Exhibits Category


Rare Book Room Open House to Feature Early Works on Childbirth

The John Martin Rare Book Room will hold its annual open house on Thursday, May 14 from 4:30 to 7:30.  The exhibit, “De Partu Hominis; Six Centuries of Obstetrics,” will feature rare books on childbirth from the 15th through the 20th centuries.  The event is open to the public.  The open house will allow visitors to view and page through early atlases and manuals used by midwives and physicians featuring illustrations and descriptions of birthing chairs, forceps, caesarean section, the development of anesthesia, and complications of labor and delivery.  Among the dozens of works to be displayed include William Hunter’s striking 1774 atlas, The anatomy of the human gravid uterus, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ controversial 1842 treatise,  The contagiousness of puerperal fever, and De formato foetu, a set of plates rendered in the Baroque style, published in 1626.  The exhibit is part of a series of public lectures and presentation sponsored by the University of Iowa History of Medicine Society.  The John Martin Rare Book Room is located on the fourth floor of the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.  For additional information, please contact Ed Holtum, Curator at 335-9154.


Opening Doors Exhibit Celebrates Achievements of African American Surgeons

The Hardin Library is hosting the traveling exhibition “Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Surgeons” through the end of next week (may 15th).  The exhibit celebrates the achievements of these pioneers in medicine by highlighting four contemporary pioneer African American surgeons and educators who exemplify excellence in their fields and believe in continuing the journey of excellence through the education and mentoring of young African Americans pursuing medical careers.  Opening Doors is a collaborative effort between the National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore, the largest African American museum on the east coast of the United States. The exhibition is a celebration of the contributions of African American academic surgeons to medicine and medical education.


Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health

The Hardin Library is hosting The National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibition, “Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health” through April 21.  The exhibition earned a best exhibit blue ribbon at the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting which featured 550 booths at its 2008 expo. 

The colorful display highlights the revolution taking place in villages and towns around the world as scientists, advocates, governments, and international organizations, take up the challenge to prevent disease and improve quality of life for people in every continent.  For more information, including podcasts, quizzes, and opportunities for involvement in this important enterprise, visit the “Against the Odds” web site at:  http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/againsttheodds


Two New Exhibits at Hardin: Care of Lincoln and Care of Books

Two new exhibits on two very different subjects have been installed near the Hardin Library main entrance.  “His Wound is Mortal – Trauma Care, April 14, 1865” offers a look at the medical measure taken after the shooting of Abraham Lincoln, including excerpts from first-hand reports of the assassination and its aftermath.  The exhibit also raises the issue of whether or not the advances of present day trauma care might have saved the president’s life.


“Book Conservation—A Healing Art” is an introduction to book repair and preservation couched in medical terms.  Organized under categories such as, “anatomy,” “disability,” “therapy,” and “pandemic,” University of Iowa Conservator, Gary Frost provides descriptions and examples of books that need special care and protection to recover from various “illnesses.”  The display includes a cutaway model showing the structure of a book and several real-life examples of works that have been “rehabilitated” after various kinds of trauma.


Upcoming Exhibits at Hardin!

In April and May, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences will be hosting two National Library of Medicine events.  Both exhibits will be held on the 3rd floor of the Hardin Library.

The First Event exhibit, Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Surgeons, will be held April 1st- May 15th.

The second exhibit, Against the odds: Global Public Health, will be April 15th-24th.

Don’t forget to checkout both exhibits!


Community, Education, Family, Tradition: Latinos in Iowa

The Main Library Welcomes you to a celebration of their newest exhibit:

Community, Education, Family, Tradition: Latinos in Iowa.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Main Library

North Exhibition Hall


Don’t forget to check out the new Smallpox Exhibit!

Don’t forget to check out the latest exhibit posted near the 3rd floor entrance! It’s the history of Smallpox, and is quite informative!

Smallpox has claimed more lives than any other disease in history, ravaging humankind for thousands of years. During the 18th century, smallpox killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans every year. Even those who were fortunate enough to survive (the mortality rate for the most virulent form ranged from 20 to 60 percent) were usually scarred or deformed in some way for the remainder of their lives.

Following the advent of Jenner’s cowpox vaccine at the beginning of the 19th century, the number of cases declined significantly but as late as 1967, The World Health Organization estimated that two million died from smallpox that year, mostly in underdeveloped countries.

Finally, in 1980, Following a mass vaccination, surveillance and containment effort, The World Health Assembly announced the global eradication of smallpox, the only naturally occurring disease to be eliminated by humans.


Iowa Go Local at the Johnson County Fair

Iowa Go Local connects citizens with healthcare providers across Iowa, empowers them with quality information about their health and helps them access services including hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies and assisted living facilities. Iowa Go Local is available through MedlinePlus, a web site that offers free, high quality health information in English and Spanish. Health professionals choose materials that are current, accurate, and reliable.

Iowa Go Local is being exhibited at the Johnson County Fair from July 21st-July 24th. Look for booth #38 next to the Iowa City Public Library. Stop by for a demonstration of Iowa Go Local and MedlinePlus or contact lib-hardin@uiowa.edu if you would like us to make a presentation in your area.

Iowa Go Local is produced by the University of Iowa Hardin Library for the Health Sciences in partnership with the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Patients’ Library with funding from the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Visit Iowa Go Local on the web at http://medlineplus.gov/iowa.


Rare Book Room Open House!

The John Martin Rare Book Room will hold its annual open house on Thursday, May 15 from 4:30 to 7:30.scultetus-43101.jpg

The exhibit, “’No Small Presumption’–Surgical Works From Six Centuries,” will feature rare books from the earliest days of surgery through the twentieth century. Although chloroform and ether were not widely used before the second half of the 19th century, a surprising number of surgical procedures were employed hundreds and even thousands of years ago, including operations for cataracts, bullet removal, hernias, club foot, and bladder stones. The open house will allow visitors to view and page through the early texts and illustrations used by surgeons for instruction and guidance.

Of special interest are the woodcuts and engravings of the elaborate and sometimes quite modern instruments developed over the centuries for specific tasks, including drills, scalpels, and saws designed with speed and efficiency in mind. Important early works in anesthetics and antisepsis will also be featured.

The exhibit is part of a series of public lectures and presentation sponsored by the University of Iowa History of Medicine Society.

The John Martin Rare Book Room is located on the fourth floor of the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. For additional information, please contact Ed Holtum, Curator at 335-9154.

*This event is open to the public.


Don’t forget to check out new 3rd Floor Display!

FacsimileDon’t forget to stop by Hardin’s newest exhibit, Simple Medicines, located near the 3rd floor doors of the Hardin Library. The display on herbs and herbal medicinal treatments spotlights the work of French scholar Matthaeus Platearius (d. 1161).

The lustrous images in this exhibit have been copied from a facsimile of a remarkable manuscript published in the last part of the 15th century, Le livre des simples médecines (The book of simple medicines). The original manuscript is housed in the Russian National Library at St. Petersburg [Barcelona: M. Moleiro, 2000].

Beginning around the 11th century, European scholars began translations of ancient Greek works, using as their sources, Arabic translations that were preserved during the Middle Ages by Islamic scholars. One of the most important of these translations (De medicinis simplicibus (“On simple medicines”) was completed in the mid 12th century by Matthaeus Platearius (d. 1161), a physician from Salerno, Italy, an important translation center.

Platearius’ text found its way into numerous manuscripts but none as beautiful as the codex produced for Count Charles of Angoulême and his wife Louise of Savoy. Most of the text is taken from Platearius’ French translation with additional material from later writers. The text includes sections on herbs and flowers, trees, metals & minerals, and animal products. It is followed by a magnificent 116 page atlas depicting “simples” – plants used in treating diseases. The striking artistry was probably the work of Robinet Testard (fl 1475–1523), the French illustrator and illuminator.

Of interest, too, are the written annotations added by two physicians who insert Latin and Greek names for many of the plants and who provide additional commentary.