The Rare Book Collection at the Iowa State University Library

The rare book collection currently consists of approximately 50,000 volumes, with the following areas of topic strength: agriculture and rural life; history of science, particularly in architecture, botany, entomology, natural history, and ornithology; early scientific journals; women in science and engineering; and the history of technology. 

Significant Works in Botanical and Butterfly Illustration at Iowa State:

The study of botany was extremely important in the early years of Iowa State College (University).  To support coursework, a number of rare and unique volumes were purchased through the years, including works written and illustrated by Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1500-1577); Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566); Nicolas Culpeper (1616-1654); Mark Catesby (1683-1749); Pierre Joseph Redoute (1759-1840).

Entomology was also an important field of study, and rare books concerning the study of butterflies are also included in the collection.  Authors include Robert John Thornton (1768?-1837); Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717); Moses Harris (1730-c. 1788); John Abbot (1751-1840); Alexis Nicolas Noel (1792-1871); and John Obidiah Westwood (1805-1893).


Special Collections Department, ISU Library
Copyright 2003, Iowa State University. 
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