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Archives and Special Collections: Collections Spotlight

A quick guide to understanding and using DMU's archives and special collections.

Our Collections

S.S. and Ella Still Collection

Signature reading "S.S. Still D.O. Des Moines, IA"

One of the crown jewels of our institution, this collection consists of about 100 books donated by S.S. and Ella Still before leaving the institution. Most of the books contain the signature of either S.S. or Ella.

Historical Osteopathy

1899 title page of the book "The Practice of Osteopathy" by McConnell.

As one of the oldest surviving osteopathic schools in the country, we hold a large collection of materials relating to the history of ostepathy. We also have a manipulation table on display in the library and many more artifacts regarding the practice of osteopathy by doctors through the decades.

Pre-1880 Collection

A row of old books including "Horner's Anatomy and Histology", "Chemistry", and "Rush's Works" volumes 1-3.

Consisting of over 200 volumes, we house books dating from the 1630's to 1880. These texts are on various topics but include classics such as Hippocrates (in Latin and Greek), Paré's Works, Edward Jenner on his vaccine, and Gray's Anatomy.

Historical Podiatry

1932 title page of "Flatfoot" by Fairweather.

As one of the few podiatry schools in the United States, we also house a collection of historical podiatry texts.


Medical Artwork

Detailed anatomical drawing of the lungs and heart by Bougery.

Along with framed works of art, we also boast several historical books depicting anatomy in astonishing detail. At least one of Bourgery's Anatomy (1840) volumes is always on display in the Rare Book Room window, with Lizars' Anatomical Plates and Cruveilhier's Anatomy (1829) available for viewing in the Rare Book Room.

Doctor's Bags

Small black leather case opened to show rows of thin glass bottles.

Several doctors bags have been donated throughout the years which include the basic tools always on hand for a D.O. making house calls. Some of these artifacts are on display in cases throughout the library.

Classics of Medicine

Row of colorful books from the Classics of Medicine Library.

These books are reprints of the classic texts on medicine of the past several hundred years. You can browse our holdings with the link below. They are housed in the library near the front desk and can be used within the library.

Ask the Archivist!

If you are interested in any materials, please make an appointment with our librarian by contacting or 515-271-1537.

Phone: 515-271-1537