New exhibition on McGill student life

The Osler Library has installed a new mini-exhibition highlighting some items that shed life on past McGill Med student life. Textbooks, exams, photographs, and artefacts provide an important pictorial record of student life at McGill’s medical faculty and its teaching hospitals.


Ten photographs from the Isadore Hirshberg Fonds document the early career of an American medical student at McGill. Isadore Benjamin Hirshberg (1890-1965) was born in Bay City, Michigan, and began his medical studies at McGill in 1909 and graduated in 1914. In 1913 he trained at the Alexandra Hospital for Infectious Diseases when John McCrae was on staff and in 1914 interned at the Montreal General Hospital. During the First World War he served at the Canadian Explosives plant at Beloeil, Quebec, and was later among the founders of the Jewish General Hospital.

The artefacts on display include a reflex hammer, a glass syringe, and a doctor’s kit, as well as a blunt hook and perforator, two instruments used in childbirth emergencies.

Other ephemera show the administrative side of student life: items such as admission cards, invitation cards, and certificates document medical student William B. Malloch’s from 1863-1870.

Two examinations from 1865-66 show what 19th-century med students were expected to know. One question on the exam for “Theory and Practice of Medicine” asks, “Give the causes of Croup and of Laryngismus Stridulus, the means of distinguishing them from each other, and the treatment suitable to them.”


Our new display is located in the 3rd floor study space in the McIntyre Medical Building, 3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler, open from 9-5, Monday through Friday.

 

Illustrated Talk: The Maude Abbott Medical Museum 1822-2017

You’re invited! Please join us next Tuesday February 14th, 4pm for an illustrated talk by Dr. Richard Fraser, Professor of Pathology at McGill Faculty of Medicine, Senior Pathologist at MUHC, Director of the Maude Abbott Medical Museum.

Learn about the repository’s treasured history at McGill and observe a carefully curated selection of specimens and preserved curiosities from this unique collection!

Dissection Room Records 1883-1908

Inscription on first page of Dissection Room Record 1883-1891 written by Dr. Richard Lea MacDonnell, Demonstrator of Anatomy, McGill University in April 1883.

We are pleased to have these historical records back at the Osler Library after receiving recent conservation treatment. These books contain records of all McGill Faculty of Medicine dissection cadavers in the Department of Anatomy from 1883-1891, and 1896-1908.

When the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada’s Anatomy Act of 1843 was amended in April 1883, Senior Demonstrator of Anatomy Dr. Richard Lea MacDonnell began keeping these detailed records at McGill. Prior to the Anatomy Act, body-snatching was a nefarious problem often associated with the study of anatomy. The 1843 and 1883 Acts allowed for more corpses to be made available to medical schools for the purpose of teaching and learning. The records preserved within these books provide details and evidence of the Department of Anatomy’s legally acquired cadavers at the time. Each entry includes details such as name, sex, age, cause of death, religion, date received, which hospital the cadaver was received from, and the date and location of burial.

Richard Lea MacDonnell (1856-1891) was the son of Dublin surgeon Dr. Robert Lea MacDonnell. A graduate of McGill in 1876, McDonnell went on to become a prominent figure within the Faculty of Medicine before his untimely death at the age of 35. William Osler paid tribute to his friend and colleague in the New York Medical Journal, writing: “Although only thirty-five years old, he [MacDonnell] had reached a position which gave scope to abilities of first-class order and afforded opportunities of impressing upon a large class of students those qualities of mind so essential in the teacher, so priceless to the taught – honesty, system, and painstaking care” (NYMJ, 54: 162, 1891).

Below is a composite portrait of McGill Faculty of Medicine in 1882 from our William Osler Photo Collection. William Osler is standing fourth from left, and Richard Lea MacDonnell stands on the far right. A new Richard L. MacDonnell Collection (P133) has been created in the Osler Library Archives, and these dissection books along with several fascinating scrapbooks put together by MacDonnell are now available to view upon request.

“McGill University Faculty of Medicine at its Semicentennial, 1882”, William Osler Photo Collection, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, CUS_033-011_P. Standing, from left to right, are Thomas G. Roddick, George Ross, William E. Scott, William Osler, Francis J. Shepherd, William Gardner, George W. Campbell, Gilbert Prout Girdwood, Frank Buller, and Richard L. MacDonell. Sitting, from left to right, are Robert Palmer Howard, William Wright, John William Dawson, Duncan C. MacCallum, Robert Craik, and George E. Fenwick.

Science Literacy Week

sci-lit-week-1200McGill campus is gearing up for Science Literacy Week 2016, happening all through next week September 19-25th. The Osler Library will host a special guided tour of Knowing Blood: Medical Observations, Fluid Meanings with curators Darren N. Wagner and Nick Whitfield on Monday, Septemebr 19th @ 11:30am. Registration is not required, but feel free to sign up to let us know you are coming.

For more details and a full listing of next week’s events click here!

Winter Session 1878-1879

Think you’ve got a busy schedule this semester? Here’s what Winter Session 1878-1879 looked like for McGill’s Faculty of Medicine. The course schedule shown below belonged to Sir William Osler – Professor of Physiology, General Pathology, Histological & Physiological Demonstration (1st and 2nd year) and Pathological Demonstration that year. This historical piece of mcgilliana is part of our P100 collection – a collection that recently received a handful of new acquisitions generously donated from an Osler family relative (more on these new acquisitions coming soon!).

pic_2016-09-07_155531

Instructors (listed in alphabetical order): Dr. Buller, Professor Craik, Professor Dawson, Professor Fenwick, Professor Gardner, Professor Godfrey, Professor Howard, Dr. MacDonnell, Professor McCallum, Professor Osler, Professor Roddick, Professor Ross, Professor Scott, Dr. Shepherd, & Professor Wright.

 

Courses (listed in no particular order): Anatomy, Hygiene, Medical Jurisprudence, Ophthalmic Clinic, Botany, Surgery, Practical Chemistry, Pathological Demonstration, Midwifery, Clinical Medicine, Clinical Surgery, Materia Medica, Histological & Physiological Demonstration, Physiology, General Pathology, Practice of Medicine, Chemistry, & Practical Anatomy.

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 of the History of Medicine, Strathcona Medical Building, 1927.

Osler Fellows Library

The Osler Fellowship is programme run by the Office of Physicianship Curriculum Development. The fellows are members of the medical faculty who work with students to encourage them reflect on the role of the doctor as healer and professional. They also happen to be very well read! We have a number of books given to the library by Osler Fellows touching on many different areas of medical humanities. You can see their book recommendations by using the list function in McGill’s WorldCat catalogue.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 11.52.13 AM

 

 

 

First, enter the WorldCat catalogue from the library homepage.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 11.52.34 AM

 

 

Then on the next page, click on “Search for Lists” on the drop-down box under “Search.”

 

 

Search for “Osler Fellows Library” and voila! You can even read in the catalogue what the fellows have to say about why they chose a particular book. Most of the books are held in the Osler Library, some in other libraries, but just note that those held in Life Sciences are currently unavailable.

 

P.S. Anybody can make a list of resources in the WorldCat catalogue. Need to keep track of course readings? Have some great sci fi recommendations to share? Check out this YouTube video that shows you how to create lists. (The look and feel of the catalogue here are McGill, are slightly different than in the video, but the actions are the same.)

 

Bring a Child to Work Day at Osler

And continuing with our recent theme of special visitors to the library, we had some real VIPs last Friday.

In the Osler Room

We hosted an event here for McGill’s campus-wide Bring a Child to Work Day. The first part was a tour of the Osler Room and a peek at some of its treasures, including a 19th century surgeon’s kit and a couple very precious scientific and medical books.

BYCTWD5

Next, our visitors took on an accelerated training program in medieval medicine, complete with urinalysis and patient case histories.

BYCTWD7BYCTWD6Analyzing the "urine" of a very ill patientUsing a urine wheelBYCTWD8
Here are some of our graduates for the degree “Magister medicinae medievalis.” Look one of them up the next time your humors are acting up!

BYCTWD4

 

Photos: Lily Martin and Sabrina Hanna