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Anna Dysert

Anna Dysert
Osler Library of the History of Medicine - on leave, Feb. 2016-Feb. 2017
anna [dot] dysert [at] mcgill [dot] ca
514 398 4475 ext. 09878

McIntyre Medical Building
3rd floor - 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Y6

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

  • Social studies of medicine
  • History of medicine
  • Rare books and archives

Liaison librarian

Supports teaching, learning, and research in the history and social studies of medicine, with particular emphasis on rare and special collections. Responsible for overseeing the Osler Library's manuscript and archival collections.


  • PhD, History, McGill, 2017 (expected)
  • MLIS, Archives, McGill, 2010
  • MA, Medieval Studies/Book History, Toronto, 2008

Areas of interest

  • Archives and special collections
  • Codicology and paleography
  • Manuscript studies and book history
  • Digital humanities
  • Medieval and early modern medicine

Professional activities

  • Medieval Academy of America
  • Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
  • RBMS Publications Committee
  • RBMS Membership and Professional Development Committee
  • American Association for the History of Medicine

Awards, honours, and fellowships

  • Newberry Library/Ecole nationale des chartes Exchange Fellowship (2010-2011)
  • Provost Graduate Fellowship, History Department, McGill University (2010)

Selected papers and presentations

"Specular Art and Science: Mirror Metaphor in Medieval Alchemical Texts." In Specular Reflections: The Mirror in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, ed. Nancy Frelick. Turnhout: Brepols, 2016.

"Aims and Approaches in Special Collections Assessment: A Case Study from the Osler Library." RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, 16 (2015): 101-112.

"La Bibliothèque publique juive et la communauté juive francophone de Montréal." The Future of the Past: The Jewish Public Library of Montreal, 1914-2014. Montreal: Concordia University Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies, 2015.

"Revisiting the Library as Laboratory at the Osler Library," co-authored with Christopher Lyons. In Meetings with Books: Special Collections in the 21st Century, ed. by Jillian Tomm and Richard Virr. Montreal: McGill University Library and Archives, 2014.

Review of Herbs and Healers from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West: Essays in Honor of John M. Riddle, ed. Anne Van Arsdall and Timothy Graham. British Journal of the History of Science 47, no. 2 (June 2014): 369-371.

"A Physical Artifact of a Lively Scientific Culture of the Late Middle Ages." Osler Library Newsletter no. 16 (Spring 2012).

"Anatomy Theaters, Legal Dramas, and Landscape Staging: Unexpected Performances in Special Collections," with Svetlana Kochkina and Jennifer Garland. Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the American College and Research Libraries Preconference, July 2013.

"In hoc antiquo libro: A Study of Osler Library MS 480 (De anima in arte alchemiae)." 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan Univ., May 2012.


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