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Heirs of Hippocrates

Heirs of Hippocrates

Heirs of Hippocrates: The Development of Medicine in a Catalogue of Historic Books
in the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, the University of Iowa


Since the last edition of Heirs of Hippocrates was published in 1980, the collection in the John Martin Rare Book Room has nearly doubled in size and this catalogue contains descriptions of 2,343 of the 3,000 books in the room. In addition, in March 1988 the name of the library was changed from the Health Sciences Library to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences in honor of Dr. Robert E. Hardin, professor of internal medicine and formerly dean of the College of Medicine and vice-president for health affairs at the university.

The reader will note that this is the third edition of Heirs of Hippocrates and may be confused if he or she has access to a copy of the 1980 edition, which does not contain an edition statement. The first edition was compiled and edited by Frank S. Hanlin (1924-1982), bibliographer of the University Libraries, and John Martin, and was published in conjunction with the opening of the library in 1974. Copies of this slender paperback edition contained 394 entries and were intended for individuals who contributed funds toward construction of the library, members of the Friends of the University of Iowa Libraries, and selected research libraries in the United States and Canada. Since that publication received such limited distribution, the 1980 edition was considered to be an entirely new publication and it was not designated as a second edition. The 1980 edition contained 1,196 entries, and included nearly all of those in the 1974 edition. The majority of the entries in that edition were prepared by the present editor or Edwin A. Holtum, presently Associate Head of the Hardin Library, who wrote a number of the entries. Because the book has retained the same title since its first publication in 1974, this is, in reality, the third edition and has been so designated.

Works chosen for the catalogue are those which seem to illustrate best the history of medicine, are most representative of a particular author, or present a particular topic not otherwise treated even though the work is not of great importance. Although scientific periodicals became the primary medium for publishing original research by the late nineteenth century, it has been necessary to limit selections from this voluminous literature. However, over forty journal articles, reprints, or offprints were chosen for the catalogue because they made important or noteworthy contributions to the developing story of medicine as early as the late eighteenth century and continuing into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The arrangement of this catalogue is chronological by year of birth of the authors whose works are included. An exception is made for books with no attributable author which are entered under the date of their first publication. Another exception is made for serial titles which are entered under their first year of publication. Multiple works by an individual author are arranged under his or her name by date of first publication. In the case of joint authors, entry is by year of birth of the first author with a cross reference from the other author or authors. In instances where an author’s year of birth or death is not known, a “flourished” date was established based on the publication date of an author’s work.

Each entry follows the following format: item number; author with year of birth and death; title; edition statement (infrequent); number of volumes if more than one; place of publication (standardized to modern usage); publisher; year of publication; pagination; presence of plates, illustrations, figures, maps, etc. as appropriate; height of title page in centimeters; and (sometimes) notes on binding, condition, paper, inscriptions, etc. An annotation follows, usually consisting of a brief note about the author and about the work itself. In general, the form of the author’s name preferred by the Library of Congress or the National Library of Medicine has been used, although there are a few departures from this practice. If more than one work of an author is entered, biographical notes ordinarily are given in the first entry. Birth and death dates usually are given for individuals the first time they are mentioned in an annotation. Birth and death dates are not given in an annotation for authors whose works appear elsewhere in the catalogue, or for royalty, other figures of state, and other well-known individuals. After the annotation, references are made to selected medical bibliographies or other published works which refer to the annotated work. A bibliography of works cited follows this preface.

Because such a large number of items were added to this edition, the entries have been renumbered. In order to assist readers who may wish to refer from the 1980 edition to the present edition, a concordance, beginning on page xiv, has been provided.

In addition to the caption accompanying each illustration, the actual size of the illustration is also provided in centimeters. The first number is the horizontal measurement and the second number is the vertical measurement of the illustration.

Facsimiles are not included in the catalogue unless they reproduce manuscripts or are facsimiles of books of which very few copies are extant. In all but a few instances, bibliographies, histories, biographies, ephemera, and items of state or local interest are not included.

An asterisk (*) preceding the item number indicates that the book is a gift from Dr. John Martin. Sources of other gifts are noted at the ends of entries.

Special acknowledgment must be given to Dr. John Martin for his advice, support, encouragement, and the many ways in which he assisted in preparing this edition. Dr. Martin gave unceasingly of his time and financial resources to aid in developing the collection; this edition would not have been possible without his generous help. George Mullally of the Cataloging Department of the University of Iowa Libraries provided expert and scholarly cataloguing, easing the bibliographic aspects of the book. It was his classical scholarship that helped smooth the way whenever difficult passages had to be translated. Jean LeGwin, LeGwin Associates, and her staff were responsible for the design and production of the book and are recognized for their considerable artistic skills, professional expertise, and technical competence. Larry Perkins, head of Medical Photography, and his capable staff provided invaluable assistance and are responsible for the excellent photography evidenced in the book’s illustrations. Holly Carver of the University of Iowa Press acted as liaison and gave superior counsel on various aspects of book production and marketing. The staff of the University of Iowa Libraries deserves credit for their assistance and, more especially, the staff of the Hardin Library is thanked for their help and forbearance during the time the book was being written. 

Richard Eimas

Curator, John Martin Rare Book Room