use of digitization and interactives at the Dittrick Museum, as well as a presentation of Case Western Reserve University’s HoloLens project and its impact on medical education. A catered lunch will be followed by an afternoon at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History where participants will tour the new Human Health Galleries and learn about the Centennial Campaign to transform CMNH galleries. The Symposium will end with dinner for all registrants in the Powell Room of the Allen Memorial Medical Library. For those staying in town, we welcome you to join Sunday tours of local museums and societies; Limited tickets available–register by September 15th, 2017.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017 6:00PM
Ford Auditorium/Allen Memorial Library
Book Talk “The Butchering Art” by Lindsey Fitzharris

In The Butchering Art, Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory between 1860 and 1875. Join us for a book event and reading at the museum. (Free event, books will be on sale)

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Wednesday, October 25, 7:00 PM Dittrick Museums Chief Curator James Edmonson lectures at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage (purchase tickets through the link below)
Cadavers, Camera, Action!: Historical Photos of Dissection

James Edmonson, Chief Curator of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum of Case Western Reserve University explores the advent, diffusion, and decline of dissection room portraiture. Beginning with the origins of photography in the 1840s, pictures of medical students posing beside their dissection class cadavers became the most common form of group portrait in medicine. This genre of portraiture thrived especially in the era of 1880-1930, but ended with the introduction of will body programs after 1950. Edmonson will present this “lost” genre of medical portraits, exploring the formation medical identity, attitudes toward death, and race, gender, and class issues that emerge from study of these fascinating if macabre images from the past.


Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017, 6:00 PM
CONVERSATIONS! Lakewood City Hall Auditorium, “The Problem of Pain: from harm to pharm”

Part of our Conversations series, come hear about the past, present, and future of pain killers. Who discovered them? What risks of self-experimentation did they take? Advances in pharmaceuticals and opiates have offered both relief from pain and the harmful effects of over-prescription and abuse. The history talk will be followed by a panel discussion on the opiate crisis and a public round-table. (free)

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Saturday, December 9, 2017, 10:00-2:00PM HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE at Dittrick Museum

We’re decking the halls! Join us on Saturday for cookies and punch, store items for discounted prices, and holiday cheer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:00-6:30PM
MIXER! at Dittrick Museum/Allen Memorial Library

“For the Love of Wine and Chocolate: the health benefits and consequences of our favorite indulgences”

Have plans for Valentine’s Day? Why not stop in at the Dittrick Museum for a happy-hour event? Three tables will be set up throughout the museum with information on wine, love, and chocolate in history and health. 15$ non-member, 8$ Dittrick Friend member. (Discount ticket for Dittrick Friends Members only)

*registration to be made available in 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018, 6:00PM
CONVERSATIONS! at Dittrick Museum, “The Babes were Silent: Infant Mortality and Public Health”

Co-sponsored by the Dittrick and the CWRU Social Justice Institute, this event will be part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival. Join us for a short-lecture, panel discussion, and public round-table about  public health history, industrialization, housing, and the ways race and class combine to produce an ongoing crisis for our community. (Free event)

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Saturday April 7, 2018 2:00PM
“A Tour Through Disease” at the Lake View Cemetery (Trolley Tour)

As part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival, the Lake View Cemetery will be offering a Trolley Tour and reception. Join Dittrick Museum’s Brandy Schillace for a “tour through disease,” an exploration of what types of illnesses and calamities befell Cleveland residents. From polio to smallpox, cholera to diphtheria, epidemics have been “plaguing” our city. Talk in Daffodil hall, followed by Trolley Tour and reception. (Discounts available to Dittrick Friends members on admission.)

*registration to be made available in 2018

Wednesday June 20, 2018, 6:30PM
CONVERSATIONS! at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, “Pesticides, Poison, and Public Health: Unhealthy Environments lead to Unhealthy Bodies”

Join Brandy Schillace at the gardens for a talk about the loss of regulations and the effects of pesticides on the health of people and the environment, then and now. Followed by a panel of experts and a public round-table discussion. (Entry fee includes admission to the gardens, discounts available for Dittrick Friends members.)

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Page last modified: September 19, 2017