Getting started: William Osler Medical Students Essay Awards

Essay Awards season is upon us! We are currently accepting proposals for essays as part of the William Osler Medical Students Essay Awards, established by the Osler Library and the Osler Society of McGill and endowed by Pam and Rolando Del Maestro.

Here are a couple hints and links to get started in researching a potential topic:

The History of Medicine subject guide, Medical Sociology subject guide, Biomedical Ethics subject guide are librarian-curated guides to the fields, with links to catalogues, databases, image and digital text collections, and references sources like encyclopedias.

Do you have a general interest in a topic but aren’t sure where to go with it? Start by a simple search in the McGill Library catalogue to locate a book on the subject. Particularly if you’re interested in a more historical or humanities topic, books are still a key source of information. Instead of jumping immediately to journal literature, try skimming a book on your general topic (or look through the subject guide to find a relevant encyclopedia), and see what piques your interest.

Are you interested in working with historical materials at the library? Get inspired by one of our numerous collections:

Anatomical atlases (potential sources for projects related to history of anatomy, surgery and its specializations, medical illustration, history of the body, history of medical education)

Paris Medical Theses Collection (a massive collection, for readers of French, covering many different medical topics from 1786-1920s)

Osler Artefacts (a rich collection of historical medical artifacts. See another example from our blog here)

Wilder Penfield Fonds (an archival collection, partially digitized, about the history of neurosurgery and the Montreal Neurological Institute)

Almanac Collection (ephemeral or informal publications like pamphlets that are filled with health and home tips and pharmaceutical advertising,19th and early 20th centuries)

Sir William Osler Collection (a collection of books, notebooks, letters, lectures, photographs, and many more archival records of the great physician himself)

Find more rare books and pamphlets by searching in the McGill Library Classic Catalogue. This catalogue only contains print holdings (no e-books or articles) and you can use it to narrow down your search only to materials in the Osler Library: Click the “Sub-catalogues” tab, then click “Osler Library of the History of Medicine” under the Library and Collections category.

Discover archival materials by searching in our Archives Database. You can search by a keyword in the description or browse by subject. Popular subjects include McGill medical student life through history, Montreal doctors, and WWI medical history. Additional archival materials about McGill can be found at the central Archives.


Proposals are due May 24th! Please don’t hesitate to contact the library at osler.library@mcgill.ca if you’d like to make an appointment to view materials or meet with a librarian.

 

Research Awards & Travel Grants 2017

Are you a historian, physician, graduate or post-doctoral student interested in conducting research at the Osler Library? Do you know that the Osler Library gives out awards and travel grants to local and international researchers each year? We are currently accepting applications for the following:

  • Dr. Edward H. Bensley Osler Library Research Travel Grant – Awarded to those whose project requires traveling to Montreal to consult material in the Osler Library. Each year up to $4000 in awards will be made available to one or more individuals who require a minimum of 2 weeks to carry out their research. This research must fall within the calendar year in which the grant is awarded. Applications for the 2017 grant must be received by December 31, 2016.
  • Mary Louise Nickerson Award in Neuro History – Awarded to one or more scholars who are interested in carrying out research utilizing the Neuro History Archival and Artifact Collections – the centre-piece of which is the Penfield Archive in the Osler Library – and other available resources at the Osler Library, the Montreal Neurological Institute, and the McGill University Archives. Applications for the 2017 award must be received by December 31, 2016.

picmonkey-collageAdditional information on terms, requirements, how to apply, previous winners, and general information about the library can be found here. We welcome all further enquiries at osler.library@mcgill.ca or 514-398-4475, ext. 09873.

Feel free to share this notice with your own networks, listservs, and social media outlets to help us spread the word about these fantastic opportunities!

Accepting applications: Dr. Edward H. Bensley Osler Library Research Travel Grant

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.

 

Announcing the Edward H. Bensley Research Travel Grant recipients

Dr. Edward H. Bensley (1906-1995)

Dr. Edward H. Bensley (1906-1995)

The Osler Library is pleased to announce that we have selected three researchers out of a very worthy pool of applicants to receive this year’s Dr. Edward H. Bensley Research Travel Grants to support their work at the Osler Library. This year’s recipients are Dr. Sasha Mullally, Dr. Elma Brenner, and Emily Lockhart.

Dr. Mullally is a professor of history at the University of New Brunswick. She holds a doctorate in history from the University of Toronto and is a specialist in the social history of medicine and health in Canada and the US. She is currently co-investigator on a study of the history of medical diasporas in Canada, a SSHRC- and AMS/Hannah Foundation-funded research project. Her work at the Osler Library will investigate the history of physicians immigrating to Canada in the second half of the 20th century.

Dr. Brenner works at at the Wellcome Library in London as a specialist in medieval and early modern medicine. She was previously a post-doctoral research fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, where she also earned a Licence in Medieval Studies. She holds a doctorate in history from the University of Cambridge and has published on the history of leprosy in the Middle Ages. At Osler she will be looking at a number of early printed works on the “French Disease,” a disfiguring illness roughly equivalent to modern-day syphilis.

Emily Lockhart is Toronto-based photographer, designer, and curator. As a travel grant recipient, she will continue her work on a historical photographic project with McGill’s School of Architecture. The project explores the spaces of medical instruction at McGill in the wake of World War I and today by reproducing a collection of 146 glass plate negatives taken by McGill medical student James R. Lockhart (1890-1980) after the war and rephotographing the places that appear in the historic photographs as they now exist.

Congratulations to all of our 2015 recipients!

The Dr. Edward H. Bensley Research Travel Grant is endowed through generous gifts from the McGill Medicine Class of 1936 and the Pope-Jackson Fund. The grant honours Dr. E. H. Bensley’s place in the history of the Osler Library, as a former dean of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill who devoted the latter part of his life to the study of the history of medicine. For more information about the research travel grant, please see our website.