Title page of Harvey, William: Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus. Francofurti: Sumptibus Guilielmi Fitzeri, 1628, cf. catalogue of the Blumenbach/Herbst collection, p. 42 nr. 240. Click to enlarge.
It seems that only a few volumes of Blumenbach’s private library were purchased for the Göttingen University Library. The physiologist Gustav Herbst (1803–1893), a former student of Blumenbach’s, acquired about 500 volumes, mostly rare and valuable medical classics and works on anatomy and physiology. He was assistant at the Göttingen Academic Museum from 1829 and, from 1842 until his death, extraordinary professor of medicine in Göttingen. The books remained in the possession of the Herbst family and were in Göttingen until 1900. They then were shipped to the USA, where a son of Herbst lived.
Cf. the probably first news about the existence of the collection: „Blumenbach’s Library“. In: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. Volume X, Issue 1, 1 January 1955, S. 123–124; digital version.
Around 1979 this collection was auctioned under the name “Blumenbach/Herbst collection” by Jeremy Norman’s History of Science, an American antiquarian bookshop for rare books and manuscripts on the history of science, medicine and technology. The buyers were various institutions and private individuals (information from J. M. Norman, dated 30 May 2017).
The extensive foreword to the 1979 bookseller’s catalogue provides information on the history of the collection. It also contains information on numerous individual volumes (e.g. those containing a note by Blumenbach on the year of acquisition or other handwritten notes) and on their use by Blumenbach in his publications and for his medical-historical work.
Norman, Jeremy M.: „The Blumenbach/Herbst collection“. In: Medicine, travel & anthropology from the Library of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. A Catalogue of the Blumenbach/Herbst Collection. [...]. [San Francisco, 1979]. (digital version, searchable; original source www.historyofscience.com/pdf/Blumenbach-intro.pdf).
The book list of the auction catalogue offers identifications and descriptions of 555 volumes, about 500 of these from Blumenbach’s library. The book list notes Blumenbach’s handwritten entries and points to references in Blumenbach’s publications.
Medicine, travel & anthropology from the Library of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. A Catalogue of the Blumenbach/Herbst Collection. […]. [San Francisco, 1979]. (Searchable digital version: 10 MB; 65 MB).
16 of the titles listed in the catalogue were acquired by the antiquarian bookshop Konrad Meuschel in Bonn and offered in 1980 in its catalogue, whose descriptions of the volumes in German do not, however, contain any information beyond that given in the 1979 catalogue of the “Blumenbach/Herbst collection” (Katalog 36: Wertvolle Bücher und Handschriften: darunter medizinische und naturwissenschaftliche Werke aus der Bibliothek des Goethe-Freundes J. Fr. Blumenbach. Bonn, 1980, 51 S., Ill.).