Jobs: Chief Curator, Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum

Chief Curator
Department: Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum
Position ID: #6800


The Dittrick Medical History Center (center) is dedicated to the study of the medical past through a distinguished collection of rare books, museum artifacts, archives, and images. The Dittrick originated as part of the Cleveland Medical Library Association (est. 1894) and today functions as an interdisciplinary study center within the College of Arts and Sciences of Case Western Reserve University.

The goal of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum is to promote historical scholarship in and understanding of the history of medicine and the health sciences, in order to heighten awareness and appreciation of the achievements of Case Western Reserve University in these areas. This is achieved through the collection, preservation, exhibition, and scholarly use of artifacts, books, manuscripts, and images of medical science and health care. The center supports CWRU’s active medical, undergraduate, and graduate academic programs in the history of science, technology, medicine, and medical humanities and bioethics.

The Chief Curator supervises and directs all aspects of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum and provides the initiative and leadership to effect the integration of the Dittrick Medical History Center into the life of CWRU, so that this unique facility is consistently a distinguished asset to the University and the community.


  • Design and oversee construction and installation of interpretive museum exhibitions, both in gallery space and online. (15%)
  • Develop the Dittrick collections through the acquisition of significant historical materials that foster understanding and appreciation of the history of medicine and the health sciences. (10%)
  • Conduct a program of scholarly research and publish results. Promote and facilitate teaching and researching at the center. Pursue scholarship in the history of medicine and medical technology. Provide professional leadership in the field of medical museology. (10%)
  • Develop work plans, evaluate needs and resources, set priorities, supervise their implementation and administration, and allocate resources for their most effective and efficient use. Plan future direction of the center. Develop, design and approve policies and procedures. (5%)
  • Provide broad oversight of departmental fiscal planning and budget. Ensure account records are maintained properly and oversee all expenses through ERP Financials. Administer agency accounts for the Friends of the Dittrick Medical History Center. Administer special projects agency account(s). (5%)
  • Supervise staff and student employees. Set goals for performance and deadlines. Organize workflow and ensure employees understand their duties or delegated tasks. Monitor employee performance and provide constructive feedback and coaching. Lead and motivate staff. (5%)
  • Oversee collection development and collection management, including documentation, conservation and storage. Provide for care, preservation, and access to collections. (5%)
  • Develop and direct a program of lectures for the Dittrick. Oversee the funding, administration, and publicity for these lectures. (5%)
  • Assume a leading role in publicizing CWRU’s legacy of achievement and innovation in biomedical science and technology, through the website, exhibits, and publications of the center, as well as a spokesperson on television and radio, and in print media. Direct the development and management of websites for the center and the Cleveland Medical Library Association. (5%)
  • Make recommendations (in association with Cleveland Health Sciences library staff) to the Cleveland Medical Library Association Board of Trustees for the expenditure of funds to enhance the Allen Memorial Medical Library and the center. (5%)
  • In collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences’ development team, solicit and raise funds for special projects, including exhibits, room renovation, storage renovation, lectures, etc. (5%)
  • Represent CWRU at regional, national, and international meetings. (5%)
  • Establish and direct liaisons with the leadership of local, national and international medical community. Participate in the activities of various organizations; Medical Museums Association, European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences, American Association of the History of Medicine, The Archiviest and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences, and the Ohio Academy of Medical History. Serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Medical Library Association. (5%)
  • Effect and direct creative synergistic partnerships of the Dittrick with local, regional, and international institutions such as; Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Western Reserve Historical Society, Ohio Museums Association and the Northeast Ohio Intermuseum Council. (5%)
  • Collaborate with CAS Development Office in planning and facilitating use of the Ditrrick and Allen resources for special functions, dinners, receptions, and conferences. Develop programming for alumni of the university. Provide venue for events and programs of CWRU Alumni Affairs Office and SOM Office of Alumni Affairs. Coordinate with central and CAS Development Offices in hosting fund raising receptions for the college. Solicit prospective donors. (5%)
  • Share responsibility for the physical and aesthetic development of the Allen Memorial Medical Library building. Liaise with university Plant Services and outside contractors in renovations made to the building. Oversee renovations of the Allen Memorial Library space. (5%)


Perform other duties as assigned.


Department: Contact with the Dean and Associate Dean of Development and External Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences. Daily contact with Archivist/Museum Registrar and Photographer and Image Collection Manager. Contact with various professors using the Dittrick collections.

University: Contact with the Director and librarians of the Cleveland Health Sciences Library, special events coordinator, University Library director and collection development librarian, plant services staff, SOM Director of Communications and Director of Alumni Relations, SOM administration and faculty, and staff at various university departments.

External: Contact with the Cleveland Medical Library Association Board of Trustees. Contact with Dittrick Medical History Center volunteers. Contact with museums and national scholars, donors to collections, collectors of medical antiques, granting agencies, medical/historical groups, school groups and the general public.

Students: Contact with graduate and undergraduate students.


Direct supervisory responsibility for the Archivist/Museum Registrar, the Photographer and Image Collection Manager and student employees.


Experience: 5 or more years of experience in special collections, museums, or related experience with administrative responsibilities.

Education/Licensing: PhD in History of Science, Technology or Medicine or related discipline required. Museum studies course work desired.


  • Intellectual capacity for, as well as interest in, the history of medicine as demonstrated by completion of PhD in history of science, technology or medicine.
  • Capability to translate complex information into compelling oral and written presentation, as well as museum gallery exhibitions and online exhibitions, so as to communicate effectively to internal and external audiences and constituencies.
  • Knowledge and conversancy with professional museum standards, practices, and procedures, ranging from collections management to ethical standards of the field.
  • Outstanding management and interpersonal skills; commitment to nurture and motivate staff; ensure staff have opportunities for professional development.
  • Full professional knowledge of the history of science, technology, and medicine, and their social and cultural context, with specific expertise in individual area of scholarly pursuit.
  • Knowledge of research techniques used in examining and evaluating written, pictorial, and artifactual records.
  • Skill in synthesizing and communicating the projects of research using a variety of techniques and media, and to a variety of audiences, ranging from scholarly to general public.
  • Knowledge of exhibit concepts, planning, and implementation.
  • Knowledge of issues and methods of collections documentation, storage, and conservation.
  • Knowledge of a variety of management concepts and techniques coupled with skill in managing and leading staff to implement goals and assure appropriate and equitable treatment of staff.
  • Familiarity with key software, including PastPerfect (for collections management), PowerPoint (for presentations and exhibitions), Microsoft Excel (for accounts), and PeopleSoft (Enterprise Resource Planning and Human Capital Management).
  • Reading knowledge of French or German preferred.
  • Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  • Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face to face.


General office working environment. No adverse conditions.


In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.


CWRU offers a flexible benefits package including tuition waiver for employees and dependents; Respond in confidence, including salary history:, human resources job code #6800.

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