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CLEVELAND, Ohio – A small University Circle museum is on a mission to broaden its appeal. The Dittrick Museum of Medical History, which dates back to 1898, has been open to the public since 1960. But few Clevelanders beyond medical professionals have walked...

Inside Cleveland's fascinating Dittrick Museum of Medical History (video, event schedule)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A small University Circle museum is on a mission to broaden its appeal. The Dittrick Museum of Medical History, which dates back to 1898, has been open to the public since 1960. But few Clevelanders beyond medical professionals have walked...

Inside Cleveland's fascinating Dittrick Museum of Medical History (video, event schedule)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A small University Circle museum is on a mission to broaden its appeal.

The Dittrick Museum of Medical History, which dates back to 1898, has been open to the public since 1960. But few Clevelanders beyond medical professionals have walked through its doors on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

Chief curator James M. Edmonson and staff are working hard to change that. They've launched several new outreach efforts: newly renovated galleries, longer hours, interactive "Conversations" at venues around town, and lectures and other events held off-campus in partnership with other organizations such as MOCA and the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

Inside Cleveland's fascinating Dittrick Medical Museum

"Traditionally, the Dittrick had been a museum for doctors," said Edmonson. "But when we acquired the History of Contraception collection in 2000, and opened it in 2009, that was a catalyst for bringing in the lay person, as we began to focus on the patient's experience. It's a new direction for the museum that began in 1898 when the Cleveland Medical Library Association created a "historical committee" headed by noted local surgeon Dr. Dudley Peter Allen.

Their wide-ranging 2016-17 schedule of events reflects their new mission. It includes mixers and talks on everything from bathtub gin and forensic medicine to gender and fashion, vaccines and herbal medicine.

"At the Dittrick we have been exploring various ways of engaging audiences within the greater Cleveland area," says Edmonson. "As for the Dittrick Museum's interpretation of the medical past, we are devoting more attention to the health and well-being of the city that is our proud home, Cleveland."

Dittrick Museum of Medical History 2016-2017 schedule:

October 26, "Beer, Botanicals, and Bathtub Gin" mixer, 5:30 p.m.: Join the Dittrick for a joint event with the Botanical Gardens' Hoppy Hour. Meet John George Spenzer, a forensic toxicologist of the Prohibition Era. 11$ admission, free for Dittrick members.

Thursday, November 11, Zverina Lecture and Reception, 6:30 p.m.: Lecture from Susan Lederer, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin. Professor Lederer will talk on the history of anesthesia and experimentation on human subjects.

Thursday, November 17, "Industrial Damages: Lead Poisoning's Long Legacy and Industry's Role in Decay conversation at the MOCA Cleveland, 7 p.m.: Curators from MOCA and Scott Frank, Director, Master of Public Health Program at Case, will talk. The exhibit "Anders Ruhwald: Unit 1: 3583 Dubois"—Detroit, destruction, and the loss of place and history" is on display. After event at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern. Lecture free with museum admission.

 Saturday, December 10, Holiday Open House: Visit the Dittrick for cookies holiday cheer, and a raffle for one of three gift baskets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

January 11, "Mystery Concoctions: Forensics and Cocktails" mixer, 6 p.m. Come to the museum and library for a fire-side chat about the advent Cleveland's own Sherlock, forensic science and toxicology in our fine city... while tasting vintage cocktails. 21 and over only, $11 admission, free for Dittrick Friends (members).

February 9,"Love Hurts" Conversation, 6 p.m.: Historical bodies, gender, clothing, and health and representations of the body through medicine and fashion are the topic. The panel includes Patty Edmonson, Museum Advisory Council Curator of Costumes and Textiles, Western Reserve Historical Society; Jennifer Nieves, Archivist and Registrar, Dittrick Medical History Museum; Henry Ng, Associate Editor, LGBT Health, Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Clinical Director, PRIDE Clinic. There will be an exhibit on "Willingness to Bear Suffering: the adverse effects of tight lacing." Conversation at the Powell Reading Room, Allen Library

Thursday, March 9, Annual Percy Skuy Lecture and Reception on the history of contraception, 6 p.m.: Featuring Jessica Hill, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Judge Ben C. Green Professor of Law. Reception to follow.

 

Thursday, March 30, Baker Nord Cleveland Humanities Festival, 6 p.m.: Presentation of "Lady Mary's Legacy: Vaccine Advocacy from The Turkish Embassy Letters to Video Games" by Lisa Rosner, Professor of History at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

 Wednesday, June 21, "Herbal Powers! The History of Kitchen Medicine" Conversation (and a tasting of herbal delights!), 6:30 p.m.: Panelists from the Cleveland Botanical Gardens Herb Society and Erika Olbricht, Instructor of English at Case. At the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

Thursday, August 24, "Sunset in the Cemetery" mixer: Join the Dittrick evening tour of Lake View Cemetery and learn about the final resting place of many a medical man (plus President Garfield, who brought germ theory to light in the most tragic way possible). Keep an eye on the Dittrick website as the date draws near! $11 admission, free for Dittrick members. After event at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern.

 The Dittrick Museum of Medical History is located on the third floor of the Allen Memorial Medical Library at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road, 11000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. To make reservations for events and more info: https://dittrickmuseumblog.com/

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