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The University of Iowa Libraries

John Martin Rare Book Room

John Martin Rare Book Room

The nearly 6,500 volumes in the John Martin Rare Book Room are original works representing classic contributions to the history of the health sciences from the 15th through 21st Centuries. Also included are selected books, reprints, and journals dealing with the history of medicine at the University and in the State of Iowa.

Secondary sources such as histories of particular subjects, biographies, and bibliographies are housed in the Hardin Library main collection.

  • Notes from the RBR

    JEAN CRUVEILHIER (1791-1874). Anatomie pathologique du corps humain. 2 vols. and atlas. Paris: J.-B. Baillière, 1829-1842.

    Illustration of Kidney Pathologies

    As the chair of pathology at the University of Paris, Cruveilhier was the first to give an adequate description of disseminated sclerosis and of progressive muscular atrophy. He was also the first to describe and name hypertrophic pyloric stenosis and ulceration of the stomach due to hyperacidity. This atlas contains some of the finest illustrations of gross pathology ever made.

  • History of Medicine Society

    Attracted to Ill Humors, or What Hope for Shakespeare's Cachexic Couples? Presentation by Kirilka Stavrena. May 18. 5-6:30 PM, MERF 2117.

    Charles Hawtry

    The theory of the four humors, introduced in Europe by the Baghdad physician Ibn Butlan, dominated not only the scientific thinking of the early modern era, but also general ideas about the well-being of the individual and society. This lecture explores the cachexic body “habits” of two of Shakespeare famous couples, Hamlet and Ophelia, and Katherina and Petruchio, as well as the methods used to mediate each couple’s shared “ill disposition.”