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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.

  • History of Medicine Society

    Donna’s Adventures in the John Martin Room, or Through the Door to Room 446 and what Donna Found There.

    Thursday, November 21, 2019
    5:30-6:30
    Hardin Library Room 401


    Join Donna Hirst on a ten year retrospective of activities and adventures in the John Martin Rare Book Room. Anecdotes about classes and groups that visited the room, open houses, exhibits, and gems of the collection will be highlighted. Digitization, conservation, and collection management will be discussed. A tour of collection highlights and special acquisitions will follow the talk.

  • Notes from the Rare Book Room

    LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519). A catalogue of the drawings . . . in the collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle. 2 vols. New York: Macmillan and Cambridge, England: 1935.



    Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest artists and scientists of the Italian Renaissance. He is considered to be the founder of physiological anatomy. His work was forgotten for centuries, until rediscovered in the Royal Libraries of Windsor Castle. They were first made public in this two volume set, published in 1898 and 1901.