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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

    GOVARD BIDLOO (1649-1713). Anatomia humani corporis. Amsterdam, 1685.

    Title page illustration of Anatomia Humai Corporis

    Bidloo, professor of anatomy at The
    Hague, was physician to William of
    Orange. An English contemporary,
    William Cowper, furnished his Anatomy
    of Humane Bodies almost completely
    with engravings plagiarized
    from this book by Bidloo, who
    promptly and publicly excoriated
    Cowper in a published communication
    to the Royal Society.

  • History of Medicine Society

    Marquis Berrey presents  
    Ancient Surgery in Early Modern Italy: Celsus, Benivieni, Morgagni  
    Thursday, January 25, 2018 – 5:30-6:30  

    Portrait of Benivieni

    European medical professionals from the 15th through the early 19th centuries treated the De Medicina “On Medicine” by the ancient Roman encyclopediast Aulus Cornelius Celsus (fl. 30 CE) as a standard medical reference equivalent to the works of Hippocrates and Galen. This lecture considers how Benivieni and Morgagni put Celsus’ De Medicina to work in medical ethics, in identifications of syphilis, and in specific surgical interventions.