Maude Abbott was born in 1869 in St. Andrews East, Quebec. Because of the death of her mother and the fact that she had been abandoned by her father, she was raised
by her grandmother. She was one of the first women to obtain a bachelor's degree in arts from McGill University.
The origin of the McGill Medical Museum can be traced to the beginning of the Montreal General Hospital (in 1820) and its offshoot, the Montreal Medical Institute (which became the McGill Medical Faculty in 1829).