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University of Alberta - Rawlinson Rare Book Collection

2K3.28 Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R7
Trish Chatterley, Collections Manager, John W. Scott Health Sciences Library
1 780-492-7947
Fax: ---

The Rawlinson Rare Book Collection for the health sciences is located in the Phyllis Russell Rare Book Room at the John W. Scott Health Sciences Library at the University of Alberta. The collection is named after Dr. Herbert E. Rawlinson, an early graduate of the Faculty of Medicine and a professor of Anatomy at the University of Alberta from 1927 until he resigned in 1962 because of illness. He passed away in Victoria in 1975. His personal collection of books formed the basis of this present day special collection. The collection has grown thanks to subsequent donations and by selection.

The Rawlinson Collection consists of approximately 1500 volumes. The books may be consulted in the rare books room; however, they do not circulate due to their age, fragility, or rarity. Students, staff, faculty and members of the general public are welcome to access the collection by presenting their OneCards or other acceptable identification at the service desk of the John W. Scott Health Sciences Library.

If you live outside of Edmonton and would like to access content from the Rawlinson Rare Boook Collection please make an interlibrary loan request with your home library. They will liaise with our interlibrary loan department and our collections manager to assess the feasibility of making duplicates of the item.


The Rawlinson Collection contains over 2000 items from ranging in age from the 1500 until the 2011.

Some of our more impressive items include:

A handsome, full-size 1934 edition of Vesalius’ illustrations (Icones anatomicae) from De humani corporis fabrica, reprinted from original plates (these plates were subsequently destroyed during World War II).
· A printer’s proof edition of Marcello Malpighi’s Opera Posthuma (1660).
· A beautifully preserved and bound, autographed and dedicated, first edition of John Howard’s An account of the principal lazarettos of Europe (1789).
· Dechambre’s Dictionnaire encyclopedique des sciences medicales, 1864-1869.
· Mr. Hunter’s Anatomy Lectures, 1755. Holograph notes taken by a student of William Hunter. Donated by the Mewburn family.
· Galen’s Librorum pram classis: naturum corporus humani – a 1590 copy with a handsome modern replica binding.
· Guy de Chauliac’s La grande chirugie (1598) – the Sabistan of its day.
· Corpus of the anatomical studies in the collection of Her Majesty, the Queen, at Windsor Castle – the complete anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
· William Buchan’s Domestic Medicine (1769) – a first edition of one of the earliest home medical manuals.

Subject Strengths:
Domestic Health Care (home medical manuals); History of Anatomy; History of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases; History of Medical Education; History of Midwifery; History of Neurology; History of Public Health; Western Canadian medical history
Last Updated:
20 Nov 2019