Colour our collections!

We couldn’t resist joining in on the fun of #ColorOurCollections week (February 1-5, 2016)!
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Inspired by the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Smithsonian Libraries, and many more museums and libraries, we’ve decided to share selections from the McGill Library and Archives for your colouring enjoyment.

Download our first two colouring sheets from the Canadian Architecture Collection here:

1. Heraldic drawing 1916 2. Redpath Library 1922


Be sure to share your completed masterpieces on social media with the tag #ColourOurCollections / #ColorOurCollections [Twitter: @McGilllLib Facebook: @McGill.Library]

From the staff of: Digital Library Services and Rare Books and Special Collections


Memorial Stained Glass Windows for Medical Building, 1919

Nobbs and Hyde design: Memorial Windows for Medical Building (1919).

Nobbs and Hyde. Memorial Windows for Medical Building (1919). John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections.

The memorial is a handsome stained glass window of three lights placed in the main hall of the Strathcona Dentistry and Anatomy Building [formerly Strathcona Medical Building], over the main entrance. It was designed by Prof. P.E. Nobbs, and executed by the Bromsgrove Guild, Leeds. The memorial was a gift of the teaching staff of the faculty of medicine. Each light represents a scene recalling the service of one of the men whose memories are honored. Continue reading

Arthur Erickson exhibition: Lignes topographiques / Site Lines (UQAM Centre de Design)

Arthur Erickson, office building south-west elevation (John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection)

Arthur Erickson, office building south-west elevation (John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection)

Drawings by the renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson are on display at the UQAM Centre de Design until October 18, 2015. The exhibition, Lignes topographiques / Site Lines, includes a selection of Erickson’s drawings from the collection of the Calgary Architectural Archives and the John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection (CAC), Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University.  Continue reading

Born on this day: Aubrey Beardsley

Masson Bookplate XIV 2317The English illustrator and writer, Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, was born 143 years ago, on August 21, 1872. Known for his unique illustration style, a blending of Art Nouveau and Japanese print aesthetics, Beardsley gained popularity with the 1893 Dent edition of Le Morte d’Arthur. He would later illustrate Oscar Wilde’s Salomé (1894) – a portfolio of designs for this book is available in our collection – which made him famous. Our William Colgate Printing Collection includes two further examples of his work, these published by Stone & Kimball in 1894: The frontispiece for W.B. Yeats’ The Land of Heart’s Desire and frontispiece and vignette for the title and cover of John Davidson’s Plays. Later editions of his work in children’s books and fairy tales are also available for consultation. Continue reading

RBSC welcomes SHARP to Montreal

The 23rd annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) will be held in Longueuil and Montreal, July 7-July 10.

Our collections are currently on display in the following exhibitions in the McLennan Library Building:

Across the Channel: English Literature on the Continent in the 18th centuryimage002
(McLennan Library Building main floor, lobby)

In response to the theme of this year’s SHARP Conference – “How do books, book cultures, or book systems spread and readapt?” – this exhibition can only begin to suggest the multitude of questions that these editions pose. Why were English language books being printed in Vienna? Why was The Vicar of Wakefield so popular and what do the German English editions say about language learning? What was the attraction that Pope held for continental readers? Why did English novels attract so many non-English readers? Or were they merely examples of sophisticated decoration?

-The Battle of Waterloo (18 June, 1815)

(McLennan Library Building 4th floor, RBSC reading room)

An exhibition on the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo with publications contemporary to the event and recent acquisitions to the McGill University Napoleon Collection

Frontispiece of John Booth’s "The Battle of Waterloo", showing the Duke of Wellington and Prince Blücher.

Frontispiece of John Booth’s “The Battle of Waterloo”, showing the Duke of Wellington and Prince Blücher.

Ewa Zebrowski Artist’s Books

(McLennan Library Building 4th floor, RBSC reading room)

From Ewa Zebrowski, "End of Beauty," 2013. Edition of 20.

From Ewa Zebrowski, “End of Beauty,” 2013. Edition of 20.

-Finally, we also have a travelling exhibition on display: The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada

(McLennan Library Building 4th floor, lobby)

On display are the award-winning books in the categories of: Children; Limited Editions; Pictorial; Poetry; Prose Fiction; Prose Non-Fiction; Prose Non-Fiction Illustrated; and Reference. This travelling exhibition will be on display until the beginning of August. More information about upcoming exhibition venues here.

18 June 1815: Battle of Waterloo

Two hundred years ago today, the Battle of Waterloo was fought in present day Belgium. We are putting the finishing touches on an exhibition to commemorate this anniversary and also to highlight recent additions to our Napoleon Collection. The exhibition will be launched the week of July 6th.


Moshe Safdie awarded AIA Gold Medal

Congratulations to Moshe Safdie (B.Arch. 1961), recipient of the 2015 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal!

The Moshe Safdie Archive is housed in the John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University.