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Can Bull Med Hist. 2007;24(1):189-203.

From Osler's Library to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal: an overview.

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Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University.


The Osler Library of the History of Medicine was opened in 1929 at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Sir William Osler (1849-1919), arguably McGill's and Canada's most famous doctor at the time, had bequeathed his magnificent library of almost 8,000 historical works in medicine and, to a lesser extent, science and literature to the university. Under the 30-year reign of its first librarian, Dr. W W. Francis, the Osler Library became famous for its rare books and for its connection with Sir William. Since the 1950s, however, the library has pursued an active collection development policy for both primary and secondary material that has taken it far beyond Osler's original gift. The library has grown in both the size and scope of its holdings and the services it offers to scholars and students of the history of medicine. These have made the Osler Library a major resource centre for studies in the history of the health sciences. This article looks at the Osler Library today in the hopes of making the range of its collections and services better known to the Canadian and international communities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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