Happy National Library Week!

This year, National Library week is April 12-18, 2015 and National Library Assistants Day is April 14, 2015. This is a time to celebrate your local library personnel. Library staff members and student workers keep the library running by doing a wide variety of things like interlibrary loan, stack maintenance, circulation, etc. They also answer your questions.

To help celebrate, we’ve put up a display in Hardin Library with the names of all of the people that work here. We’re also hosting a little contest.

If you can guess how many questions were answered by Hardin Library staff members during April of 2014, you’ll be entered to win a fancy Hawkeye water bottled filled with candy.

Check out our display for details on how to enter this contest. The display can be found on the 3rd floor of Hardin Library to your left as you enter the building.


National Library Week Poster

fancy Hawkeye water bottle

PTSD Exhibit at Hardin through December

image of veterans
Image from VA.gov

Hardin Library for the Health Sciences has an exhibit on post traumatic stress disorder up through December.  The exhibit includes a time-line of the history of PTSD from 2000 BC-present, and resources for patients or clinicians. AboutFace from the Veteran’s Administration has videos available with personal stories from veterans with PTSD.

New Exhibit in the John Martin Rare Book Room

Syphilis and Paul Ehrlich:

an Historical Case Study


Sahachiro Hata, working in Paul Erlich’s laboratory in 1908, discovered the arsenic compound arsphenamine (later known as Salvarsan), which was the first effective treatment for syphilis. The disease, which is transmitted either sexually or congenitally, begins as a superficial affliction but can lead to serious complications including seizures, aneurysms, and deformation in its later stages.

Syphilis has haunted global history and culture for centuries. Scientists debate its arrival in the Americas, with the greatest evidence supporting the Colombian hypothesis arguing that Christopher Columbus’ crewmen brought syphilis back with them from the Americas. Several famous historical figures including Franz Schubert are thought to have contracted the disease. It has been treated in art by Albrecht Dürer and in the femme fatale (“poison woman”) literature of 19th century writers such as John Keats. It was the subject of questionable ethical practices in the Tuskegee syphilis study of 1932.

Treponema pallidum (pictured), the bacterium which causes syphilis, was not discovered until 1905. This discovery paved the way for Hata’s cure. The disease currently affects an estimated 12 million people with 90% of those cases being in the developing world. Since penicillin became widely available in the 1940s, syphilis can be treated effectively with antibiotics.


Images: treponema pallidum; Dürer’s “Syphilitic Man” (1496); bust of deformation in a patient with gummatous syphilis; Hata and Ehrlich.

From DNA to Beer: New Exhibit at Hardin

Hardin Library is currently hosting the exhibit, From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry.  This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

From DNA to Beer explores the processes, problems, and potential inherent in technologies that use life.  The National Library of Medicine’s description of the exhibit explains:

Microbes—tiny organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye have altered human history. Life forms such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds can cause sickness or restore health, and help produce foods and beverages. Scientists, in partnership with industry, have developed techniques to harness the powers of these microbes. In recent years, headline-grabbing technologies have used genetically modified bacteria to manufacture new medicines.

The exhibit is located on Hardin Library’s 3rd floor, and will be on display through June 15, 2014.  More information about the exhibit is available from NLM at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/fromdnatobeer.

John Martin Rare Book Room Open House March 27

The University of Library History of Medicine Society invites you to

Incunabula in a Medical Context

Open House

Thursday, March 27, 4:30-7 pm

  Incunabula are early printed books dating from 1450 to 1500, immediately after the introduction of the printing press.

The John Martin Rare Book Room at the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences will be opening its doors on the evening of Thursday, March 27 to let guests take a stroll through the 15th century.  Attendees will be allowed to page through and photograph our 32 incunabula along with select medieval manuscripts and facsimiles (copies), from 1500-1520.

To learn more, visit the Rare Book Room site. Contact Rare Book Room Curator Donna Hirst at (319) 335-9154 or by email at donna-hirst@uiowa.edu.

Don’t miss this chance for a unique glimpse into centuries-old medical scholarship!

Image via lib.cam.ac.uk

Incunabula page from the editio princeps of Lactantius (Italy, 1465).

Manuscript belongs to Cambridge University Library’s Incunabula Project.


William Stewart Halsted, Father of American Modern Surgery: a retrospective

The University of Iowa History of Medicine Society invites you to hear:

Nicholas P. Rossi, M.D.

Nicholas P. Rossi, Emeritus Professor, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Iowa College of Medicine. Rossi will provide a fascinating look at the life and medical achievements of William Stewart Halsted, considered the father of modern American surgery.

Halsted, who lived from 1852-1922, was one of the “Big Four” professors who founded John Hopkins Hospital. Halsted was an early pioneer for anesthesia and for aseptic technique in surgery, including the use of rubber gloves. Halsted also led a fascinating personal life: he was addicted to cocaine and morphine (which were not illegal during his lifetime) and was considered eccentric by his students. Throughout his lifetime, he was responsible for several innovations and advances in his field, including:

  • Halsted’s law, which states that transplanted tissue will grow only if the host lacks that tissue
  • Halsted mosquito forceps, a type of hemostat
  • Halsted’s operation I, a procedure for inguinal hernia
  • Halsted’s operation II, radical mastectomy for breast cancer
  • Halsted’s sign, used to detect breast cancer
  • Halsted’s suture, a mattress suture for wounds which minimized scarring

Attend this lecture to learn how the major preceding events of Halsted’s time and character ushered in one of the great eras of modern medicine.

This event will be held on Thursday, February 27 from 5:30-6:30 pm in Room 401 at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. Find out more here or contact the Rare Book Room with questions at 335-9154 or by emailing donna-hirst@uiowa.edu. Want to know more about this fascinating figure? Read about Halsted at Hopkins Medicine or see his documentary.

October is National Medical Librarians Month

This month is National Medical Librarian Month and the theme from the Medical Library Association is “Saving You Time So You Can Save Lives.”  Hardin Library offers a variety of services to save you time whether you are a student, faculty, staff, resident, fellow, physician, or other health professional.

Hardin Library Open House
Come celebrate National Medical Librarians Month with us on October 17, 2013 from 11:30am – 1:30pm at the 3rd floor service desk.  We’ll have free refreshments, novelty clocks, and the opportunity for tours of our fascinating building.  You might just find out if Hardin Library is haunted. I can’t tell you, but there may be an answer on our trivia display.

NMLM Display 2013
This display can be found on the third floor of Hardin Library between the service desk and 24 hour study area. This display will be up through the end of October.

10 Ways that Hardin Library Can Save You Time

  1. Hardin Open Workshops – Learn some new skills in our free 1 hour classes.  If the time doesn’t work for you or you’d like to schedule a special session for a group, feel free to contact us. We’re very flexible.
  2. Interlibrary Loan – Don’t settle for an article or book that isn’t exactly what you need for your research. If the University of Iowa doesn’t have the material you need, we can order it from another library. This service is free to our affiliates.
  3. Document Delivery – Do we have something you need, but you can’t leave your office? Maybe it’s too cold to trek across the river to another library. Don’t worry. We can send library materials straight to your office. If you need an article, we will scan the material and email you the PDF.
  4. Subject Guides – Did you know that Hardin librarians have created subject specific guides to put many of the resources you need (databases, books, journals, etc.) all in one convenient location? We don’t want the research process to be as easy as possible.  We’re also happy to take suggestions if you know of something that’s missing from a guide.
  5. Electronic Books – Many of our textbooks are available online, 24/7 both on-campus and off-campus (as long as you have a Hawk ID and password).
  6. Electronic Journal A-Z – Most of our journals are available online, 24/7 both on-campus and off-campus (as long as you have a Hawk ID and password).
  7. High Powered Databases – Don’t waste your time sifting through hundreds of thousands of links from a search engine. Many of our databases offer point of care information or specialized filters to get you the information you need quickly.  And, Hardin Librarians can teach you the most efficient ways to search these databases.
  8. Mobile Resources – Hardin Library supports a wide variety of apps with health sciences information.  We can also help you download apps to your mobile device.
  9. One on One Consultations – Are you struggling to find the information you need? Do you need help using EndNote or RefWorks? Hardin Librarians can meet with you by phone, email, chat, or in person. We can even come to your office!
  10. Personalized Library Liaisons – Hardin Library has different liaisons assigned to different departments so that we can better serve your needs.

National Medical Librarians Month Contest

One way librarians save people time is by answering questions. How many questions were answered by Hardin Library staff in September of 2013? Guess correctly, and you could win a gift card to the Iowa Hawk Shop Tech Connection!

To enter this contest, fill out a registration form at our main service desk on the 3rd floor of Hardin Library. This contest is open to University of Iowa affiliates, only. The winner will be announced in early November.




New Hardin Exhibit: History of Dentistry

There’s a new exhibit at Hardin, 3rd floor.   “Dentistry:  Innovations and Curiosities”

Stop by to see information on antiquities, medieval practices, the founders of modern dentistry, early dental tools, the early days of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and much more.

Dental Examination, University of Iowa 1920’s;  Tooth key used to extract teeth from the mid-18th to the early 20th century.Tooth keyDentistry exam

Univ. of Iowa College of Medicine Historical Photographs

University of Iowa College of Medicine Historical Photograhs are now available through the Iowa Digital Library.  The collection includes 194 images from 1844-2010.  The collection is a composite of several collections held at the Hardin Library including two boxes of lantern glass slides from ca. 1910.  The original slides are now housed in the University Archives.  Work to document and compile these images has been active in the Rare Book Room since 2012.  It is with great pleasure that we can now make these images broadly available.

Donna Hirst, Curator
John Martin Rare Book Room   June 26, 2013
comU of Ia College of Medicine images-1848-01 small jpegcom-1901-03 small