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Dittrick Medical History Center

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Upcoming Events

DSC_6098_2July 29th, 5:30 pm EXPLORATIONS: Cleveland’s “Sherlock”
John George Spenzer, presented by Brandy Schillace, PhD

When: July 29th, 5:30 PM

Where: Dittrick Museum Zverina Room

Beginning this season, we will be hosting new events expressly for members of the Friends of the Dittrick Museum. This will come first in the form of collection “Explorations,” a series of members-only chats where Dittrick staff will present behind-the-scenes glimpses at the Dittrick. Want to join us? Become a member!

We’d like to share our the research and findings that direct our exhibits with those who most directly support our endeavors, members of the Friends of the Dittrick, as well as members and trustees of the Cleveland Medical Library Association.

We’re kicking off this series of “Explorations” with a threesome of members-only talks centered on recent exhibitions at the Dittrick. In this first event, Research Associate and Guest Curator Brandy Schillace will present on the history of forensic medicine as epitomized by the career of blood and poison expert John G. Spenzer, “Cleveland’s Sherlock.”

Spenzer helped to solve crimes in Cleveland in the early 20th century, and the archive includes his case notes, drawings, newspaper clippings, and specimens. This archive comprises a treasure trove simply waiting to be mined, and the fun has just begun!

If you plan to join us, please RSVP to Brandy Schillace at


NotoriousSeptember 23rd, 5:30 pm book launch party,
My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

The Dittrick Museum will host a book launch party featuring Kate Manning, author of the new historical novel, My Notorious Life (Scribner). O, the Oprah Magazine, calls the book “a daring page-turner.” This work is based upon the true story of Anne Lohman, also known as Madame Restell, a prominent New York midwife enveloped in scandal, who died by suicide in 1879.  (Dittrick Museum visitors will recall that Madame Restell is featured twice in our history of contraception exhibition, most notably for her confrontation by moral reformer Anthony Comstock.) Kate Manning’s tale takes a twist, based upon contemporary rumor, that Lohman staged the suicide to elude persecution, and a gripping story follows. Readers can learn more about My Notorious Life on Manning’s website:  Please plan on joining us to hear Manning discuss her novel, and much more.

Event to be held in the Zverina Room and Galleries of the Museum.

RSVP by September 19th to Jennifer Nieves at or call 216/368-3648.


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.

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.


Temporary Exhibits now showing


April 21st through September 8th, 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.