New Melnick exhibit focuses on contraception

Contraception exhibit at the Dittrick Medical History Center at Case Western Reserve University. It will be featured at YSU.

Contraception exhibit at the Dittrick Medical History Center at Case Western Reserve University.

An exhibit of contraception items, prototypes and manufacturing devices opens March 5 and runs through the end of the month at the Rose Melnick Medical Museum on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The exhibit, part of YSU’s celebration of Women’s History Month, features artifacts that are part of the Percy Skuy Contraceptive Collection currently under the auspices of the Dittrick Medical History Center at Case Western Reserve University. The exhibit depicts the social and cultural climate that influenced birth control decisions in the United States since its early history.

The collection includes a wide range of contraception items, prototypes, and manufacturing devices. Skuy, past president of Ortho Pharmaceutical of Canada, assembled the world’s most comprehensive collection of historical contraceptive devices. Through donations and museum purchases, his original collection grew from 650 to approximately 1,100 artifacts. The Dittrick also maintains a collection of literature on the topic, including primary source material as well as historical writings.

In connection with the exhibit, James Edmonson, chief curator at the Dittrick, will talk about “Virtue, Vice, and Contraband: A History of Contraception in America” at 10 a.m. Monday, March 26 at the Melnick Museum.

Edmonson’s lecture is free and open to the public.

The Museum is open to the public by appointment Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visitors can call Cassandra Nespor at 330-941-4661 to schedule an appointment. Free parking is available next to the Museum. For more information on Women’s History Month events, contact G. Mehera Gerardo at gmgerardo@ysu.edu or 330-941-3495.