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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.

  • History of Medicine Society

    The Evolution of University Urology as a Reflection of University Priorities. Presentation by Charles Hawtrey. Thursday, February 23, 2017, 5:30-6:30. MERF 2117.

    Charles Hawtry

    Dr. Hawtry will review trends in the Urology Department and the University , focusing on 1915-1949, the Alcock Era. He will highlight the impact of the Flexner Report, changes in university buildings and the evolution of teaching and research practice.

  • History of Medicine Banquet

    The Resurrection Trade: Finding Poetry in Medical Archives. Presentation by Leslie Miller.

    Charles Hawtry

    Miller delves into the mysteries of early anatomical studies and medical illustrations and finds there stories of women’s lives–sometimes tragic, sometimes comic–as exposed as the drawings themselves.

    Make your reservations now for the R. Palmer Howard Dinner for 2017. April 28th at the Radisson Hotel, in Coralville. Dinner at 7:00, presentation at 8:00.

    Registration Form
  • Notes from the RBR, November 2016

    PIETRO d'ABANO (1250-1315?). Conciliator differentiarum philosophorum et medicorum. Venice: Gabriele di Pietro, for Thomas de Tarvisio, 1476.

    birth of mankinde

    Pietro d'Abano was an influential Paduan physician who was sought after for lectures and teaching; Dante was among his pupils. The Conciliator is his greatest work, which presents medical knowledge from the Arabic and Grecian schools in a series of questions with answers from each school of thought with the hope that the truth would emerge and contradictions be resolved. His views led to his condemnation during the Inquisition.