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Vol. 13 No. 1 (2010)

The Osler Library of the History of Medicine: Mcgill’s Medical Memory

  • Christopher Lyons
  • David Crawford
August 11, 2020


Sir william Osler bequeathed his library to Mcgill University in 1919; a decade later, the 8000 volumes arrived in Montreal. Then, as now, the collection consisted of primary works (“rare books”), secondary commentaries, and current works on the history of the health sciences. In the last 80 years the collection has grown considerably and the library now adds about 1,000 books to its collection yearly (mainly current publications) and receives 200 current serial titles. The Osler Library is one of the largest “history of medicine” libraries in the world and the largest of its kind in Canada. The library tries to collect current material on the history of the health sciences from all over the world and attempts to collect all medical history published in Canada. The Osler offers its resources to researchers and students through its website, publications and Research Travel grant programme.


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