Welcome to Special Collections

the Special Collections reading room at the MSU Library

The Reading Room

The Special Collections unit of the Michigan State University Libraries collects, houses, and preserves rare and unique materials within the MSU Libraries. Our materials cover a vast array of topics from Africana to Veterinary Medicine. These materials are available to the public in our reading room.

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Written in Italian and consisting of 80 leaves, this manuscript on equine medicine is attributed to Giordan Ruffo, stable master at the Italian court of Frederick II (1194-1250), King of Sicily and the Holy Roman Empire. It is generally considered the starting point for the regeneration of western veterinary practice in the Renaissance. Ruffo's original work was widely copied over the next two centuries with at least 17 Latin, eight Italian, and three Sicilian versions identified, along with five in French and one each in Hebrew and German. Ruffo and his important work is sometimes confused with other early writers in the field, most notably Laurentius Rusius, a fourteenth century author and veterinarian, who incorporated whole sections of Ruffo's work into his own, usually without acknowledgement. Confusion is compounded by the fact that Ruffo's name has been spelled 10 different ways and Rusius' in more than twenty-five!


Special Collections
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing
MI, 48824


During the Fall and Spring semesters when classes are in session, Special Collections is open for the following hours:

Mon - Fri: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 1pm - 5pm

See the hours' web page for the most up to date hours.