Anyone may make an appointment to use the John Martin Rare Book Room from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. You may make an in-person appointment or our curator can meet your via Zoom and show you materials online.
The John Martin Rare Book Room will be open during Winter Break except on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Access to the John Martin Rare Book Room is available to the public as well as University of Iowa affiliates.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact curator Damien Ihrig in advance.
For the past eight years, students enrolled in art history and studio arts courses explored the holdings of the John Martin Rare Book Room. Here, they pored over weeping welts, ballooning wombs, and plants tantalizingly teetering between poisonous and medicinal.
Aspiring medical professionals found an invitation into art historical thinking. Burgeoning artists found inspiration in the precision of anatomical representation achieved centuries ago, & budding historians wondered at the trajectories of language and scientific understanding.
Vero Rose Smith is an artist, curator, and educator. In the studio, Smith makes climate change personal through data-driven installations and performances. In the gallery, Vero produces community-focused exhibitions and participatory art experiences.
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences is happy to welcome Damien Ihrig to the Hardin staff! He comes to the library as the Curator for the John Martin Rare Book Room and has a long history of working in higher education, including medical education.
Damien recently completed his Master’s in Library Science from the University of Iowa, but previously worked in the UI Colleges of Education and Medicine, most recently as the Registrar in the Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum. He also completed a Certificate in Book Studies from the UI Center for the Book, focusing on the materiality of special and archival collections. Damian is excited to be working with such a distinguished collection at the John Martin Rare Book Room, tackling health science users’ reference questions, and helping out the Hardin team.
Currently, his free time is spent enjoying quarantine his wife, two children, and new puppy. His other interests include running, hiking, biking, games and puzzles, and of course, reading.
GUIDO GUIDI (1508-1569). Chirurgia è Graeco in Latinum conversa. Paris: Excudebat Petrus Galterius, 1544
Guidi, a successful Florentine surgeon, was invited to Paris in 1542 to help the French King Francis I apply medical advances of the Italian Renaissance to French medicine. Francis appointed Guidi his personal physician and chair of surgery at the Collège de France. Upon the death of Francis I in 1547, Guidi was recalled to Italy by Cosimo I, ruler of Tuscany, and became his personal physician and professor of philosophy and medicine at Pisa.
When Guidi came to Paris, he brought with him a copy of a tenth-century Greek surgical manuscript as a gift for the French monarch. Guidi was able to complete his Latin translation and commentary on the manuscript and published this work. The book is a compilation of what was then known about treating wounds and fractures, especially war wounds. Most of the book is devoted to Hippocrates’ writings on ulcers, fistulas, and head wounds with Guidi’s commentaries and observations, and Galen’s commentaries on Hippocrates’ works on fractures and joints.
The artist of this book is thought to be Francesco Salviati and was formerly attributed to artist Francesco Primaticcio. This book is often considered to be the finest textbook of surgery printed in the 16th century.