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.

Prizes: 2018 Glenn Sonnedecker Prize

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is pleased to announce a call for submissions for the 2018 Glenn Sonnedecker Prize. This prize honors the contributions of Glenn Sonnedecker to the field of the history of pharmacy and aims to encourage research in subjects central to his work. The Sonnedecker Prize will be awarded for the best original article published in 2017 on the history of some facet of pharmacy practice or pharmacy education in the United States (including the Colonial period). Submissions from multiple authors will be accepted.

The Glenn Sonnedecker Prize consists of a monetary cash prize of $1,000. If an awarded article has multiple authors, the monetary award will be divided among the authors.

Eligibility: Articles published (including electronic appearance) in English in peer-reviewed journals and books between January 2017 and December 2017 will be eligible for consideration. Award winners will demonstrate originality of scholarship and clear contribution to the study of the history of pharmacy.

Submission of articles: Please submit a PDF copy of the published article by August 15, 2018 to Gregory J. Higby, Executive Director, American Institute of the History of Pharmacy ( Please write “Sonnedecker Prize” in the subject line of your email. Self-nominations are welcome.

Conferences: 6th International Congress of Fez on History of medicine in Muslim Heritage

The 6th International Congress of Fez on History of medicine in Muslim Heritage
Medical faculty of Fez. University Sidi Mohammed Benabdellah, Fez, Morocco

It is with great pleasure to announce the above event which will be held during the period from 3-6 October 2018 in Fez, Morocco under the theme “History of surgery in Muslim Heritage».

For more information and abstract submission, please visit the conference website:

Grants: Spring/Summer 2018 Travel Scholarship at Bernard Beck Medical Library, Washington University

The Bernard Becker Medical Library is now accepting applications for the Archives and Rare Books Spring/Summer 2018 travel scholarship.  Researchers living more than 100 miles from St. Louis are eligible to apply for this award of up to $1,000 to help defray the costs of travel, lodging, food, and other expenses associated with using our collections.  Information about Becker Library’s archival and rare book holdings can be found at

For more information and to apply for the travel scholarship, please see the link below:

Calls for Papers: Society for the History of Navy Medicine Conference with Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage

Over 22-25 March 2018, the Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences along with the Society for the History of Navy Medicine will be co-sponsoring a conference on the medical history of WWI.

It will be hosted at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School in San Antonio, Texas.

Presentations on all facets of naval medicine and healthcare related to the war are welcome, to include: historical understandings of navy medicine as practiced by all participants and in all geographic regions; consideration of the repercussions of the war on the practice of navy medicine; navy medicine in various campaigns; effects on the home fronts; postwar navy medical issues; navy mental health issues; the pandemic influenza; and related topics.  A special call is made for papers tied to gender and navy medicine, especially in the context of navy nurses who served in World War I.

Presentations should be 30 minutes long, and two-paper panels are welcome.  Shorter papers are welcomed as well.

A travel grant award for graduate students who wish to present papers at the conference will be offered.  Encourage graduate students to submit papers.  Any facet of naval medicine will be acceptable.

Those interested in presenting in the context of naval medicine please contact the Executive Director of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine, Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite, Professor of History, Old Dominion University,


Please consider proposing a panel or paper for the upcoming conference in San Antonio.

We want to be present at this important conference in San Antonio, Texas, US

Contact Info: Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine, Department of History, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA  23529-0091; Email:

Congratulations ACLS Fellows

Congratulations to AAHM members recently award American Council of Learned Societies fellowships:

Evan Ragland – ACLS Fellowship Program
Assistant Professor, History, University of Notre Dame
Experimental Life: Medicine, Science, and the Emergence of a Culture of Experiment

Tamara Venit-Shelton – Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars
Associate Professor, History, Claremont McKenna College
Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Medicine in the United States

Adam Warren – ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship
Associate Professor, History, University of Washington
Postmortem Cesarean Operations and the Spread of Fetal Baptism in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires

Congratulations to AAHM Award Winners

The American Association for the History of Medicine honored the following individuals at its award ceremony on May 5, 2017 on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN as part of the 90th annual meeting:

Osler Medal: Christopher Sterwald, Duke University Medical School, for “Frosted Intellectuals: How Leo Kanner Constructed the Autistic Family”; First honorable mention:  Sarah Tapp, Emory University School of Medicine, for “’Mothers, Mongols, and Mores’: Physician Advice to Parents of Newborns with Down Syndrome in the Mid 20th Century; and Second honorable mention:  Matthew Edwards, University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, for “Freedom House Ambulance Service: Race and the Rise of Emergency Medical Services, 1967-1975”

Shryock Medal: Wangui Muigai  ‘All My Babies: Black Midwifery and Health Training Films in the 1950s’, Princeton University, Program in History of Science; First honorable mention: Vicki (Fama) Daniel ‘Medical Identification and the Emergence of a Forensic Paradigm at the 1949 Noronic Disaster’, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Program in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology; and Second honorable mention: Elaine La Fay “‘The slandered torrid zone”: Medicine, Botany, and Imperial Visions of the American Tropics along the US Gulf Coast, 1820-1840’, University of Pennsylvania, History and Sociology of Science Department

J. Worth Estes Prize: Anna E. Winterbottom, “Of the China Root: A Case Study of the Early Modern Circulation of Materia Medica.” Social History of Medicine 28 (2015): 22-44

Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome: Rachel Elder, University of Pennsylvania

George Rosen Prize: Marcos Cueto and Steven Palmer, Medicine and Public Health in Latin America: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Welch Medal: Johanna Schoen for her book, Abortion After Roe:  Abortion After Legalization (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Genevieve Miller Lifetime Achievement Award: Daniel Fox

The Garrison Lecturer for 2018: Julie Fairman, Professor of Nursing, Professor, Department of History and Sociology of Science, Chair, Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, Endowed Chair, Nightingale Professor in Honor of Nursing Veterans, Co-Director, RWJF Future of Nursing Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania

Medical Historians in the News: Congressional briefings on Zika

On September 12, 2016 AAHM Past President Margaret Humphreys (Josiah Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, Duke University) participated in congressional briefings on “Zika: Historic Parallels and Policy Responses,” sponsored by the National History Center of the American Historical Association. AAHM Council member Alan Kraut of American University introduced the session, and John McNeill of Georgetown University  was the co-presenter.  For more information and video of the presentation, visit:

AAHM Speakers’ Bureau

Do you like to talk to the media about the history of medicine?

Do you like to help independent investigators discover research materials related to our discipline?

Do you like speaking to the general public about our specialized field of history?

If so, AAHM wants you! AAHM has established a speakers’ bureau to connect our members with those interested in our special expertise in the history of medicine. Please consider signing up today and sharing your expertise with us.  Sign up by completing this form. Only names, contact information, and publication lists will be shared with those asking for a history of medicine specialist. The AAHM speakers’ bureau list will not be posted online, distributed in blast emails, or circulated on listservs.