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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Robert C. Hardin
RG 99.0277
Collection Dates: 1924-1988
1 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: These papers were donated to University Archives by Margaret Hardin in March 1989 and by Dr. Lewis E. January in 1988 and 1989.  Guide posted to the Internet in September 2010.

Photographs: Box 1   Box 2

Robert C. Hardin, August 7, 1962

Robert C. Hardin, August 7, 1962

Frederick W. Kent Photograph Collection

Scope and Contents

The Robert C. Hardin papers include his writings, administrative proposals and correspondence, U. S. Army records of blood bank work, and research files.  Some photographs are included of blood bank trucks used in Europe during World War II.

Biographical Note

Robert Calvin Hardin was born March 25, 1913 in Portland, Oregon.  He graduated from high school in 1930 at Buffalo Center, Iowa.  He received a B.S. degree in medicine in 1935 and the M. D. in 1937, both at the State University of Iowa.  From 1939 to 1941, Hardin was a resident physician at the University Hospital.  During World War II, he served in the European Theatre as a U. S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and received the Legion of Merit award for the blood collection work he performed.

In 1945, Hardin continued his forty-year teaching career at the State University of Iowa as instructor in Theory & Practice of Medicine, later named the Department of Internal Medicine.  He was named full professor in 1953. From 1952 until 1980, Hardin served as vice president and dean of Veterans Administration Medical Center, which he helped establish.  In 1949 Hardin coauthored the book, Blood Transfusion, with doctors Elmer L. DeGowin, founder of the University Hospital blood bank, and John B. Alsever, a haematologist with the U. S. Office of Civil Defense.  Hardin was also a specialist in the treatment of diabetes.  He served as the dean of the College of Medicine from 1962 to 1970 and was succeeded by Dr. John W. Eckstein.  Hardin retired in 1983.  He was involved in planning the Health Sciences Library, which was constructed in 1974 and renamed the Hardin Library for Health Sciences in 1988.

Hardin married Velma Holets in December 1939 and they had two children.  Hardin died January 2, 1988.

[D. Anderson; 09/2010]

Related Materials

Folder, "Hardin, Robert C.," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Folder, "V.A. (Veterans Administration) Hospital," Buildings and Grounds Vertical Files (RG 01.15.02)

Folder, "Hardin Library for Health Sciences," Buildings and Grounds Vertical Files (RG 01.15.02)

Records of the College of Medicine (RG 15.01)

Papers of Elmer DeGowin and the Elmer DeGowin Blood Center (RG 99.0320)

Hardin, Robert C. "Oral History Interview." University of Iowa Oral History Project, 45. 80 pp. 1976.

Box Contents List

Box 1

Hardin's U. S. Army records, 1940-1961

Military Blood Banking, includes photographs from World War II, 1944-1988

World War II blood transfusions by University of Iowa physicians, 1969

Newspaper clippings, 1946-1950

Awards, 1967-1968

Expenditures, 1961-1962

Reorganization of the Medical Center, n.d.

"The Medical Center," with comments by Dr. Lewis January, 1966

Oakdale Plan, 1965

Oakdale, correspondence and legal codes, 1964

Proposal, Veteran's Hospital, 1946

"Does Iowa Need Another Medical School?" expansion proposal, 1970

Family Practice proposal, 1970


"Reactions from the Transfusion of Preserved Blood," 1940

"Studies on Preserved Human Blood," 1940

"Rates of Hemolysis in Human Blood Stored in Other Mixtures," 1942

"Reactions from Universal Donor Blood," 1945

"The Treatment of Shock in Victims of an Atomic Explosion," 1951

Various articles, 1945-1950

Abstracts, reprints, and unpublished, 1939-1981

Box 2

Study, "Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis Due to Streptococcus Viridans," 1924-1939


"History of Blood Transfusion," including military photograph

"Blood Bank Development"

Research files, 14 folders

"The Preservation of the Formed Elements and of the Proteins of the Blood," Harvard conference papers, 1949

Dedication of the Elmer L. DeGowin Memorial Blood Center, December 11, 1981

Hardin's dedication speech, "A History of Blood Banking: Early Days at Iowa," December 11, 1981

Hardin's retirement celebration, including World War II photographs and slides, 1984