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Featured Rare Books: Home

This guide provides more information about the Featured Rare Books on the Archives main page.

About the Featured Rare Books

The USU Archives regularly features a rare book from our collections on the Archives front page. Some of these books have been digitized and are available to view and download via our online collections. This page will provide additional information about the featured books.

About the USU Archives

The University Archives for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences collects, preserves, and makes available rare university materials; historical military medical and public health collections; and personal papers of enduring value from administrators, faculty, and alumni for the research use of the university and the general public.  The Archives collects manuscripts, oral histories, rare books, audio-visual materials, and artifacts relating to the history of the university and the history of military medicine.

Related Institutions

The following are links to other institutions with collections and exhibits that complement the material in the USU Archives. 

National Museum of Health and Medicine

National Library of Medicine

National Archives and Records Administration

Current Featured Rare Books

The following are links to catalog records or digitized versions for the Rare Books currently featured on the Archives homepage, along with some information about each book. 

  • Mundus subterraneus by Athanasius Kircher, 1678
    • Athanasius Kircher, 1602-1680
      • German Jesuit scholar who published around 40 major works, most notably in the fields of comparative religion, geology, and medicine
      • Interpreted mountain ranges as the Earth's skeletal structures exposed by weathering
      • First scientist to be able to support himself through the sale of his books.
    • Mundus Subterraneus is a geology book published between 1664-1678. The book seeks to cover the entirety of the Earth’s geology, from volcanoes and earthquakes to the internal fires in the Earth’s center and the location of the island of Atlantis.
    • The work features many illustrations of volcanic eruptions, caves, and the Earth’s interior.
  • Trait́é des maladies des femmes grosses by François Mauriceau, 1738 (6th edition)
    • François Mauriceau, 1637-1709
      • Leading obstetrician of his day who helped develop a technique for assisted breech delivery, known at the Mauriceau-Levret manipulation
      • Trained at the Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris
    • This work, which first appeared in 1668, was reprinted and translated for more than seventy years
    • Collection includes a copy from 1687, which is a German translation as well as volume two from 1738 (6th edition)
  • Chirurgie, in welcher alles, was zur Wund-Artzney gehöret... by Lorenz Heister, 1752
    • Lorenz Heister, 1683-1758
      • In 1718, he coined the word "tracheotomy"
      • first physician to perform a post-mortem section of appendicitis
    • This volume on surgery was translated into several languages. It was used extensively in Japan and was still employed as a standard text in Vienna as late as 1838.
  • Traité, théorique et pratique des blessures par armes de guerre by Guillaume Dupuytren, 1834
    • Guillaume Dupuytren, 1777-1835
      • Best known for his description of Dupuytren’s contracture, which is a condition in which one or more fingers become permanently bent in a flexed position. He first performed corrective surgery on this condition in 1831 and it was published in The Lancet in 1834
      • One of the first surgeons to successfully drain a brain abscess using trepanation, in which a hole is cut in the skull. He also used trepanation to treat seizures.

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