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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to make an appointment to view materials or meet with a librarian.