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Dittrick Medical History Center

Dittrick Medical History Center

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Upcoming Events


LinkerOctober 16th, at 6:00pm, Anton and Rose Zverina Lecture, Disabled Doughboys: How the Great War Changed American Medicine, presented by Beth Linker PhD.

Professor Linker’s talk is based upon her acclaimed book War’s Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America. Lecture at 6:00PM, free and open to the public, followed by a members-only reception for members of the Friends of the Dittrick Museum and members of the Cleveland Medical Library Association.

In War’s Waste, Linker describes how the United States shifted from supporting injured veterans by means of pensions to rehabilitating the disabled for re-entry into society and the workplace. Linker explains how reformers, inspired by the new social and medical sciences, pushed rehabilitation as a means to “rebuild” disabled soldiers. Linker’s narrative moves from the professional development of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists to the curative workshops, or hospital spaces where disabled soldiers learned how to repair automobiles as well as their own artificial limbs. The story culminates in the postwar establishment of the Veterans Administration, one of the greatest legacies to come out of the First World War.

Members of the Friends of the Dittrick group and the Cleveland Medical Library Association are invited to a reception after the lecture in the galleries of the Dittrick Museum.

Ford Auditorium, Allen Memorial Medical Library, 11000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Oh 44106.
RSVP by October 13th to Jennifer Nieves at or call 216/368-3648.


cemetary-220November 1st, 10:30am to 1:30pm, Lake View Cemetery Medical History Tour

Nothing says after-Halloween like a cemetery tour! Join us for a trolly ride through Lake View Cemetery–with a medical twist! Cleveland has been at the epicenter of medical change since the early 1800s, when doctors brought medicine via saddle bags to their far-flung patients in the Western Reserve. Learn about medical greats, from Horace Ackley (daring and irascible maverick) to George Washington Crile (founder of the Cleveland Clinic), and many more in between!  We will stop for a late lunch afterward at ABC Tavern (cost of lunch is not included in tour fee).

WHEN: Nov 1st, 10:30am to 1:30 pm.
WHERE: Meet at the parking lot behind the Allen Memorial Medical Library, 11000 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44106. Paid parking is available at University Hospitals Visitors Garage on University Hospitals Drive just east of the Allen Medical Library or in the garage under Severance Hall (enter off East Blvd).
COST: Members-FREE! Non-members-$10. Please bring exact cash payment or a check made out to Dittrick Medical History Center.
RSVP to Jennifer Nieves at or call 216/368-3648.


Temporary Exhibits now showing


September 8th through April 30th, Castele Gallery Exhibit
The Lakeside Unit: Cleveland Medicine in World War I

Lakeside-eventsIn 1914, two and a half years before the US entered World War I, Cleveland’s foremost physicians and surgeons gathered their resources and took a group, called the Lakeside Unit, to Paris to tend to injured French and British soldiers.  This was done on an entirely neutral platform and set the stage for the formation of similar university hospital units from all over the country.This trip was well documented in photographs, diary’s and other documents. These and some artifacts from this trip will be featured in the exhibit.

Jennifer Nieves, archivist at the Dittrick and Dianne O’Malia, archivist for University Hospitals, are nearing the completion of several projects that showcase the history of the Lakeside Unit. We’ve announced the pending completion of the Lakeside Unit website several times in the past few years. One thing or another delayed this process: change in web designers, web platforms and our fulltime positions, but we are now almost ready for release. During the past year we discovered photographs we hadn’t seen before, found interesting tidbits in George Crile’s diary not read earlier, and we acquired more Lakeside Unit related items that will be included in the site. We have also made contact with other institutions commemorating the WWI medical experience, and hope to work with them on future projects.

More information on Lakeside exhibit and related projects.