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Osler Library of the History of Medicine
The Osler Library is Canada's foremost scholarly resource in the history of medicine, and one of the most important libraries of its type in North America. The nucleus of the Library is the collection of 8,000 rare and historic works on the history of medicine and allied subjects presented to the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University by Sir William Osler (1849 - 1919). Sir William's original collection is described in the printed catalogue, Bibliotheca Osleriana, and the whole of the printed collection is listed in the McGill University online catalogue, MUSE. Since the opening of the Library in 1929, the collection has continued to grow by purchase, gift, and transfer (particularly, in the latter case, of older books from the McGill University Health Sciences Library. In addition to the Osler Library's holdings of rare books, there is a strong circulating collection of current secondary works and modern editions of historic texts, as well as a reference collection, archives and manuscripts, portraits and artifacts. In particular, the Osler Library has a large collection of incunabula (152 volumes), an outstanding collection of editions of the works of Sir Thomas Browne (author of Religio Medici, the seventeenth century classic), and a set of some 22,000 French medical theses of the nineteenth century.
In 1921 Percy Erskine Nobbs started the design the Osler library, within the old Strathcona medical building and the library officially opened in May 1929. In 1965 both the contents of the library and the interior oak paneling and shelving were moved to their present location within the newly built McIntyre Medical Sciences Building. The Osler Library was expanded and renovated in 2001-02.
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