Color photograph of several people looking at books in an exhibit in the John Martin Rare Book Room at Hardin Library.The John Martin Rare Book Room is open to the public.

No special credentials or research needs are required to view the collection or use the books.
Users should contact Damien Ihrig or telephone in advance 319/335-9154 to ensure that the room is available.


All books and journals must be requested from the Curator.
Materials housed in the Rare Book Room must be used in the room; in some cases, arrangements may be made to have material digitized.


Digital Reproductions
Arrangements may be made to have digital images made from materials in the collection. Individuals may also request permission to use their own equipment to take images.

  • Application for the reproduction of materials owned by the John Martin Rare Book Room must be made to the Curator (email or 319/335-9154), who will invoice the person making the application for the cost of services.
  • Rates are assessed using those established for the Special Collections Department.
  • More information on the reproduction and use of library images can be found here.


The Rare Book Room features exhibits of the works of notable individuals and special aspects of the history of the health sciences on a regular basis. In addition, the Anatomia Universa of Paolo Mascagni is permanently displayed. The Rare Book Room also features Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language and the desk used by Sir William Osler while he was Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, England.


Heirs of Hippocrates
An annotated bibliography of the collection’s most significant historic works relating to the development of medicine. Heirs… can be accessed online here. Physical copies may be requested for free from the John Martin Rare Book Room. Click here for additional information.


Other Useful Resources
UI Libraries Special Collections
Directory of History of Medicine Collections (NLM)
History of Medicine Links (MLA)