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.

With over 81,000 unaccounted-for personnel lost in service to our nation, the effort to identify the missing involves many components. In the Scientific Analysis directorate, the role of the forensic anthropologist is one of the last in a long line to identification. They must tie together the physical remains with an individual’s identifying historical records using a range of tools including skeletal analysis, with evidence from odontologists, as well as information from scientists analyzing other aspects, such as the context of recovery and circumstances of loss, DNA results, isotopic signatures, and radiographs.

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.


Sign up today at

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.

This is a free event, but registration is required. Sign up here. For more information about Megan Rosenbloom or her new book, check out the Ruth Lilly Medical Library blog here.


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

3045 Vermont Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222   (317) 635-7329

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software