New / Old

1907 was a fiery year in McGill’s history. On April 5th, the Macdonald Engineering building was completely gutted by fire, and less than a fortnight later on April 16th, the first Medical Faculty building (erected 1872) went up in flames, destroying the Medical Library (founded 1823) and the first Medical Museum curated by Maude Abbott.

The Strathcona Building – now known as Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry – was built in its place, opening its doors in 1909. It became known as the New Medical Building and housed the Medical Museum, Osler Library (which opened in 1929), and the resurrected Maude Abbot Medical Museum.

The following photographs show different floors of the Strathcona Medical Library in beautiful black-and-white detail: the well-lit third floor Reading Room, the librarian’s Cataloguing Room, the book stacks, the Bindery, and the empty shelves of the original Osler Library, awaiting the overseas arrival of Sir William’s collection.

pic_2016-07-19_173642

Reading Room, Medical Library, New Medical Building (Strathcona), 1927.

pic_2016-07-19_173657

Cataloguing Room, Medical Library, New Medical Building (Strathcona), 1927.

pic_2016-07-19_173628

Stacks, Medical Library, New Medical Building (Strathcona), 1927.

pic_2016-07-19_171140

Bindery Room, Medical Library, 1927.

pic_2016-07-19_173734

The original Osler Library, Medical Library (Strathcona New Medical Building), 1927.

The National Film Board of Canada : Bethune (1968)

pic_2016-06-28_153244In 1968, The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) made an inspiring film about Canadian physician, inventor, thoracic surgeon, war hero, humanitarian, and all-round inspiring figure, Dr. Norman Bethune (1890-1939).

We recently came across this original copy of the NFB’s promotional pamphlet in the archives. The Osler Library houses a Norman Bethune Collection (P156), as well as the Bethune Foundation Fonds (P132).

pic_2016-06-28_153301The feature documentary (below) can be found on NFB’s website. The grainy 16mm black and white lends itself perfectly to this understated, yet powerful biopic. Bethune was a free-thinker – deeply dedicated and passionate in his work. His legacy is still celebrated today in Canada, China, Spain, and beyond, with dedicated monuments and memorials like the statue that stands in Montreal’s Norman Bethune Square.

 

Hashtag Summer

Summer is in full swing, which means spending less time in front of our computers (perhaps) and more time out and about. With that in mind, we have a new social media account for sharing images, and a friendly reminder that the current exhibition at the Osler Library, Knowing Blood / Sans sens, is entering its last six weeks!

Instagram_Icon_LargeOur brand new Instagram account can be found at @oslerlibrary. If you have an Instagram account, you can follow us here! Keep an eye out for images showcasing our rare and special collections, as well as other library updates and goings-on.

Use the #oslerlibrary hashtag to share your own photos too!

knowing-blood-august

If you haven’t been able to see this fantastic exhibit yet, now is your chance. Click on the image for more details. The exhibit runs until the end of August. Free entry during library hours.

167th

pic_2016-06-13_151857 (1)

Glass slide from the Osler Library archives shows Osler as a young medical student at McGill University, 1871.

Today marks the 167th birthday of Sir William Osler. In celebration this year, we thought we would highlight several invaluable resources and digital collections that McGill University Library – with the help of generous donors – has made accessible for researchers around the world.

McGill Library William Osler Letter Index — This on-going project at Osler Library provides a wealth of information for researchers to access an index of thousands of letters to and from Sir William Osler. It also provides biographical materials gathered by Dr. Harvey Cushing for his 1925 Pulitzer Prize winning biography The Life of William Osler.

William Osler Photo Collection — Browse the photographic collection, read the accompanying biographical notes, and get a sense of the visual history of William Osler and those who were close to him throughout his life.

Osler Library Archives — Retrieval number P100 will direct you to the William Osler fonds. If you prefer to browse, the subject “Osler, Sir William, Sir, 1849-1919” will provide the many fonds collections containing archival material associated with Osler – fonds that include some of William Osler’s friends, relatives and colleagues throughout his life in Canada, USA, and United Kingdom.

Enjoy your Osler celebrations today from all of us here at the Osler Library of the History of Medicine!

Historia Plantarum

pic_2016-06-13_155931

Maple Leaf illustration from Conradi Gessneri Historia Plantarum by Conrad Gessner (1516-1565)

Needing a little garden inspiration this summer? The Osler Library has a selection of eight beautifully illustrated volumes of Conradi Gessneri Historia Plantarum by Conrad Gessner (1516-1565). Each botanical specimen found on the pages of Gessner’s Historia Plantarum are facsimiles of the 16th century originals, printed on 100 gram heavy paper and individually set and glued in their original form.

Gessner was a Swiss botanist, physician, and classical linguist. In 1972, Urs Graf Verlag (a Zurich-based publishing firm) and a team of conservator-restorers at University Library of Erlangen-Nüremburg embarked on the careful process of creating these facsimiles from Gessner’s originals. We are pleased to have these eight beautiful volumes in our rare folio collection, and as with all of our rare materials, these items are available to view upon request during library hours.

 

 

Montréal Baroque Festival at Osler Library

Last Saturday we were pleased to host a sold out festival event in the Osler Library’s Wellcome Camera. Vincent Lauzer (pictured below) performed solo works for recorder as part of the 14th annual Montréal Baroque Festival. Each piece was composed by young Quebec composers, inspired and influenced by the Baroque style. We look forward to hosting more music events like this in the future! Details about a winter concert series will be announced later this year.

Vincent Lauzer performs at the Osler Library, part of Montreal Baroque Festival 2016.

Vincent Lauzer performing at the Osler Library’s Wellcome Camera, part of Montreal Baroque Festival 2016.

For more information about the Montréal Baroque Festival, please visit https://www.montrealbaroque.com.

Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln

pic_2016-06-13_151829

Illustration from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

Recent summer housekeeping has turned up a series of rare mounted chromographed plate illustrations from late-19th century patho-anatomical atlas Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text (Pathological anatomy plates: reproduced from fresh preparations with explanatory anatomical-clinical text) by German internist Alfred Kast (1856-1903).

The archives has eight of these illustrations in total, donated to the Osler Library back in the 1970s as part of the Maude Abbott Collection. Unfortunately no copy of this atlas exists at McGill, however WorldCat shows The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto as having a copy in their catalogue. For those interested in seeing more of this series, The Wellcome Trust in London has fifteen of Kast’s anatomical illustrations included in their online Wellcome Images collection.

pic_2016-06-06_144022

Illustration with microscopic detail from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

pic_2016-06-06_144056

Illustration with microscopic detail from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pic_2016-06-06_144154

Illustration from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

pic_2016-06-13_151812

Illustration from Pathologisch-anatomische Tafeln: nach frischen Präparaten mit erläuterndem anatomisch-klinischem text, circa 1892

Preserving the “art” in Heart

pic_2016-06-15_134036

A sampling of Maude Abbott’s wooden printing blocks, housed at Osler Library.

Last week in the archives, we made a few updates to our Maude Abbott Collection that included rehousing and preserving various media and artifacts. For students who are unfamiliar, or are discovering the work of Dr. Maude Elizabeth Abbott (1869-1940) for the first time, we encourage you to explore the Osler Library’s collection.

Maude Abbott was a true medical luminary and a pioneer for women in medicine. Her extraordinary career garnered an international reputation for excellence in pathology, as well as medical museums – particularly impressive considering she was denied entry as a young medical student to McGill’s Faculty of Medicine in 1889 because of her gender (women were not admitted to the Faculty until 1917).

William Osler was one of Abbott’s greatest mentors, and was the first to encourage her research into congenital cardiac disease. These wooden printers blocks (above) and glass lantern slides (below) represent a small sampling of the many diagrams and illustrations created for Abbott’s ground-breaking Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease, published in 1936.

pic_2016-06-15_133453

A sampling of Maude Abbott’s glass slides, housed at Osler Library.

Wilder Penfield Digital Collection

penfield_public_screenWe are pleased to announce this week that the Wilder Penfield Digital Collection is now available to access online! The new website includes Wilder Graves Penfield (1891-1976) biographical information, as well as meters and meters worth of digitized archival images, letters, and other materials from the Osler Library’s extensive Penfield fonds.

Students and researchers are encouraged to explore this website for information ranging from Penfield’s childhood, education and medical training, to his widely influential research. As founder and head of the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) from 1933-1960, Penfield was Canada’s foremost neurosurgeon at the time and his career continues to influence generations of neurologists around the world.

The digitization of this collection was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the R. Howard Webster Foundation, obtained by the late Dr. William Feindel (1918-2014).

Bookside Manner

Do you ever highlight, underline, or add your own notes and musings into the margins of your own books? Do you dog-ear your pages? Upon discovering this 1963 Gazette editorial in the archives, we felt inspired to put the following question out there to all book lovers and bibliophiles: How is your “bookside” manner?

Version 3

“Cruelty To Books.” Author unknown. The Gazette, April 20, 1963. Part of the Osler Library’s Kelen Family fonds, it is from a 1960s scrapbook arranged in memory of Osler Librarian, W. W. Francis (1878-1959).

For those inspired by this topic, we suggest taking a look at writer and physician Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1883 posthumous “lost” novel The Narrative of John Smith, wherein the altruistic protagonist Smith lobbies for a bill to be passed by the House of Commons concerning better care and preservation of books:

“Since we have societies for the prevention of various kinds of cruelty, why do we not have a society for the prevention of cruelty to books?”