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John Martin Rare Book Room
Hardin Library of the Health Sciences
University of Iowa

600 Newton Road
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1098
United States
Donna Hirst, Curator, Curator
(319) 335-9154
1 319-335-9154
Fax: (319) 353-3752

The nearly 6,500 volumes in the John Martin Rare Book Room are devoted to the history of medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and the allied and basic sciences. Books, reprints, and out-of-print journals dealing with the history of medicine at the University and in the state of Iowa are housed in the Rare Book Room. In addition to the printed materials, the collection contains nearly 1,000 slides illustrating the history of the health sciences as well as selected audiotapes of presentations given at meetings of the History of Medicine Society. The books and the limited number of specially selected journals in the collection consist of important works concerning classic contributions to the history of the health sciences. The John Martin Rare Book Room is located on the fourth floor of the Hardin Library and is normally open Monday - Friday from 8am - 4pm or by appointment.

Access the online catalog:

Heirs of Hippocrates:


The John Martin Rare Book Room contains approximately 5,000 volumes illustrating the full range of the history of medicine dating from the 15th through the 20th centuries. The collection is especially rich in early anatomical atlases and includes a first edition of Adreas Vesalius' Fabrica as well as Paolo Mascagni's Anatomia Universa, a set of 88 plates each measuring 99 cm by 72 cm that are on permanent display. The holdings may be searched using the University of Iowa Libraries' Smart Search(see Online address above). Heirs of Hippocrates (1990), an annotated and illustrated book catalog of the most important works in the collection, is an internationally recognized bibliography in the history of medicine. See online address above.

Subject Strengths:
History of Anatomy; History of Medicine; History of Nursing; History of Pharmacology and Pharmacy; History of Stomatology
Last Updated:
14 Dec 2018