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About the Osler Library Archives

Since its opening in 1929, the Osler Library of the History of Medicine has collected archival material. One of the main collection areas is Sir William Osler and his circle. Material by and about Sir William can be found in the Sir William Osler Collection (P100) and the Harvey Cushing Fonds (P417), amongst others.

Another significant area of collecting is the papers of notable medical practitioners. The Wilder Penfield Fonds (P142) contains 80 meters of material from the founder of The Montreal Neurological Institute. The Archives also has the papers of other important doctors as Maude Abbott (P111), Harold Nathan Segall (P109) and Arthur Vineberg (P126).

The pedagogical side of medicine is represented, in part, by medical student notes, primarily from McGill University. The archives contains course notes that span the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. These can be found by searching for "student notes" as a subject term.

The Osler Library Archives database consists of records that describe individual collections of material, also called fonds. These usually bear the name of the person who created the records. The database does NOT list individual files or items within each fonds, such as every letter. The "Scope and Content" section of each record should give you some idea of what is in each collection. For more details, please contact the Osler Library.

There are other archives that have holdings of McGill and Canadian medical history.