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About the Life Sciences Library

The Life Sciences Library serves McGill students, faculty, researchers and staff primarily in the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry and the Departments of Biology and Clinical Psychology, including those in affiliated hospitals and distributed clinical teaching sites.

The Library has a service point on the 3rd floor of the McIntyre Medical Sciences building. Loans services, including course reserves materials, are available at this service point, and a Life Sciences librarian is available during service hours. The rest of the collection has moved to the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering. Low-use materials have moved to storage in the Currie Gym. Please consult the McGill Library Catalogue to verify the location of materials. Students, faculty, researchers and staff can request materials for delivery and pick up at the Life Sciences Library service point. Life Sciences liaison librarians are available for consultation, either in the Life Sciences Library, or in their offices in the Schulich Library. Please consult the staff page for new office locations and phone numbers.

Collection description

History of the Collection

The oldest and first of the McGill University Libraries is the Medical Library, which was founded  in 1823 as the library of the Montreal Medical Institution , holding five medical journal titles and several English and French medical textbooks. It became a McGill library in 1829 when the Institution became the Medical (and only operating) faculty of McGill College.  Over the next 170 years as the medical literature and academic programmes broadened so the collection grew both in scope and in volumes. Noteworthy are the long German periodical runs, the Dr. Casey Wood ophthalmology donation added in 1912 (most of it has been transferred to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine - this world-renowned collection of Sir William Osler dating from1929 is adjacent) the dentistry collection (1987), the human communication disorders collection (1988), the nursing collection (1991), and the Wendy Patrick Health Information collection (1991). To better reflect its expanded collections, the name "Medical Library" was changed in 1988 to "Health Sciences Library" and, in 2005, to the "Life Sciences Library" with the merging in of the Blacker-Wood Biology Library collection and services. While in the beginning the library served only members of the Montreal Medical Institution, it has gradually extended its services to all McGill students, faculty and staff as well as to the Teaching and Affiliated Hospitals, and other health professionals locally, nationally and internationally. The collection will continue to evolve as it moves to its new location in the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering.

Current Collection Development

The aim is to purchase current library materials in relevant areas of scientific progress and to keep abreast of the expanding literature in life sciences, both basic and clinical; to support current teaching and research in the life sciences at McGill University and to support current clinical concerns. Emphasis is given to providing access to electronic resources whenever possible.

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