The next meeting of the James McGill Society on February 15, 2016, will feature a talk on the “Royal Victoria Hospital: Heritage and Healing,” by Dr. Jonathan Meakins. All are welcome to attend.
Please join us for a film screening Tuesday, March 8th, of the almost-cult classic BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE (1958), held in conjunction with our latest exhibition, Knowing Blood: Medical Observations, Fluid Meanings.
Transylvania in the 19th century. A young doctor John Pierre (Vincent Ball) and his fiancee Madeleine Duval (Barbara Shelley) are terrorized by Dr. Callistratus (Donald Wolfit) who was executed but has returned to life with a heart transplant. Along with his mute and hunchback assistant Carl (Victor Maddern), who is now fallen in love with Madeleine, the ‘anemic’ mad scientist, believed to be a vampire, conducts blood deficiency research on the inmates of a prison hospital for the criminally insane to sustain his return to life.
“Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.” – Hippocrates
Health and illness are universal experiences that can be frightening and disorienting, yet also have the potential to inspire, transform, and heal. Out of this, there arises a need to express, make sense of, and derive personal meaning from what has been experienced. One of these ways is through art.
Artwork is currently being accepted for the Health Art Exhibition, which will be taking place winter 2016 at the MUHC Glen site hospital, with specific dates to be announced! To submit artwork for the exhibit: https://goo.gl/e6cE9C
Deadline for submissions: Friday, February 5, 2016.
For questions and further details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This exhibition is about observations, meanings, and understandings of blood from the late 15th to the mid-20th century. Blood has long been a powerful and evocative symbol, signifying themes from life, identity, community and kinship to sex, lineage, violence and death. Practices of observing blood in experiment, diagnosis, and therapy have also varied widely: a melange of cells seen under a microscope, a pulse felt by a trained touch, the taste of blood from a barber-surgeon’s bowl, a map comparing hematological and racial groups. Modern Western medicine has known not one but many kinds of blood.
Knowing Blood queries how various practices of observation have encountered the multifarious meanings of blood and negotiated new medical knowledge. The objects, texts, and images displayed here are drawn from the collections of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, the Humanities and Social Sciences and Schulich Libraries, the Maude Abbott Medical Museum, and le Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal. Five thematic cases highlight different historical approaches to observation, their relation to changing systems of medical practice and to blood’s broader meanings. We invite you to explore this rich 400-year history of knowing and observing the most vital of bodily fluids.
Cette exposition porte sur l’observation, la signification et les représentations du sang de la fin du XVe au milieu du XXe siècle. Évoquant des thèmes de vie, d’identité, de communauté et de parenté, mais aussi de sexe, de génétique, de violence et de mort, le sang constitue depuis des siècles un symbole puissant. Les pratiques d’observation du sang dans les contextes expérimental, diagnostic et thérapeutique ont par ailleurs largement varié; depuis un mélange de cellules aperçu sous un microscope à un pouls tâté minutieusement, en passant par une certaine odeur détectée après une saignée ou encore une carte du monde comparant divers groupes hématologiques et raciaux. La médecine occidentale contemporaine a ainsi connu non pas un mais bien plusieurs types de sang.
Sang sens interroge les croisements multiples entre ces diverses pratiques d’observation et d’interprétation ayant contribué à la mise en place de nouveaux savoirs médicaux. Les objets, textes et images ici exposés sont tirés des collections de la bibliothèque Osler d’histoire de la médecine, de la bibliothèque des sciences humaines et sociales et de la bibliothèque Schulich, du Musée médical Maude Abbott, et du Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal. Cinq vitrines thématiques mettent en évidence différentes facettes historiques de l’observation ainsi que leur relation avec les systèmes de la pratique médicale et les significations variées du sang dans divers discours. Nous vous invitons à découvrir cette histoire riche de 400 ans au sein de laquelle a été imaginé et montré le plus vital des fluides corporels.
The vernissage will be held on January 27th at 6PM and is open to all / Le vernissage aura lieu le 27 janvier à 18h et est ouvert a tous.
The exhibition is accessible during library opening hours, Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM/ L’exposition est accessible pendant les heures d’ouverture de la bibliothèque, lundi à vendredi, 9h-17h.
Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University, McIntyre Medical Building, 3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler
We are pleased to announce that one of our Edward H. Bensley Osler Library Research Travel Grant winners, Dr. Elma Brenner, will be speaking at the library on Wednesday, 20 January. Dr. Brenner, subject specialist in medieval and early modern medicine at the Wellcome Library in London, will give the talk “Combating Danger: Charms in Late Medieval English Medicine.”
5:00 PM, Wellcome Camera of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine. This talk is presented by McGill Medievalists.
The library has recently finished describing a number of new accruals to the D. Sclater Lewis archival fonds (P105). Dr. Lewis was a medical graduate of McGill (MDCM 1912) and later Acting Physician-in-Chief at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The new archival documents include a draft manuscript of his 1969 Royal Victoria Hospital, 1887-1947, and substantial correspondence.
Our “Sanitizing Style” exhibition has been on display in the Osler Library since the beginning of September and will be be removed in the month of January, leaving just a few more days to come and see this fascinating exhibition. Sanitizing Style: Germ Theory and Fashion at the Turn of the Century explores the legitimacy that that the germ theory of disease lent to the late-nineteenth century movement to reform women’s dress. The exhibition brings together books, artifacts, images and clothing gathered from all around McGill University. Here are some examples of the material we have on show:
This exhibition is guest curated by Cynthia Tang, a PhD student in the History Department at McGill, and co-curated by Anna Dysert, Assistant Librarian at the Osler Library, with Catherine Bradley, Head of Wardrobe in the Theatre and Drama Program of McGill’s Department of English. The exhibition is accessible Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Whether interested in history, fashion, immunology or even math, come and enjoy this exhibition before it goes!
We are happy to announce that the winning essays from this year’s Pam and Rolando Del Maestro William Osler Medical Students Essay Awards are now available on our website, along with reflective pieces written by the students on their research experience.
First place went to Steph A. Pang for her essay entitled, “Man and his Health Pavilion: An Architectural Reinterpretation of the Patient-Doctor Relationship.” She was mentored by Prof. Annmarie Adams of the McGill School of Architecture and the Osler’s Library’s Board of Curators. She was presented with the Osler Library Board of Curators’ Medal during the Osler Banquet hosted by the McGill Osler Society on November 4.
Second place was awarded to Zhuyin Xu for her essay, “Diffusion of Medical Innovations: Minimally Invasive Surgery in China,” written under the mentorship of Prof. Thomas Schlich of the Department of Social Studies of Medicine.
Third place went to Christian Dabrowski for his essay, “Between Commitment and Contentment: the Story of Norman Bethune in Montreal.” He was mentored by Dr. Nicholas Whitfield of the Department of Social Studies of Medicine.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
The Pam and Rolando William Osler Medical Students Essay Contest gives undergraduate medical students the opportunity to explore any theme of interest to them in the history, social studies, sociology, ethics, and humanities of the health sciences. It also provides them with the chance to be mentored by an expert in their topic drawn from the Library’s Board of Curators or elsewhere to complete their project, and to use the rich resources of the Osler Library and other libraries at McGill.To find out more about the contest, please visit our informational page.
The Osler Library of the History of Medicine of McGill University offers a travel grant designed to assist researchers who need to travel and establish temporary residence in Montreal in order to use the resources of the Library. The Library has the largest collection of rare and secondary material in medical history in Canada, including medieval and modern manuscripts, archives of such notables as Sir William Osler, Wilder Penfield, Norman Bethune, and Maude Abbott, medical ephemera, and 2,500 medical prints. Monographic, serials, and ephemera holdings are listed in the McGill Library Catalogue. The Dr. Edward H. Bensley Osler Library Research Travel Grant is available to historians, physicians, graduate and post-doctoral students, and those interested in the arts and humanities of medical history whose project requires them to travel to Montreal to consult material in the Osler Library. Each year up to $4,000 in awards will be made to one or more individuals who require a minimum of 2 weeks to carry out their research in the calendar year in which the grant is awarded.
To apply, please fill out the form located on our website. Applications for research to be carried out during the 2016 calendar year should be received by December 31, 2015. The applications are considered by a committee which gives preference to specific and clearly described projects.
The Osler Library Research Travel Grant is endowed through the generosity of graduates of the Class of Medicine of 1936, and a $100,000 gift from the Pope-Jackson Fund. The grant recognises Dr. E.H. Bensley’s place in the history of the library. A former dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Bensley’s later life was devoted to the history of medicine. He was affiliated with the Department of the History of Medicine (fore-runner of the present Department of Social Studies of Medicine) and taught the history of medicine to second year medical students. He also edited the Osler Library Newsletter and wrote extensively. His last book, “McGill Medical Luminaries,” was the first title to appear in the Osler Library Studies in the History of Medicine series. He was named Honourary Osler Librarian in 1979.
In celebration of the centennial of this famous World War I poem, we are reposting this blog entry from Remembrance Day 2013. The two contemporary copies of John McCrae’s “In Flanders fields,” one written by the poet himself, housed in our collection will be on view tomorrow at the Osler Library, 3rd floor, McIntyre Medical Building, 3655 Promenade-Sir-William-Osler. Please keep an eye out as well for a special Global News segment tomorrow featuring this important document of Canadian history.
“In Flanders fields the poppies grow / Between the crosses, row on row”
John McCrae’s poem remains one of the most influential pieces of Canadian literature and gives us our most enduring World War I imagery: the red poppies.
Born in Guelph, Ontario, McCrae was a career soldier and practicing physician. Before the war, he worked at the Montreal General and the Royal Victoria Hospital, and taught at McGill. Although McCrae was a trained physician, he joined an army fighting unit at the outbreak of the First World War. There, he experienced some of the first chemical weapons attacks during the second battle of Ypres in Belgium. The story goes that McCrae penned his poem after the burial of a close friend and medical school colleague, when he noticed the poppies growing over the graves. This manuscript, written in McCrae’s hand, was left to the Osler Library among the literary archives of fellow physician and McGillian John Andrew Macphail. In this manuscript, McCrae ends the first line with the word “grow.” This is a change from the published version, in which the line finishes “blow.” McCrae wrote out this copy of the poem in a 1916 letter to a friend, Carleton Noyes, modestly mentioning that this piece had achieved some notoriety.
The library also has a second early copy of the poem. It is found in the diary of Clare Gass, which recounts her experiences as a nurse with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in France and England in 1915 and 1916. Gass was born in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, on 18 March 1887. She left home for Montreal to train as a nurse at the Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing from 1909 to 1912, working afterwards as a private nurse. After a brief training period in Quebec, she left for Europe in May of 1915 as a Lieutenant nursing sister with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill). In her diary, “In Flanders Field” is copied out in an entry dated October 30th— nearly six weeks before the poem’s first publication in the magazine Punch on December 8, 1915. After that, it quickly became the most popular piece of poetry of the age and its central image an enduring symbol of loss.