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Packer Heritage Room

The Iowa State University Museum of Veterinary Medicine

The R Allen Packer Heritage Room is a museum of historical veterinary medicine. The Packer Heritage Room is named in memory of Dr. R. Allen Packer, renowned microbiologist and distinguished professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine from 1942 to 1985. Following retirement, he continued in voluntary service, teaching veterinary history and collecting historical veterinary memorabilia.

The Heritage Room has a collection of more then 2,000 books and periodicals in veterinary medicine emphasizing the period from the late 1700’s through the mid-1900’s. More than 75 books authored or edited by Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine faculty, and over 50 popular readings in veterinary medicine, many of them by alumni, are featured. Ten sets of course notes by students from 1906-1960 comprise a summary of teaching by college faculty.

Three large exhibits portray veterinary practice in Iowa in the 1920’s, the 1950’s and the 1980’s. A rotating display of three generation practices in Iowa shows through photos, instruments and narrative the changes over a century of veterinary service.

The roles of Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine in the eradication of hog cholera, bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and pseudorabies over the past century are shown in diagnostic reports, graphs, tables and narratives. The national development of veterinary public health is described through interviews with pioneering veterinarians who have received Gold Headed Cane awards.

Veterinary artworks form displays, the centerpiece being a 130 pound solid jade carving of a mother sow and her 12 baby pigs. Other major artworks are limited bronze castings of Christian Petersen’s ‘Pegasus’ and Ron Herron’s ‘Loving Care’. Veterinary porcelain figurines, African and Asian animal carvings, and a growing number of pewter and bronze castings and marble carvings are shown in new exhibits.

A major display of photos and narratives tells the 125 year history of veterinary medicine from founding of the Iowa State Agricultural College and Farm through the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts to the Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Prepared by Drs. George Beran and Bledar Bisha, this display is available to be shown by PowerPoint and as an illustrated record on this web site.

The Heritage Room also houses the Drs. George and Janice Beran Center for Veterinary Historical Research. George W. Beran, DVM, PhD, LHD, distinguished professor emeritus, is program director for the Veterinary Heritage Room. The Heritage Room is open without charge for visitation and research at library hours during regular University operation. Dr. Beran can be reached at gberan@iastate.edu, by telephone at 515-294-7630 (Heritage Room) or 515-232-2790 (Residence).