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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.

  • 2018 R. Palmer Howard Dinner

    Richard Keller Presents:
    Viral Markets:Economics,the Environment, and Emerging Disease in the Twentieth Century
    Friday, April 27th

    Image of Richard Keller

    Environmental threats to human health have changed dramatically in the course of the past century. The cases of bubonic plague, HIV/AIDS, and Lyme Disease in particular help to illustrate the ways in which changes in human patterns of interaction with the environment—and specifically, the ways in which consumer markets have disrupted unstable ecologies—have opened new epidemiological pathways and presented new challenges to health and medicine in the United States and the wider world.


  • Frankenstein: JMRBR Open House

    Peter Balestrieri presents
    Curating Frankenstein
    Thursday, March 22, 2018 – 5:00-8:00 PM

    Illustration of Frankenstein's monster

    Now in the 200th year since its publication, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus continues to raise questions about humanity, scientific ethics, and the place of the monster in our imaginations. This event features books and manuscripts from the John Martin Rare Book Room and UIowa’s Special Collections, which together trace the creation of the novel, and the scientific world that it grew out of.