Are there other rare book rooms on campus in addition to the Special Collections in the Main Library?


Canter Rare Book Room

The Canter Rare Book Room contains about 3,000 cataloged books and music scores. Its primary strengths are in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music theory treatises and texts (including instruction books), keyboard and chamber music of the late eighteenth to early nineteen centuries (Johann Schobert, Hullmandel, Joseph Haydn, Muzio Clementi, etc.), and more than 200 works by Ignaz Pleyel. Important earlier authors include Zarlino (1562), Kircher (1650), John Playford (1694), Bedos de Celles (1766-1778), Descartes (1656), and Henry Lawes (1637-38). Several Rameau treatises are present in first editions.

For accessing the Canter Rare Book Room, contact or visit


John Martin Rare Book Room

The nearly 6,500 volumes in the John Martin Rare Book Room are original works representing classic contributions to the history of the health sciences from the 15th through 21st Centuries. Also included are selected books, reprints, and journals dealing with the history of medicine at the University and in the State of Iowa.

Secondary sources such as histories of particular subjects, biographies, and bibliographies are housed in the Hardin Library main collection.

For accessing the John Martin Rare Book Room, contact


Law Library Special Collections

The Rare Book Room houses rare and unique books and manuscripts. The Law Library’s rare book holdings consist of three basic collections:

  • The Hammond Collection. The first Chancellor (or Dean) of the College of Law, William Gardiner Hammond, left his collection of approximately 1,200 early English and Civil law materials to the Law Library. During the College of Law’s early years, Chancellor Hammond allowed students to use his personal collection for their studies. Hammond’s lecture notes and other ephemera round out the collection.
  • The Leist Collection. This 3,000 volume collection was purchased in 1920 and emphasizes German, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Canon Law. It was assembled in Germany by father and son jurists Burkard Wilhelm Leist and Gerhard Alexander Leist.
  • Other Rare Materials. The Law Library has amassed a collection of rare materials through acquisitions and gifts. The strength of the collection lies in Anglo-American works and includes early Iowa legal materials, Confederate legal imprints from the American Civil War, and a large collection of Blackstone editions.
  • Last Updated Jan 26, 2024
  • Views 6
  • Answered By Lindsay Moen

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 0 0