Stop by to check out this exhibit at the Main Library Gallery. On display are snippets of student life from throughout the university’s history: the Iowa Memorial Union as a center of activity, the performing arts as a source of vibrancy, and military service and Greek life as time-honored traditions. Decades of student publications and glimpses of social and political activism are seen throughout, demonstrating the diversity of student voices on campus.
Professional development (usually a virtual webinar)
Working with a researcher interested in JMRBR materials
Consulting with a clinical researcher about their project
Working on a systematic or other review
A reference desk shift
Interested in visiting the John Martin Rare Book room for research or fun? In-person or Zoom appointments are available. Want to host a class here? Need help with your historical medical research? Contact Damien by email or phone (319-335-9154).
VORONOFF, SERGE (1866-1951). Étude sur la vieillesse et la rajeunissement par la greffe. [Research on aging and rejuvenation by transplantation] Printed in Paris by Octave and Gaston Doin in 1926. 23 cm tall. Signed copy.
Voronoff was born in Russia and studied medicine in France. He studied with the transplant pioneer, Alexis Carell, eventually becoming a French citizen and setting up his own research and surgical practice. While practicing in Cairo for a time, he reflected on the accelerated aging experienced by eunuchs.
Believing aging and a whole host of associated health conditions could be reversed with testicular transplantation, he set about studying the effects in farm animals. Not unexpectedly, few young men were willing to donate one of their testicles for human transplantation. He began by using the testicles of executed prisoners (he was neither the first nor the last to misuse prisoners in this way), but the demand for his services was too high. He eventually settled on monkeys and apes as the best animal substitute, setting up a “monkey farm” to ensure a steady supply.
To demonstrate the validity of his procedure, Voronoff often published patient testimonials with “before and after” photographs of his patients, a technique used throughout the 20th Century and now by those peddling “too good to be true” cures. His technique inspired many other surgeons and veterinarians around the world. Thousands of animal-to-human and animal-to-animal sexual organ transplants were performed.
Voronoff was convinced he would eventually be able to create long-lived superhumans and animals. He performed at least one human ovary transplantation into a monkey, including an attempt to impregnate the monkey with human sperm. Most of Voronoff’s patients were wealthy men seeking increased sexual vigor. An increasing lack of evidence and Voronoff’s critics, both in science and the media, finally overwhelmed the work, the discovery of hormones associated with sexual organs in the 1930’s rendered transplantation completely unnecessary.
This book is Voronoff’s major work and has his signature on the flyleaf. It is in good condition, with the cover mostly detached but the text block is intact and in excellent condition. The simple paper covers have darkened somewhat over time due to handling and higher acid levels present in most papers of the time. Contact Curator Damien-Ihrig (phone 319-335-9154) to view this book or any others from this fascinating (and disturbing!) period of medical experimentation and discovery. In person and Zoom appointments available.
by Damien Ihrig, MA, MALIS, Curator, John Martin Rare Book Room
The University of Iowa Libraries has entered into a transformative agreement with the Company of Biologists that allows University of Iowa authors to publish open access articles for free in their 5 journals.
unlimited access to their hybrid journals including their archives dating back to 1853
compliant with Plan S and funder mandates
Publishing open access allows articles to reach a wider audience because they are free to read online and not limited to subscribers. This transformative agreement for open access publishing means that UI authors will not have to pay out of pocket for the article processing fees that are traditionally charged for open access publishing.
The new College of Pharmacy building has a garden that contains plants that were used for healing. The Roots of Medicine garden was a collaboration of Hardin Library staff, the John Martin Rare Book Room, the College of Pharmacy, a horticulture expert from Iowa State University, and local gardeners. The garden contains signs that identify the plants and QR codes to pull up more information.
Tagliacozzi studied under Girolamo Cardano at the University of Bologna. After graduating, he became a professor of surgery and anatomy at Bologna. This work, “Concerning the surgery of the mutilated by grafting,” is a classic in the history of plastic surgery and is especially noteworthy for its description of rhinoplasty.
Some form of rhinoplasty had been practiced in ancient India and, in the thirteenth century, by a family of itinerant Sicilian surgeons (the Brancas) who kept the operation a family secret. This became known as the “Italian Method.” This method was included in works by Vesalius, but he described it incorrectly. Tagliacozzi learned of it, modified it, and published De curtorum chirurgia per insitionem, describing his successes and failures of his own method in detail.
The volume is divided into two parts: the first, “Theory of the art of plastic surgery,” is about the structure, function, and physiology of the nose; and the second part, “Practice of the art,” describes and illustrates the instruments and operative procedures for restoration of the nose, lip, and ear. Tagliacozzi also fully discussed the complications, such as hemorrhage and gangrene, that often occurred during these operations.
It has 22 full-page woodcut illustrations showing Tagliacozzi’s method and surgical instruments. They are well-executed and illustrate many of the techniques described in the text. The immediate popularity of the work caused it to be pirated by another Venetian printer, Roberto Meietti, who issued it under the same date. This only touches on the interesting life and work of Tagliacozzi. Read more about him here.
The book is in great condition. One leaf is stained and a few others have browned a bit over time, but it is otherwise in excellent shape. The binding consists of a modern vellum pasted over paper boards. And the full-page illustrations are crisp and jump off the page with their detail and fun flourishes. This book was purchased by Dr. John Martin in 1977 and donated to the collection.