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.

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

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

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

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Bindery Room, Medical Library, 1927.

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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 (link 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.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/bethune/embed/player/

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!

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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

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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

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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.