Journal Room, Strathcona Medical Building, 1911
Journal Room, Strathcona
Medical Building, 1911

In 1907 a disastrous fire gutted the Medical Building. Miraculously, the Library was fireproof and 20,000 books (most of the collection) were saved. Many volumes still owned show signs of minor smoke damage. Once again, Lord Strathcona came to the rescue providing $450,000 for a new building, the Strathcona Medical Building, now the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building. A beautiful solid construction designed by Brown and Valance, Architects, the building housed an attractive library in addition to laboratories, lecture theatres and a museum.

Lord Strathcona's generosity was probably influenced by the fact that his daughter, Maggie, was married to Jared Howard, the son of the former Dean of Medicine, Robert Palmer Howard. Another link between McGill medicine and Lord Strathcona's family was provided by William Osler, student, professor and always a great friend of McGill (and libraries), who was closely connected to Lord Strathcona through family and friends. Though Osler was by this time no longer at McGill, he kept in close touch with events at his alma mater.

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