The Apothecary

A new Hardin exhibit offers many practical hints on the care of the human physick.

 A recipe for Ointment of Tar and Opium.  This compound has been found very efficacious in haemorrhoids.

 A recipe for The Draught with Millepedes.  This is given in Hectical Complaints, where the Lungs are supposed to have Schrophulous Tubercles.

 Culpeper’s School of Phyfick.  The soles of the Feet rubbed with good Mustard, helps forgetfulness, and quickens the motion.

 Check out the exhibit and learn how to cure your ailes.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month that is dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of early breast cancer detection.

In honor of this important informational campaign, the Hardin Library has put together a small exhibit on breast cancer. Stop by the third floor of the library to look at some books, or take some information home.

Not Just Another Pretty Face

Not Just Another Pretty Face

Hardin Library’s newest exhibit traces the history of the dubious attempts to divine personality characteristics by analyzing the size, shape, structure, and composition of the human head.  It was Aristotle who coined the term, “physiognomy” to support his own writings and inclinations on the subject. Since that time the notion that character and personality are somehow imprinted in facial features has received considerable attention through a variety of approaches, nearly all of them unsupported by empirical evidence of any kind and many of them used for such nefarious purposes as racial stereotyping and the outright support of bigotry.  The exhibit is located near the 3rd floor entrance to the library.

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:

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!

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.