Wednesday, February 10, 2021 7pm

Getting to the Heart of It

“I am compensated by allowing myself to believe that while the scientific man can tell you the exact size, location, pulse, musculature, and color of the heart, we emotionalists can find and touch it quicker.”

Join the Ray Bradbury Center and the Indiana Medical History Museum as we ponder the confusing and enticing properties of the human heart from both the scientific and emotionalist perspective.

Register here for this virtual event.

Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 2pm

Annual John E. Pless, MD Memorial Central State Circle Lecture

Presidential Disabilities and Indiana's Role in the Crafting the 25th Amendment

Presented by historian and IMHM Education Manager, Norma Erickson, MA and retired Indianapolis attorney Gary Shaw, JD

Many times in our nation's history, a president has been ill, debilitated, or even died in office without a clear path of succession in place. Until the ratification of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, presidential duties in the event of incapacity were carried out without any constitutional guidance.

This 45-minute presentation looks at presidential disabilities before the 1967 and outlines how the 25th Amendment was created by key figures with Indiana ties. A question and answer period will follow.

Register for this virtual event here.

Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 2pm

Early Woman Physicians at Central State Hospital

presented by Sarah Halter

Registration for this virtual event is coming soon!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 5pm

Spring Installment of the Forensic Science Lecture Series

Old Drug, New Issues - Cannabis and OWI in the Recreational Age

presented by MichelleGlinn, PhD F-ABFT 

More information and registration for this virtual event is coming soon!

Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 2pm

Annual Lande Family Lecture

Medical Education and Body Snatching in Indiana

presented by Sarah Halter

More information and registration for this virtual event is coming soon!


Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 5:30pm

Gadgets & Gizmos V

Here's your chance to see historic medical artifacts that are usually hidden behind the scenes in storage. Guess what they are-- then learn the true story. This time, in addition to IMHM staff members, we have a third special guest presenter, William McNiece, MD.

View the recording here.

Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 2pm

19th Century Spiritualism and Medicine

Glenn B. Mather, MD Memorial Lecture and Annual Meeting of the Membership (virtual)

presented by R. Gregory Lande, DO

America's Civil War took a dreadful toll on human lives, and the emotional repercussions were exacerbated by tales of battlefield atrocities, improper burials and by the lack of news that many received about the fate of their loved ones. Amidst widespread religious doubt and social skepticism, spiritualism--the belief that the spirits of the dead existed and could communicate with the living--filled a psychological void by providing a pathway towards closure during a time of mourning, and by promising an eternal reunion in the afterlife regardless of earthly sins.

In this prerecorded presentation, Dr. Lande will give a brief history of modern spiritualism and its influences, and in particular he will discuss the impacts of electricity magnetism, patent medicines, nontraditional "doctors", and mental illness. 

View the recording here.

Saturday, November 14,2020 at 12:30pm

Moral Treatment and the Indiana Hospital for the Insane

presented by Sarah M. Halter

part of the Spirit & Place Festival event  "Get A Grip: Get Connected to Resources, Information, and Professional Mental Health Care"

In 1848, the Indiana Hospital for the Insane, later Central State Hospital, opened in line with the ideas of Moral Treatment. This widespread movement came in response to humanitarian reform efforts led by the Quakers and an emerging idea in medicine that mental diseases were just that-- diseases. Moral Treatment was a huge step in the right direction and a far cry from the asylum system that previously dominated what we now know as psychiatry, but the grand vision held by early supporters, administrators, and physicians did not play out as expected for a variety of reasons. By the turn of the last century, as new mental hospitals were popping up all over the State and filling up with patients who weren't likely to recover quickly...if at all, it was clear that a new strategy was needed.

Central State Hospital changed and adapted as scientific psychiatry developed, but many of the problems that plagued the hospital remained. It’s long history—the good, the bad, and everything in between—in many ways reflects the larger history of mental healthcare. In her presentation, Sarah Halter of the Indiana Medical History Museum, will discuss the history of mental healthcare in Indiana through the lens of Central State Hospital.

Monday, October 26, 2020 at 6pm

Virtual Book Event with Author and Librarian Megan Rosenbloom

We're proud to be working with our friends at the Ruth Lilly Medical Library at IUSM to bring you this virtual book event. Librarian and author Megan Rosenbloom will discuss her new book, Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin.

For more information about Megan Rosenbloom or her new book, check out the Ruth Lilly Medical Library blog here.

View the recording here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 5pm

In Service to Our Military: Identification of Missing Service Members from Past Conflicts

IMHM Fall Forensics Lecture presented by the Indiana Medical History Museum in partnership with the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center (formerly U of I Archaeology & Forensics Laboratory)

The DPAA mission to “provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel from past conflicts” is a promise to provide answers and resolution to families of the missing and the nation. In this talk, Dr. Jessica L. Campbell provide an overview of the DPAA’s mission and discuss the work of a forensic anthropologist within it.


Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 2pm

"When Fate Overtakes a Race Driver": E. Rogers Smith, MD, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2nd Medical Officer

presented by Norma Erickson

For its 104 runnings, only six different doctors have served as Chief Medical Officer of the Indianapolis 500. In the second installment of this racing and medicine series, medical historian Norma Erickson discusses the tenure  of the second CMO, neuropsychiatrist E. Rogers Smith, who served from 1938 to 1951.

View the recording here.

Monday, July 27, 2020 at 5:30pm

Gadgets & Gizmos IV

presented by Norma Erickson and Sarah Halter

Here's your chance to see historic medical artifacts that are usually hidden behind the scenes in storage. Guess what they are-- then learn the true story!

"The Evolution of the Medical Instrument Trade" View the recording here.

"Betwixt Myth and Modernity: Aesclepius and his daughters meet scientific medicine" View the recording here.

Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 2pm

The 1918 Pandemic: Indianapolis Confronts the 1918 Spanish Influenza

presented by William McNiece, MD and Bill Beck both from the Marion County Historical Society

When the Spanish Influenza began to affect life in Indianapolis in late September 1918, the Hoosier Capital City was relatively quick to react. The community had dealt with typhoid epidemics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and an outbreak of diphtheria in 1910 had resulted in orders to close schools until the infection passed. Public health officials ordered schools, theaters, restaurants and other gathering places shut down to halt community spread of the deadly influenza, and residents were asked to wear cloth masks when out in public (and to refrain from spitting on the streets and sidewalks, at all costs). Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame all canceled football games that fall, and popular Halloween Trick or Treat activities were suspended until the fall of 1919.

Watch the recording here.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Emerging Viruses and Pandemics: Lessons from HIV/AIDS

presented by William H. Schneider, Phd

HIV/AIDS is easily the most devastating pandemic in the past century, and possibly by many measures the worst since Black Death. Yet is has rarely been referenced in understanding the current COVID-19 pandemic. Using the example of HIV/AIDS, this talk will look at where pathogens come from and why some produce epidemics and pandemics.

Watch the recording here.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Annual Lande Family Lecture

Picturing Nightingale: How Visual Culture Assisted the Rise of Nursing Professionals

presented by Jane E. Schultz, PhD

By reputation, Florence Nightingale was retiring, even after she had served to public acclaim in the Crimea. Her ill health from 1855 onward discouraged her from seeking the spotlight. The spotlight followed her, however, as she wrote letters to launch a nurse training school at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London and published Notes on Nursing in 1859/60, a book that brought her name before an international audience and sealed her legacy as nursing’s prime professional mover.

Nightingale’s image—instantly recognizable to generations of admirers—started circulating in the 1850s and has come down to us in ink, oil, and bronze. As a project in visual culture, this work puts the Nightingale archive in the contexts of the growth of photography and media and it asks how these technologies contributed to the evolution of professional nursing. Reading such images as highly constructed visual texts that concentrate 19th-century assumptions about social class, womanhood, race, and profession, “Picturing Nightingale” seeks an additional lens through which to understand Nightingale’s era and her broad impact as nursing’s central historical icon, as we celebrate the bicentenary of her birth.

Watch the recording here.

To see a list of other past events, click here.

Copyright © 2017 Indiana Medical History Museum

3270 Kirkbride Way, Indianapolis, IN 46222   (317) 635-7329

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software