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William Osler Collection of Medical Materials

Identifier: MsC0804

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Scope and Contents

The first part of this collection consists of eighty-one letters written by Osler and his wife to Campbell Palmer Howard and family members, along with transcriptions of these letters. These letters concern family matters, publications, and positions of Osler and, especially, Howard. The second part of the collection consists of materials apparently amassed by Dr. R. N. Larimer, who collected medical texts, especially those of Osler. There is only one actual text here by Osler -- the remainder of the collection is Larimer's correspondence with book dealers about his collection, lists of materials written by Osler, essays about Osler, several letters not having to do with collecting, and miscellaneous, consisting partially of writings by other medical professionals.


  • Creation: 1890-1970


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Sir William Osler (1849 - 1919) was a widely respected physician who trained in Canada. He believed in a holistic approach to medicine, as well as teaching through bedside training rather than classroom training alone. He was a teacher of medicine and prolific writer of medical texts.


0.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Letters from Osler and Lady Osler to Campbell Palmer Howard and his family as well as materials from the collecting activities of R.M. Larimer, who collected medical texts, particularly those of William Osler.

Method of Acquisition

The letters from the Oslers to the Howards were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by R. Palmer Howard in 1981. Guide posted to Internet: July 2005.

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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)