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Science Teaching in Pre-Modern Societies, May 24-26, 2018

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 08:23

The McGill Centre of Islamic and Science and Institute of Islamic Studies co-organize a workshop entitled Science Teaching in Pre-Modern Societies from May 24 to 26 2018. This two-days event will bring together scholars from all over the World, including Canada, the United States, Turkey, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, etc.

The four panels will focus on Science Teaching in cross-cultural perspective, Science Teaching and the religious context, Science Textbooks and the “Science of the Stars”, and Epistemological Foundations of Science teaching. The full program, abstracts, and speakers biographies can be found here.

“This workshop is part of an international collaborative project entitled “Science Teaching in Pre‐Modern and Modern Islamic Societies: Pedagogical Approaches in Religious, Institutional, and Geographical Contexts,” with funding from a SSHRC partnership development grant, plus additional support from 3 partner institutions: the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (MPIWG); Medeniyet University, Istanbul; and the University of California, Berkeley.”

Giovanna Badia and Merika Ramundo awarded the 2018 McGill Library Excellence Awards

Library Matters - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:42

Left to right, Merika Ramundo, Dean Colleen Cook, Giovanna Badia

Congrats to the recipients of the 2018 McGill Library Excellence Awards! The awards recognize outstanding contributions to the Library and its mandate.

Liaison Librarian, Giovanna Badia received the Librarian Excellence Award and Communications Officer, Merika Ramundo was awarded the Library Staff Excellence Award.

Giovanna Badia, Liaison Librarian | Librarian Excellence Award

Left to right: Dean Colleen Cook, Isabelle Roberge, Giovanna Badia

Giovanna is an exemplary librarian and has made a significant contribution both to the McGill University Library and to the profession as a whole.

Where Giovanna has perhaps demonstrated the most impact is through her tireless efforts to serve McGill science and engineering departments as Liaison Librarian. She goes above and beyond in the delivery of reference services and information literacy sessions, making herself available and invaluable to students, faculty, and staff. She is continually experimenting and assessing her practices while at the same time sharing lessons learned with other librarians. Giovanna continues to build on her contributions to positive student and faculty outcomes and experiences, as shown in her innovative support for the Department of Mining Engineering in open access publishing.

She has also demonstrated excellence in academic librarianship and has won the respect and admiration of her colleagues. Her successful research practices are evident in an impressive publication record, with over thirty works that include peer reviewed articles, conference papers and book chapters, four of which were released in 2017. She continues to explore research methods that require a high skill level and attention to detail, such as her project using citation analysis to identify appropriate databases. Giovanna also has an exemplary service record and has made a significant contribution to the profession through associations. Her expertise is recognized by colleagues internationally, as is shown by her role as 2016 Chair of the Special Libraries Association Engineering Division and her involvement throughout 2017.

Her passion, dedication, and innovative spirit shined during her tenure as co-chair of the Library’s Orientation Committee. Under Giovanna’s leadership, the Committee obtained funding to organize the Library’s first ever ice cream social. The event united Library departments and promoted a spirit of connectedness. Its success can be greatly attributed to Giovanna’s fearlessness in testing out inventive ideas and to her strong sense of diplomacy.

Committed and selfless, she doesn’t hesitate to give advice and that advice always comes with an offer to help. She’s an excellent team member and significant contributor to the McGill community. In short, Giovanna is generosity.

Merika Ramundo, Communications Officer | Staff Excellence Award

Left to right: Gregory Houston, Isabelle Roberge, Merika Ramundo, Dean Colleen Cook

Merika was nominated for this award by colleagues, former students, volunteers, Friends of the Library members and collaborators, in recognition of her boundless creativity, outstanding leadership and tireless efforts to promote the McGill Library.

A co-worker who has known Merika since she first joined the Library in 2010 had this to say: “Merika’s work impacts all aspects of the Library’s mission to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of students, faculty, and researchers. Her writing and visual communication initiatives cover the spectrum: constantly keeping our staff informed, supporting the Dean in her internal and external communications channels, providing outstanding support to our Friends of the Library lectures and outreach, not to mention launching new social media campaigns. No job is too big or too small for Merika. She brings professionalism and innovation to every task.”

Above and beyond her daily projects, Merika’s collaborative, pro-active approach is illustrated by several recent initiatives. She successfully launched two Library Innovation Fund initiatives: Enhancing McGill Library’s social media presence and McGill’s Little Free Libraries (LFL), a campus-wide book exchange project. Both projects were very successful and forged close collaborations between the Library and several university-wide units, including McGill Central Communications, the Faculty of Education and the Office of Sustainability.

Not one to take credit for herself, Merika always puts her colleagues and team members ahead of herself. She has a natural talent for bringing out the best in people and encouraging them to succeed. A former student who worked closely with her spoke highly of her openness and ability to inspire others: “She taught me how to use the tools I needed and gave me the time and patience I needed to learn, make mistakes, and try again. I felt like my opinion was valued and taken into consideration. The freedom and trust she gave me allowed me to flourish, pick up new skills, and express my creativity.”

Anyone who has met Merika knows within minutes that she is a beacon of positivity. Her optimism is infectious and she approaches the most daunting tasks with a smile. She throws herself into each project, large and small with a positive, can-do attitude. “She makes it all look easy.”

Congrats, Giovanna and Merika! Very well-deserved!

Nicholas Cronk on Voltaire at McGill

Library Matters - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 16:15

AN AMERICAN VOLTAIRE: The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection at McGill

By: Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford University

Published by Cambridge Scholars in 2009, with contributions by Nicholas Cronk and other Voltaire scholars.

Pat Lee, who died in 2006, was a life-enhancing friend as well as a Voltaire enthusiast and an avid collector of books. The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection was acquired by McGill in 2013, and contains some 2000 books and 42 manuscripts, relative to Voltaire and his contemporaries. I recently had the huge pleasure of helping Ann Marie Holland organise in the Rare Books Library a small exhibit containing just a few of the highlights of this collection.

Like any great collection, this one has its share of precious printed books, as well as some remarkable manuscripts, not least a manuscript compilation of verse that belonged to Voltaire’s companion, Emilie Du Châtelet – this last item has been exhibited in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The compilation also has its unique personality: Pat Lee, as an American- who loved Voltaire, was born in Kentucky, and wrote his doctorate on Voltaire at Fordham University in New York – clearly had a particular predilection for books by and about Voltaire that were in some way connected with America.

Americans were keen readers of Voltaire from the early years of the Republic, and the provenance of some of the items is startling: a volume of Voltaire that belonged to Theodore Roosevelt, and a manuscript collection of French poetry with the bookplate of … George Washington. But it’s not just the famous names that are interesting. A book called Fame and Fancy, or Voltaire Improved, published in Boston in 1826, provides an American take on Voltaire: but Pat Lee’s copy is also interesting because the bookplate records its American owner: ‘Daniel Green, Jr., Portland, Maine’.

Another remarkable production from the same decade is Abner Kneeland’s translation of Voltaire’s Dictionnaire philosophique, also published in Boston in 1836. Kneeland (1774-1844) was an evangelist minister of radical views, remembered as the last man jailed in the United States for blasphemy – among his publications are The Deist (1822) and A Review of the Evidences of Christianity (1829). His edition of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary was clearly a polemical gesture therefore, and one of the copies in Pat Lee’s collection is exceptional. The anonymous American owner has inserted two blank sheets in the middle of the volume, with pages headed ‘Births’, ‘Marriages’ and ‘Deaths’. It was common of course for families to own a ‘family Bible’ with such blank pages serving to record key events in a family’s history, a volume that would be handed down from generation to generation. In this (unique?) example, a nineteenth-century American has radically subverted the genre of the ‘family Bible’ by creating a ‘family Voltaire’. Only in America…

A tipped in censored illustration of Rockwell Kent’s Candide intended for the 1928 edition.

In the twentieth century, New York publishers were active in producing illustrated editions, and there are some remarkable illustrated Candide in this collection. The Rockwell Kent illustrations for Random House (1928) are justly famous – not least because the picture of Voltaire’s house in the colophon went on to become widely familiar as the Random House logo. Rockwell Kent’s first depiction of Pangloss conducting an experiment in natural philosophy in the shrubbery was deemed too shocking, and he had to replace it with a more anodine image:- the first edition in this collection is very special because it includes a real rarity -the ‘censored’ image has been tipped in to cover up its timid replacement.( See also the NYPL Candide website for more on Rockwell Kent)

The Rockwell Kent Candide is a celebrated publication, but also remarkable is the fact that the year before, 1927, there had appeared an edition of Candide illustrated by Clara Tice, a bohemian figure known as the Queen of Greenwich Village (below left); and two years later, in 1930, there was an illustrated edition by Mahlon Blane (below right).

This is real testimony to the vibrancy of the American market for illustrated books: three major illustrated editions of Candide all published in New York within the space of four years – and all three in completely contrasting artistic styles.

Following the hugely successful publication of Candide in early 1759, there appeared in 1760 a sequel, Candide, seconde partie – an amusing work that we now attributed to the abbé Dulaurens, but that at the time was widely attributed to Voltaire himself, so much so that it was not uncommon for the two parts of Candide to appear together as ‘one’ work by Voltaire. Gradually it became accepted that Voltaire was not the author of the second part, so this practice declined – except in the United States, where the two parts of Candide continued to be published together well into the twentieth century. This is another peculiarity of the American Voltaire – and this fidelity to the apocryphal Second Part of Candide gives illustrators like Clara Tice a wider range of scenes to depict – for example, Candide’s seduction by a lascivious Persian at the start of the Second Part.

Clara Tice Candide Part 2 in the 1927 edition.

Pat Lee’s Voltaire collection contains many of these beautiful objects – another is the illustrated edition by Jylbert, published by the aptly named: Editions du charme. The date here gives us pause for thought, though: the edition appeared in 1941, in occupied Paris. Does the scene with the monkeys in any way reflect what was happening on the streets of the capital?

Alongside this precious work, Pat Lee’s collection also includes a humble and modestly printed translation of Candide which appeared in the Armed Services Edition in 1943 – part of a series of books made available to American servicemen and women. In Chapter Three of Candide we remember how both sides in the war have a Te Deum sung, in the certain knowledge that God is on their side… And among the troops who liberated Paris, was there perhaps a serviceman who had Candide in his backpack? The Pat Lee collection gives us a specifically American take on Voltaire and his impact in North America, and as such, it is unique.

Click here for more about the Voltaire Foundation

Nicholas Cronk on Voltaire at McGill

Rare Books and Special Collections blog - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 13:42

AN AMERICAN VOLTAIRE: The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection at McGill

By: Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford University

Published by Cambridge Scholars in 2009, with contributions by Nicholas Cronk and other Voltaire scholars.

Pat Lee, who died in 2006, was a life-enhancing friend as well as a Voltaire enthusiast and an avid collector of books. The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection was acquired by McGill in 2013, and contains some 2000 books and 42 manuscripts, relative to Voltaire and his contemporaries. I recently had the huge pleasure of helping Ann Marie Holland organise in the Rare Books Library a small exhibit containing just a few of the highlights of this collection.

Like any great collection, this one has its share of precious printed books, as well as some remarkable manuscripts, not least  a manuscript compilation of verse that belonged to Voltaire’s companion, Emilie Du Châtelet – this last item has been exhibited in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The compilation also has its unique personality: Pat Lee, as an American- who loved Voltaire, was born in Kentucky, and wrote his doctorate on Voltaire at Fordham University in New York – clearly had a particular predilection for books by and about Voltaire that were in some way connected with America.

Americans were keen readers of Voltaire from the early years of the Republic, and the provenance of some of the items is startling: a volume of Voltaire that belonged to Theodore Roosevelt, and a manuscript collection of French poetry with the bookplate of … George Washington. But it’s not just the famous names that are interesting. A book called Fame and Fancy, or Voltaire Improved, published in Boston in 1826, provides an American take on Voltaire: but Pat Lee’s copy is also interesting because the bookplate records its American owner: ‘Daniel Green, Jr., Portland, Maine’.

Another remarkable production from the same decade is Abner Kneeland’s translation of Voltaire’s Dictionnaire philosophique, also published in Boston in 1836. Kneeland (1774-1844) was an evangelist minister of radical views, remembered as the last man jailed in the United States for blasphemy – among his publications are The Deist (1822) and A Review of the Evidences of Christianity (1829).  His edition of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary was clearly a polemical gesture therefore, and one of the copies in Pat Lee’s collection is exceptional. The anonymous American owner has inserted two blank sheets in the middle of the volume, with pages headed ‘Births’, ‘Marriages’ and ‘Deaths’. It was common of course for families to own a ‘family Bible’ with such blank pages serving to record key events in a family’s history, a volume that would be handed down from generation to generation. In this (unique?) example, a nineteenth-century American has radically subverted the genre of the ‘family Bible’ by creating a ‘family Voltaire’. Only in America…

A tipped in censored illustration of Rockwell Kent’s Candide intended for the 1928 edition.

In the twentieth century, New York publishers were active in producing illustrated editions, and there are some remarkable illustrated Candide in this collection. The Rockwell Kent illustrations for Random House (1928) are justly famous – not least because the picture of Voltaire’s house in the colophon went on to become widely familiar as the Random House logo. Rockwell Kent’s first depiction of Pangloss conducting an experiment in natural philosophy in the shrubbery was deemed too shocking, and he had to replace it with a more anodine image:- the first edition in this collection is very special because it includes a real rarity -the ‘censored’ image has been tipped in to cover up its timid replacement.( See also the NYPL Candide website for more on Rockwell Kent)

The Rockwell Kent Candide is a celebrated publication, but also remarkable is the fact that the year before, 1927, there had appeared an edition of Candide illustrated by Clara Tice, a bohemian figure known as the Queen of Greenwich Village (below left); and two years later, in 1930, there was an illustrated edition by Mahlon Blane (below right).

This is real testimony to the vibrancy of the American market for illustrated books: three major illustrated editions of Candide all published in New York within the space of four years – and all three in completely contrasting artistic styles.

Following the hugely successful publication of Candide in early 1759, there appeared in 1760 a sequel, Candide, seconde partie – an amusing work that we now attributed to the abbé Dulaurens, but that at the time was widely attributed to Voltaire himself, so much so that it was not uncommon for the two parts of Candide to appear together as ‘one’ work by Voltaire. Gradually it became accepted that Voltaire was not the author of the second part, so this practice declined – except in the United States, where the two parts of Candide continued to be published together well into the twentieth century. This is another peculiarity of the American Voltaire – and this fidelity to the apocryphal Second Part of Candide gives illustrators like Clara Tice a wider range of scenes to depict – for example, Candide’s seduction by a lascivious Persian at the start of the Second Part.

Clara Tice Candide Part 2 in the 1927 edition.

Pat Lee’s Voltaire collection contains many of these beautiful objects – another is the illustrated edition by Jylbert, published by the aptly named: Editions du charme. The date here gives us pause for thought, though: the edition appeared in 1941, in occupied Paris. Does the scene with the monkeys in any way reflect what was happening on the streets of the capital?

Alongside this precious work, Pat Lee’s collection also includes a humble and modestly printed translation of Candide which appeared in the Armed Services Edition in 1943 – part of a series of books made available to American servicemen and women. In Chapter Three of Candide we remember how both sides in the war have a Te Deum sung, in the certain knowledge that God is on their side… And among the troops who liberated Paris, was there perhaps a serviceman who had Candide in his backpack? The Pat Lee collection gives us a specifically American take on Voltaire and his impact in North America, and as such, it is unique.

Click here for more about the  Voltaire Foundation

Syrian Print Archive

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 11:00

Syrian Prints Archive  is an independent documentary initiative “without any political, partisan or religious affiliations”, that provides archiving and storing services for Syrian print media issued since the outbreak of the March 2011 Revolution, regardless of content or orientations. Between March 2011 and the end of 2014, Syrian media witnessed a significance rise in the number of print publications.

These publications showcase the development of Syrian media and represent the new attempts at pluralism in Syria. Furthermore, the intellectual, social, political, economic and literary content of Syrian print publications is an important part of Syria’s recent memory, which documents a significant stage of the country’s history.

However, approximately 70% of these publications are no longer published due to various factors such as printing, technical or marketing problems, as well as a lack of reliable and stable host platforms. The value of these publications and their preservation were among the initial incentives to preserve and provide access to this huge collection. In November 2014, the website Syrian Prints Archive was officially launched during the first conference of Syrian Journalist Association in Gaziantep, sponsored by NPA.

This archive provides various interesting and helpful browsing and searching features. Aside from being fully text searchable, the site offers other useful search criteria. Searches can be conducted using titles and personal names along with complete references to associated articles and a number of related publications. Moreover this archives presents a variety of informatics info-graphs containing useful statistics on Syrian print publications.

أرشيف المجلات الادبية والثقافية العربية

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 17:26

 أرشيف المجلات الدبية والثقافية العربية This is an open access archive of various Arabic resources, containing digitized journals, books and articles from all over the Arab world.

This archive aims to preserve Arabic literature and cultural heritage as well as serving research and educational purposes. For that reason, a great number of journals (201), books (20,996) and articles (268,065) have been digitized. The collection covers a long period of time, ranging from journals dated in 1876 up to the present from different countries such as, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and Algeria.

أرشيف المجلات الادبية والثقافية العربية is a searchable archive. Journals can be browsed by title and books are listed based on the author’s name.

Some of the important titles available on this database are as follows (some are available at McGill, Islamic Studies Library):

المقتطف from 1876 to 1952;  At Islamic studies library

الهلال from 1892 to 2007;  At Islamic studies library

المشرق from 1989 to 1914;  At Islamic studies library

لغة العرب from 1911 to 1931;  At Islamic studies library

الكرمل from 1981 to 2009;  At Islamic studies library

ROAAr newsletter: Spotlight: Latest Acquisitions at McGill

Library Matters - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 16:46

Ways of seeing: artistry on display in the Osler’s autumn acquisitions

There is something about those eyes… at once alarmingly life-like and eerily anonymous. United in artistry and detailed craftsmanship, these four new acquisitions at the Osler Library of the History of Medicine provide “eye-opening” additions to the collection.

Read more > The Unknown Unknown: Finding the Jean Drapeau Collection

This chance discovery provides a new perspective on Montreal mayor and larger-than-life figure Jean Drapeau. What did he really think of his costly 1976 Olympics and the long-unanswered Malouf Report? This new material promises fresh insights.

Read more >  If These Buildings Could Walk: On a newly acquired Melvin Charney sculpture

What tales would the walls around you could tell if only they could speak? What stories would the buildings that house our everyday lives have to share? Melvin Charney’s sculpture “Three Stragglers,” a new addition to McGill’s Visual Arts Collection, explores these ideas and more.

Read more > New Insights from John Peters Humphrey: The Man Behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This new digital and physical exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the life and work of John Peters Humphrey, the man who first put pen to paper.

Read more > ROAAr editorial team: Nathalie Cooke (Associate Dean, ROAAr), Vanessa Di Francesco, Jennifer Garland, Merika Ramundo, Jacquelyn Sundberg, Jean-Marc Tremblay, Mary Yearl.

Tell us what you think of the ROAAr newsletter. Please send your comments to roaar.library@mcgill.ca.

New arrivals April 2018

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:01
David Mason. Investigating Turkey: detective fiction and Turkish nationalism, 1928-1945

Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2017. 180 pages

This unique interpretive study seeks to examine aspects of the building of the modern Turkish Nation. In particular the transmission of Kemalist Turkish Nationalism at the level of popular detective fiction. (Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1939) – Military/Political leader; First President of Turkey). Mason argues that nationalist concepts and ideas were disseminated through the medium of this literature. After introducing the genre of detective fiction, the works of five Turkish authors are analysed and found to promote such Kemalist concepts as: 1) Hardwork or Industrious; 2) Physically fit; 3) Feminist in perspective (All Turks are to participate in the nation); 4) Rationalist; and 5) Patriotic. The book represents an approach to cultural historical studies in which publications are viewed as ‘events.’ These ‘events’ provide access to a cross section of Turkish society including values, mores and the worldview of regular citizens, or at least, attempts to shape and direct popular beliefs about what it means to be a Turk under Ataturk’s vision of the Turkish Republic.

David Mason 1971-2017 completed his PhD (2011) at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University. He was a friend and colleague.

 

Peter Schadler. John of Damascus and Islam: Christian heresiology and the intellectual background to earliest Christian-Muslim relations

Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2018. 264 pages

John of Damascus and Islam is the 34th volume in Brill’s series on the History of Christian-Muslim relations. A summary from the back cover: How did Islam come to be considered a Christian heresy? In this book, Peter Schadler outlines the intellectual background of the Christian Near East that led John, a Christian serving in the Damascus court of the caliph Abd al-Malik (685-705), to categorize Islam as a heresy. Schadler shows that different uses of the term heresy persisted among Christians, and then demonstrates that John’s assessment of the beliefs and practices of Muslims has been mistakenly dismissed on assumptions he was highly biased. By analyzing John of Damascus’ small work entitled ‘On Heresies 100’, Schadler proposes that the practices and beliefs John ascribes to Islam have analogues in the Islamic tradition, proving that John may well represent an accurate picture of Islam as he knew it in the seventh and eighth centuries in Syria and Palestine.

Schadler also includes the Greek text and English translation of ‘On Heresies 100’, which was part of John of Damascus’ larger work on heresies and offers an insightful tabulation of potential Qur’anic references in ‘On Heresies 100’. Schadler’s work is an important offering on the nascent relations between Christians and Muslims.

 

Ways of seeing: artistry on display in the Osler’s autumn acquisitions

Library Matters - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:55

La version française suit

By Mary Yearl, Head Librarian, Osler Library of the History of Medicine

Figure 1: A company representative’s sample set of prosthetic eyes, circa 1885. Credit: Mary Yearl

There is something about those eyes. The variety of colour; the sizes that span human stages of growth. Their presence is at once alarmingly lifelike – note the discrete blood vessels – yet too shallow to be even remotely real [Figure 1]. As striking as they are visually, they are alluring because they bear no manufacturer’s mark and no personal signature other than a bold “DB” inscribed in pencil on the box. Moreover, they are ordinary: a company representative’s sample set from circa 1885, most likely used to help physicians select appropriate artificial eyes for patients in need.

Figure 2. Birds of prey Figure 3. Studying the senses. Figure 4. Skull and forearm. Ducrot’s Cahier d’histoire naturelle, 1835-1837.

Beyond their relevance to the history of medicine, the acquisitions featured in this piece share an undeniable artistry. When Eugène Ducrot compiled his 256-page manuscript Cahier d’histoire naturelle in 1835-1837, he did not simply record in pen the broad learning he received from M. Denoue at the Collège royal de Moulins, France. Rather, he illustrated his text with watercolour drawings and with pencil and ink sketches [Figs 2-4]. His notes are impressive not only for Ducrot’s artistic eye, but also for the glimpse they offer of the learning he received. In addition to human anatomy and physiology, the manuscript covers a range of other subjects – all illustrated to varying degrees – encompassing descriptive zoology (including ethnology), botany, and geology.

Figure 5. Anatomy of the hand, from Charles Monnet’s Études d’anatomie à l’usage des peintres, 1769-1776.

While Ducrot’s drawings were not aimed at any particular audience, two printed books that entered the Osler in recent months were self-consciously artistic. Charles Monnet’s Études d’anatomie à l’usage des peintres [Paris, 1769-1776] and Jean-Galbert Salvage’s Anatomie du gladiateur combattant (Paris, 1812) convey a knowledge of anatomy for artists rather than for medical students. The title of Monnet’s work gives away his purpose: to show fellow artists what is underneath the human skin so that they can better paint the human form [Fig. 5]. Salvage’s choice to create an elephant folio book on gladiator anatomy may seem peculiar, but a small amount of reading and research reveals that he was driven by a desire to persuade the government of the French Republic, followed by the First Empire, to fund the arts. In terms of the subject matter, it makes sense when one learns that Salvage studied medicine at Montpellier during the Revolution and that he became a military surgeon subsequent to his training. The bodies available to him at the military hospital in Paris where he worked must have been reminiscent of the Roman gladiators, and the subject matter has a romantic and eye-catching appeal [Fig. 6].

Figure 6 Bones and muscles of the hand and arm, from Jean-Galbert Salvage’s Anatomie du gladiateur combatant, 1812.

The materials that are selected for inclusion in the Osler’s collections must relate to medicine or to the working of the human body, but beyond that the parameters invite creativity. Some items fill gaps in existing areas of strength; others represent opportunities to increase our ability to reach new audiences. In addition to their artistry, the four items described here have tremendous potential to contribute to the developing narrative of the history of medicine, as told through the Osler’s varied holdings.

Points de vue : les acquisitions automnales de la bibliothèque Osler célèbrent l’art

Par Mary Yearl, bibliothécaire en chef, Bibliothèque Osler d’histoire de la médecine

Figure 1 : Échantillon d’yeux prothétiques d’un représentant de l’entreprise, vers 1885. Source : Mary Yearl

Ces yeux-là ont quelque chose de particulier avec leurs couleurs variées et leurs tailles qui couvrent tous les âges de la vie. Malgré leur réalisme troublant – qui va jusqu’aux plus fins vaisseaux sanguins – ils sont trop minces pour qu’on les prenne ne serait-ce qu’un instant pour des vrais [Figure 1]. Aussi saisissants qu’ils paraissent, ils ne portent aucune marque d’origine ou signature personnelle, hormis les initiales « DB » tracées au crayon sur le coffret. De plus, ce sont des yeux quelconques, formant le jeu d’échantillons d’un représentant de commerce et servant probablement à aider les médecins à choisir les bonnes prothèses oculaires pour leurs patients autour des années 1885.

Figure 2. Oiseaux de proie. Figure 3. L’étude des senses. Figure 4. Crâne et avant-bras. Cahier d’histoire naturelle de Ducrot (1835-1837).

Outre leur valeur historique, les acquisitions décrites dans cet article ont en commun des attributs artistiques indéniables. Quand Eugène Ducrot a compilé les 256 pages de son manuscrit intitulé Cahier d’histoire naturelle entre 1835 et 1837, il n’a pas simplement consigné par écrit les enseignements reçus de M. Denoue au Collège royal de Moulins, en France. Il a en effet illustré ses notes par des aquarelles et des croquis au crayon et à l’encre [Figures 2‑4]. Le résultat impressionne, non seulement par sa qualité artistique, mais également pour ce qu’il révèle sur la matière enseignée. Outre l’anatomie et la physiologie humaines, le manuscrit traite de divers sujets – tous plus ou moins illustrés – allant de la zoologie descriptive (incluant l’ethnologie) à la géologie, en passant par la botanique.

Figure 5. Anatomie de la main, Études d’anatomie à l’usage des peintres de Charles Monnet (1769-1776).

Si les dessins de Ducrot ne s’adressaient à personne en particulier, deux livres imprimés récemment acquis ciblent délibérément les artistes. Les Études d’anatomie à l’usage des peintres de Charles Monnet [Paris, 1769-1776] et l’Anatomie du gladiateur combattant (Paris, 1812) de Jean-Galbert Salvage visent à transmettre des connaissances anatomiques aux artistes plutôt qu’aux étudiants en médecine. Monnet ne s’en cache pas dans le titre : il veut montrer ce qu’il y a sous la peau de l’homme afin d’aider ses pairs à mieux représenter la forme humaine [Fig. 5]. Par ailleurs, si les feuillets éléphant de l’ouvrage sur l’anatomie du gladiateur ont de quoi étonner, un peu de lecture et de recherche permet de constater que Salvage a choisi ce format dans le but de persuader le gouvernement de la République française, puis celui du Premier Empire, de financer les arts. Quant au sujet de l’ouvrage, son choix s’éclaire quand on apprend que Salvage a étudié la médecine à Montpellier pendant la Révolution et qu’il est devenu chirurgien militaire par la suite. À l’hôpital militaire de Paris où il travaillait, les corps qu’il a vus ont dû lui rappeler les gladiateurs romains et lui inspirer ce thème pour le moins accrocheur et romantique [Fig. 6].

Figure 6. Os et muscles de la main et du bras, Anatomie du gladiateur combattant de Jean-Galbert Salvage (1812).

Pour être ajoutées aux collections de la bibliothèque Osler, les pièces acquises doivent avoir trait à la médecine ou au corps humain, mais également découler d’un élan créatif. Certaines pièces comblent les lacunes de la collection, d’autres offrent la possibilité d’atteindre un nouveau public. Outre qu’elles ont une grande valeur artistique, les quatre acquisitions décrites ici sont une contribution formidable à la narration de l’histoire de la médecine telle que racontée par les collections diversifiées de la bibliothèque Osler.

The Unknown Unknown: Finding the Jean Drapeau Collection

Library Matters - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:55

La version française suit

By Chris Lyons, Head Librarian, Rare Books and Special Collections

I think the most exciting part of my job as a rare book librarian is in discovering the “unknown unknowns,” to use Donald Rumsfeld’s turn of phrase. These unknowns are new acquisitions of which I wasn’t aware, but that are perfect additions to our collections.  They aren’t the famous high spots like the Gutenberg Bible or Shakespeare’s first folio, but they are the bread and butter of researchers and students. We find them in a variety of ways. We read the many dealers’ catalogues, with their rich descriptions and enticing illustrations. Knowing our collecting areas, book sellers often quote material to us directly as well.

The most stimulating way to discover these unknown unknowns is by exploring bookshops and antiquarian book fairs. Smaller fairs last a day or two and attract 10-20 antiquarian book dealers. Large international fairs attract the biggest sellers and buyers.

Roberts, Leslie, Robert Choquette and Hans van der Aa. Montréal. Montreal: Editions Leméac, 1965. MSG 1144 Rare Books and Special Collections. Credit: Merika Ramundo

At the Montreal Antiquarian Bookfair last September I discovered a few unknown unknowns.  Towards the end of my tour, I visited Bonheur d’occasion, the booth of the Montreal bookshop named after Gabrielle Roy’s famous novel.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw two red binders, photo albums documenting the construction of the 1976 Montreal Olympic stadium and park.  These were not mass-produced publications, but rather unique albums or ones made up in small numbers for officials and other insiders.  Pure researcher gold!

To my delight, the bookseller Mathieu Bertrand told me that they came from the personal library of Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montreal for a remarkable 29 years (1954 to 1957 and 1960-1986).   A larger-than-life figure, Mayor Drapeau put his stamp on Montreal as a modern city.  The Metro, Place des Arts, and the ribbons of highways that run around, over, under and through the city all bear his mark. He also helped put Montreal front and centre on the international stage with Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympics.

A photo from Drapeau’s Expo 67 photograph album.

Imagine my excitement when Mathieu told me that he had even more material from Drapeau’s personal library at his shop. There I discovered a collection that reveals the mind of Jean Drapeau in interesting ways. We acquired seven volumes of speeches from his first term as mayor. The speeches suggest that here was a man who seemed to put great stock in his opinions and his oratorical skills.  A fat bound volume of fan mail regarding the City’s publication Montreal 64, had complimentary sentences underlined, perhaps by Drapeau himself. Here was a man deeply sensitive to his and the city’s public image. There were private photo albums from Expo 67, Man and his World and the first anniversary banquet of the mayor’s Civic Party.

Page from Drapeau’s annotated copy of the 1980 Rapport de la Commission d’enquête sur le coût de la 21e olympiade. Credit: Jacquelyn Sundberg

The pièce de résistance, though, was the mayor’s copy of the 1980 Rapport de la Commission d’enquête sur le coût de la 21e olympiade.  Popularly called the Malouf Report after the commission’s chair, Judge Albert H. Malouf, the report blamed the mayor for the outrageous cost overruns that plagued the 1976 Olympics, especially in building the stadium.  If Expo 67 was the zenith of Drapeau’s career, when the world marvelled at Montreal’s audacious and stylish world’s fair, the Olympics was his nadir.  Massive cost overruns, allegations of waste and corruption, and the overly ambitious and impractical design of the stadium were all a black eye for Drapeau’s legacy.  Although he was re-elected in 1978 and 1982, the Olympics tarnished his reputation.

During his lifetime, Drapeau evaded discussing the Malouf Report, promising that he was writing a book in response. The promise came to be seen as nothing more than a way of avoiding answering the charges.  Discovering his copy of the report offers a way to break this silence.  The first volume of the report is filled with the mayor’s markings, potential clues to his reaction. For example, he circled all the cost estimates for the games, but not the final cost of $1.3 billion.

Page from Drapeau’s annotated copy of the 1980 Rapport de la Commission d’enquête sur le coût de la 21e olympiade. Credit : Jacquelyn Sundberg

In another section he underlined the commission’s findings that he was primarily responsible for the cost overruns.  Directly beneath it, he underlined in red the section that says the City executive must also shoulder part of the blame for not providing diligent oversight.  This is the only section underlined in red in the whole report, and suggests that he perhaps saw this as a lifeline, maybe not to shift the blame exactly, but at least to spread it around.

This new material has garnered substantial media coverage, which gave me the chance to repeatedly tell the public that McGill’s special collections are open to everyone.  So far, several have come to the consult the Drapeau material. One hopes that the media attention will not only help to shed light on Jean Drapeau and Montreal’s history, but also encourage people to explore the many other riches in our collection.

McGill’s Drapeau material in the media

See the Drapeau material at McGill’s Rare and Special Collections.

L’inconnu inconnu : la découverte des archives de Jean Drapeau

Par Chris Lyons, bibliothécaire en chef, Livres rares et collections spécialisées

Mon travail de spécialiste du livre rare est particulièrement excitant quand je découvre ce que Donald Rumsfeld a appelé les « inconnus inconnus ». Ces inconnus sont de nouvelles acquisitions dont j’ignorais jusqu’à l’existence même, mais qui s’intègrent parfaitement à nos collections. Ce ne sont pas des trouvailles dignes du saint Graal comme la bible de Gutenberg ou le premier feuillet de Shakespeare, mais c’est le pain quotidien des chercheurs et des étudiants. Ces documents nous parviennent de toutes sortes de façons : nous compulsons les nombreux catalogues de marchands aux descriptions éloquentes et aux illustrations alléchantes; par ailleurs, il arrive souvent que les bouquinistes qui connaissent nos besoins nous proposent directement certains ouvrages.

Le moyen le plus stimulant de découvrir ces inconnus inconnus consiste à bouquiner dans les librairies et salons du livre ancien. Les salons de moindre importance d’une ou deux journées attirent entre 10 et 20 marchands de livres anciens. Les grands salons internationaux attirent quant à eux les plus gros vendeurs et acheteurs.

Roberts, Leslie, Robert Choquette et Hans van der Aa. “Montréal”. Montréal: Éditions Leméac, 1965. MSG 1144 Département des livres rares et collections spécialisées. Source : Merika Ramundo

Au Salon du livre ancien de Montréal tenu en septembre dernier, j’ai trouvé quelques inconnus inconnus. C’est vers la fin de ma visite, au kiosque de la librairie Bonheur d’occasion – qui porte le nom du fameux roman de Gabrielle Roy –, que j’aperçois du coin de l’œil deux reliures rouges, des albums de photos qui documentent la construction du stade et du parc où ont eu lieu les Jeux olympiques de 1976. Il ne s’agissait pas d’ouvrages publiés en série, mais d’albums uniques ou produits en petit nombre pour les dignitaires et autres initiés. Une mine d’or pour le chercheur!

À ma grande joie, le bouquiniste Mathieu Bertrand m’apprend que ces reliures proviennent des archives personnelles de Jean Drapeau, qui a occupé le poste de maire de Montréal pendant 29 années remarquables (de 1954 à 1957 et de 1960 à 1986). Personnage plus grand que nature, le maire Drapeau a laissé sa marque en modernisant Montréal. Le métro, la Place des Arts et le réseau d’autoroutes qui encercle, traverse, surplombe la ville ou passe dessous portent tous son empreinte. Il a également contribué à mettre Montréal à l’avant de la scène internationale avec Expo 67 et les Olympiques de 1976.

Photo d’Expo 67 tirée de l’album de photos personnelles de Jean Drapeau.

Imaginez mon émoi quand Mathieu m’a dit qu’il avait à sa librairie d’autres documents provenant des archives personnelles de Jean Drapeau. C’est là que j’ai trouvé une collection qui lève le voile sur bien des aspects de la pensée de Jean Drapeau. Nous avons fait l’acquisition de sept recueils de discours prononcés pendant son premier mandat à la mairie. Ces discours laissent penser que Drapeau accordait beaucoup d’importance à ses opinions et à son talent d’orateur. Dans une épaisse reliure réunissant les lettres d’admirateurs de la publication Montreal 64, des phrases élogieuses sont soulignées, peut-être par Drapeau lui-même. Cet homme était manifestement très sensible à son image publique et à celle de sa ville. Des albums de photos personnelles livrent un aperçu d’Expo 67, de Terre des hommes et du banquet donné à l’occasion du premier anniversaire du Parti Civique de Montréal.

Page de l’exemplaire annoté de Jean Drapeau du Rapport de la Commission d’enquête sur le coût de la 21e olympiade déposé en 1980. Source : Jacquelyn Sundberg

La pièce de résistance est toutefois l’exemplaire personnel de Jean Drapeau du Rapport de la Commission d’enquête sur le coût de la 21e olympiade déposé en 1980. Dans ce document mieux connu sous le nom de rapport Malouf, le juge Albert H. Malouf, qui présidait la Commission, blâmait le maire pour les dépassements de coûts faramineux qui ont accablé les Jeux olympiques de 1976, particulièrement à la construction du stade. Si Expo 67 a marqué l’apogée de la carrière de Drapeau, alors que le monde entier s’émerveillait de l’audace et du style de l’exposition internationale de Montréal, les Olympiques en ont été le moment le moins reluisant. Les dépassements de coûts astronomiques, les allégations de gaspillage et de corruption, et la conception trop ambitieuse et difficile à réaliser du stade ont entaché l’héritage de Drapeau. Jean Drapeau a été réélu en 1978 et en 1982, mais les Jeux olympiques avaient terni sa réputation.

Toute sa vie durant, Drapeau a évité de discuter du rapport en promettant de publier une réponse aux conclusions du juge Malouf. On a fini par considérer cette promesse comme un autre moyen d’éluder les questions. Or, la découverte de cet exemplaire du rapport fournit une occasion de briser le silence. Le premier volume du rapport pullule d’annotations du maire, qui sont autant d’indices possibles de sa réaction. Ainsi, il a encerclé tous les coûts estimatifs des jeux, mais pas le coût total de 1,3 milliard de dollars.

Page de l’exemplaire annoté de Jean Drapeau du Rapport de la Commission d’enquête sur le coût de la 21e olympiade déposé en 1980. Source : Jacquelyn Sundberg

Dans une autre section du rapport, Drapeau a souligné les conclusions de la Commission l’accusant d’être le principal responsable des dépassements de coûts. Juste sous ce passage, il a souligné en rouge l’énoncé stipulant que le Comité exécutif de la Ville doit assumer sa part du blâme, car il n’a pas surveillé le projet avec la vigilance qui s’imposait. Ce passage étant le seul du rapport à être souligné en rouge, on pourrait penser que Drapeau le considérait comme une bouée de sauvetage, peut-être pas exactement pour s’exonérer, mais au moins pour ne pas être seul à porter le blâme.

Ces nouveaux documents ont suscité une couverture médiatique considérable, qui m’a donné l’occasion de répéter publiquement que les collections spéciales de McGill sont ouvertes à tous. Depuis, plusieurs personnes sont venues consulter la collection Drapeau. J’ose espérer que l’attention des médias contribuera non seulement à jeter un nouvel éclairage sur Jean Drapeau et l’histoire de Montréal, mais également à encourager le public à explorer les nombreux autres trésors de notre collection.

Archives de Jean Drapeau acquises par l’Université McGill, dans les médias

Visitez la collection Drapeau au Département des livres rares et collections spécialisées de McGill.

If These Buildings Could Walk: On a newly acquired Melvin Charney sculpture

Library Matters - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:55

La version française suit

By Vanessa Di Francesco, Assistant Curator, McGill Visual Arts Collection

The idea that the built environments we inhabit can take on their own lives, acting apart from us or on our behalf, occupies our popular imagination. Houses and household objects spring to life in everything from animated children’s books to horror films. When we visit a space with an interesting history, its inhabitants long gone, we often wonder, “if these walls could talk… .” Perhaps in part because buildings so often outlive us and continue on after we leave, we regularly attribute to them human characteristics and agency. Three Stragglers, a recently acquired sculpture from celebrated Montreal artist and architect Melvin Charney (1935-2012), is peculiar and perhaps inexplicable at first glance. It can, however, be understood within this tradition of listening to the stories of our animate, built environment.

Melvin Charney, CITIES ON THE RUN…Three Stragglers, 1999. Welded aluminum, sandblasted with a lacquer finish. Gift of Lilian and Billy Mauer. McGill Visual Arts Collection 2017-055.

Produced in 1999, and hailing from the artist’s series CITIES ON THE RUN, which included work in both sculpture and mixed media, this work in aluminum shows three anthropomorphized buildings on the move. Standing on their foundations, bent to look like human knees in motion, with gridded pieces projecting from their upper bodies to represent their facades, the running buildings look like something out of an animated film. This group, characterized by the artist as “stragglers,” has a particularly playful air about it, the three figures assembled at the back end of a long base, seemingly failing to keep up with their imagined peers ahead. Other sculptures or works on paper in the series have titles like Blocks Running Scared or Blocks in Search of a City, and strike a more somber note.

Charney studied Architecture both here at McGill and at Yale. He worked in Paris and New York, before returning to live and teach in Montreal. His childhood and early career came at a time of mass urban renewal, when North American cities in particular were being torn apart and rebuilt to accommodate projected population increases that sometimes never happened. Taken together, the works in CITIES ON THE RUN ask us to consider what happens to our buildings when we abandon them (or the urban environments around them), and imagines them taking action on their own. “If these buildings could walk,” in other words, would they choose to leave their own homes – the discarded corners of our cities?

More broadly, Charney’s works, which also include monumental open air installations at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Place Émilie-Gamelin, invite us to rethink buildings not as inanimate functional objects we simply inhabit, but as dynamic, living entities, changing constantly, and having their own important histories. Generously donated by Lilian and Billy Mauer, Three Stragglers comes into our Collection at a particularly appropriate time, as many buildings on our own historic campus are being renovated. What’s more, the sculpture will soon be on view in a public space in the Armstrong Building, the University’s former bookstore, recently repurposed and renewed to serve as expanded space for the Desautels Faculty of Management.

Si ces édifices pouvaient marcher : à propos d’une sculpture de Melvin Charney

Par Vanessa Di Francesco, conservatrice adjointe, Collection des arts visuels de l’Université McGill

L’idée que les bâtiments que nous occupons pourraient s’animer et agir malgré ou pour nous hante l’imagination populaire. Des maisons et des objets du quotidien prennent vie dans les livres pour enfants, les dessins animés et les films d’horreur. Qui ne s’est pas demandé « si les murs pouvaient parler… » en visitant un espace chargé d’histoire et inhabité depuis longtemps? La persistance des édifices, qui restent bien souvent debout longtemps après notre disparition, peut expliquer en partie pourquoi nous attribuons régulièrement une nature et des caractéristiques humaines aux bâtiments. Œuvre du célèbre artiste et architecte montréalais Melvin Charney (1935-2012), la sculpture Three Stragglers récemment acquise par McGill est insolite et peut-être incompréhensible à première vue. On peut toutefois en percer le mystère en la situant dans cette tradition d’écoute des histoires de notre environnement construit et animé.

Melvin Charney, CITIES ON THE RUN…Three Stragglers, 1999. Aluminium soudé, sablé et laqué. Don de Lilian et Billy Mauer. Collection d’arts visuels de McGill, 2017-055.

Produit en 1999 dans le cadre de la série CITIES ON THE RUN (Cités en fuite) qui réunissait des sculptures et des techniques mixtes, cette œuvre en aluminium représente trois édifices anthropomorphisés en mouvement. Debout sur leurs fondations pliées pour donner l’illusion de genoux humains, ces édifices dont la façade plaquée d’un grillage représente la poitrine semblent sortir en courant d’un film d’animation. Qualifiées de « retardataires » par l’artiste, les trois personnages montés à l’extrémité arrière d’une base allongée ont l’air d’avoir du mal à suivre leurs homologues imaginaires. L’ensemble a un air singulièrement espiègle qui détonne d’autres sculptures ou œuvres sur papier de la même série, comme Blocks Running Scared ou Blocks in Search of a City, aux accents plus sombres.

Charney a étudié l’architecture à l’Université McGill et à Yale. Il a travaillé à Paris et à New York avant de revenir à Montréal pour s’y établir et enseigner. Pendant son enfance et au début de sa carrière, il a connu la vague de renouvellement urbain pendant laquelle on a rasé et rebâti des villes, surtout en Amérique du Nord, afin d’accommoder une croissance prévue de la population qui ne s’est parfois jamais matérialisée. Ensemble, les pièces de la série CITIES ON THE RUN nous invitent à nous demander ce qui arrive aux édifices quand on les abandonne (eux ou le milieu urbain qui les entoure) et à imaginer comment ces mêmes édifices réagiraient. Autrement dit, « si ces édifices pouvaient marcher », choisiraient-ils de déserter leur propre environnement – les quartiers abandonnés de nos villes?

Plus largement, les œuvres de Charney, qui comprennent des installations monumentales en plein air au Centre canadien d’architecture et à la Place Émilie-Gamelin, nous invitent à repenser les édifices non pas comme des objets fonctionnels inanimés simplement habités, mais comme des entités dynamiques et vivantes en constante évolution qui ont une importante histoire personnelle. Three Stragglers s’ajoute à la Collection à un moment tout à fait approprié, alors que de nombreux bâtiments du campus historique de McGill sont en cours de rénovation. Qui plus est, ce don généreux de Lilian et Billy Mauer sera bientôt exposé dans un espace public du Pavillon Armstrong (l’ancienne librairie universitaire) récemment rénové à la suite d’un changement de vocation visant à agrandir la Faculté de gestion Desautels.

New Insights from John Peters Humphrey: The Man Behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Library Matters - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:55

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By Laura Colangelo, Young Canada Works intern and Jean-Marc Tremblay, Archivist & Records Management Administrator, McGill University Archives

In 1946, John Peters Humphrey, professor of law at McGill University, turned down an offer of Deanship. Why refuse a position of such influence? Well, it started with a phone call.

John Peters Humphrey and Gen. Romulo of the Philippines. Geneva, April 1948. Photographer: United Nations. McGill University Archives MG 4127/2002-0086.04.36.1

Humphreys got a call one evening from his friend Henri Laugier, the newly-appointed Assistant Secretary-General for Social Affairs at the United Nations. Laugier offered Humphrey the position of Director of the Human Rights Division of the nascent United Nations. Humphreys said yes. As a result, he would draft the first pages of what would become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Exhibit

The new exhibit allows visitors to immerse themselves in the real objects that document the impact of John Peters Humphrey’s work by touring the exhibit, John Peters Humphrey: Law, Human Rights, and Advocacy, showcased on the fourth floor of the McLennan Library. The exhibit celebrates Humphrey’s life and the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 2018.

Humphrey’s time at McGill as both a student and a professor are showcased with Old McGill yearbooks, his teaching materials, as well as his student ID cards. Humphrey’s diaries from his time at the United Nations give candid glimpses of his experience in the General Assembly and the process of having the Declaration adopted.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has now been adopted; but the miracle for which some of us had hoped did not happen. For while there were no votes cast against the declaration, the Slav states, South Africa and Saudi Arabia abstained.”

John Humphrey’s diary entry, December 11, 1948. Credit: Jacquelyn Sundberg

His photo album, passport, and awards can all be seen on display along with some reports from his mission to Vietnam in 1963 and his work in representing Comfort Women and Hong Kong Veterans. The exhibit also takes visitors through Humphrey’s personal life, displaying photos and correspondence with his family.

John Peters Humphrey Fonds at McGill University Archives

John Peters Humphrey: Law, Human Rights, and Advocacy exhibit. Credit: Merika Ramundo

In 1988, John Humphrey began donating his material to the McGill University Archives (see MG 4127). Further material was later donated by his wife, Dr. Margaret Kunstler, and his literary executer, John Hobbins. The fonds contains documents related to his family and personal life, activities with the United Nations, teaching and research materials, work with NGOs, speeches and seminars, photographs, awards, and artifacts.

McGill University Archives houses many private fonds available to researchers, including those of contemporaries of Humphrey: see for example the Madeleine Parent Fonds (MG 4269), Paul-André Crépeau Fonds (MG 4271), Maxwell Cohen Fonds (MG 1026), and Tamar Oppenheimer Fonds (MG4267).

Nouvel éclairage sur John Peters Humphrey, l’instigateur de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme

Par Laura Colangelo, stagiaire, Jeunesse Canada au travail, et Jean-Marc Tremblay, archiviste et administrateur en gestion des documents, Archives de l’Université McGill

En 1946, John Peters Humphrey, professeur de droit à l’Université McGill, déclinait le poste de doyen qu’on lui offrait. Pourquoi refuser un poste aussi influent? Tout a débuté par un appel téléphonique.

John Peters Humphrey et le général Romulo des Philippines. Genève, avril 1948. Photographe : Nations Unies. Archives de l’Université McGill
MG 4127/2002-0086.04.36.1

Un soir, Humphrey reçoit un appel de son ami Henri Laugier, fraîchement nommé secrétaire général adjoint aux Affaires sociales de la toute nouvelle Société des Nations (ONU). Laugier lui offrait le poste de directeur de la Division des droits de l’homme au sein de l’ONU. Humphrey a accepté et c’est à ce poste qu’il a rédigé la première ébauche de ce qui allait devenir la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme.

Exposition

Intitulée « John Peters Humphrey: Law, Human Rights, and Advocacy », la nouvelle exposition présentée au quatrième étage de la bibliothèque McLennan offre une expérience immersive au visiteur au milieu d’objets qui documentent l’influence qu’a eue John Peters Humphrey par son travail. L’exposition célèbre la vie d’Humphrey et la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme, qui aura 50 ans le 10 décembre 2018.

Le passage d’Humphrey à McGill comme étudiant et professeur est illustré par les albums souvenirs de la collection Old McGill, son matériel d’enseignant et ses cartes d’étudiant. Dans les journaux tenus alors qu’il était en poste à l’ONU, Humphrey révèle franchement son expérience de l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU et du processus d’adoption de la Déclaration.

« La Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme a été adoptée; mais le miracle que certains d’entre nous espéraient ne s’est pas produit. En effet, si aucun pays n’a voté contre la Déclaration, les États slaves, l’Afrique du Sud et l’Arabie saoudite se sont abstenus de voter. »

Une page du journal de John Humphrey datée du 11 décembre 1948. Source : Jacquelyn Sundberg

Son album de photos, son passeport et les prix qu’il a reçus sont tous présentés, avec quelques-uns des rapports rédigés au cours de sa mission au Vietnam en 1963 et son travail de représentation des esclaves sexuelles et des anciens combattants de Hong Kong. L’exposition offre également un aperçu de la vie privée d’Humphrey grâce à des photos et des lettres échangées avec ses proches.

Fonds John Peters Humphrey aux Archives de l’Université McGill

L’exposition « John Peters Humphrey: Law, Human Rights, and Advocacy » Source: Merika Ramundo

En 1988, John Humphrey a donné une partie de ses archives personnelles à l’Université McGill (MG 4127). Son épouse, la Dre Margaret Kunstler, et son exécuteur littéraire, John Hobbins, ont par la suite confié d’autres documents aux Archives. Le Fonds contient des documents ayant trait à la vie familiale et personnelle d’Humphrey, à ses activités à l’ONU et à son travail avec les ONG, ainsi que du matériel d’enseignement et de recherche, des discours et des séminaires, des photographies, des prix et des objets.

De nombreux autres fonds de particuliers, notamment des contemporains d’Humphrey comme Madeleine Parent (MG 4269), Paul-André Crépeau (MG 4271), Maxwell Cohen (MG 1026) et Tamar Oppenheimer (MG 4267), sont conservés aux Archives de l’Université McGill et mis à la disposition des chercheurs.

 

Memories of the Suez Canal / ذاكرة قناة السويس

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:57

Memories of the Suez Canal is an open archive co-curated by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and its International School of Information, the French “Archives Nationales du monde , and the “Association du Souvenir de Ferdinand de Lesseps et du Canal de Suez“.This digital collection makes available archival materials, published books, photographs ,maps, and videos documenting the architectural and technical challenges, as the political implications, and the social and human impact of building the canal between 1869 and 1956.

Documents in French and Arabic can be browsed using the top menu or searched via the search box available on each page. The definition of images is not exceptional but good enough to read.

The website in only in Arabic.

New Health and Wellness books in the Schulich Library

The Turret - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 11:51

We are receiving new and interesting books on health and wellness topics every day!

Here are a few examples (click on the image for more information):

   

               

The Wendy Patrick Health Information Collection is located on the main floor of the Schulich Library. We are displaying the new books as they arrive. Take a study break and visit the Schulich Library to browse the titles or visit this reading list to check out the full list of titles (and we’ll be adding more as the new books arrive!)

Al-Tafhim li Awa’il Sana’at al-Tanjim (The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology)

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 04/07/2018 - 18:15

Al-Tafhim li Awa’il Sana’at al-Tanjim (التفهيم لاوائل صناعة التنجيم) is a Persian book of instruction in the elements of the Art of Astrology written by a celebrated Iranian scientist Abu- Rayhan al-Biruni, in 440-362HD/ 973-1048 AD.  It is one of the oldest texts in Mathematics and Astrology and has had a deep scientific influence on the world since most Iranian and non-Iranian scientists have made use of this text in their scientific works and papers.

The global significance and values of this book made it to be recognized as an outstanding World Documented Heritage by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme and in 2011 its oldest existing manuscript in Persian was inscribed on UNESCO’s list of documented heritage. (More information and Nomination file about this manuscripts is accessible here)

The main purpose of Al-Tafhim li Awa’il Sana’at al- Tanjim is to introduce the principles of astrology. The book begins with geometry and arithmetic and continues with astronomy and chronology, moreover Biruni explains the use of the astrolabe for astronomical and astrological purposes. This book consists of 530 questions and answers in an understandable manner for new learners of science. Each new topic starts with a question posed by an imaginary student and ends in an answer by an invented professor. Biruni wrote this book responding to Reyhanah’s request – the daughter of Hussein/Hassan Khwarizmi in 420 HD/ 1029 AD.

What makes this book particularly precious and adds to its rarity is its scientific and linguistic significance, its physical specification and the time of its transcription – less than hundred years after author’s death.

From the linguistic point of view this self-study on Astrology is considered an important work in Persian language since Biruni used the most original and oldest terms and expressions of the Persian language regarding history, traditions and chronology of the Iranians in this book. Moreover Abu- Rayhan al- Biruni used some figures and drawings in order to explain difficult mathematical and astrological concepts in a simplified manner; both the figures and the script were written in bright red and black color.

This manuscript has been digitized by National Library and Archives of Iran and is available on DVD and can be accessed at Islamic Studies Library at McGill.

 

Winners Announced! Curious Hieroglyphick Valentine

Library Matters - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 14:53

The McGill Library is delighted to announce that we have not one but two winners of our Curious Hieroglyphick Valentine contest!

Both Rebecca Nicholson and Elaine Fernald succeeded in decoding the “Curious Hieroglyphick Valentine” from McGill’s uncatalogued collection of greeting cards. You can read their submissions below. Congrats!

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted…we loved reading the creative entries!

Printed some time in the mid-19th century, this clever Valentine’s rebus comes from McGill’s uncatalogued collection of greeting cards dating as far back as 1790, with many Victorian examples like this one. Valentine’s Day cards surged in popularity during the 19th century, with the spread of cheaper mass printing techniques and improvements to the postal systems in North America and the UK. Hieroglyphs, too, had captured the Victorian imagination since the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 and the deciphering of hieroglyphs in the 1820s.

Rebecca Nicholson

Fair is the morning the bird leaves its nest

And sings a salute to the dawn

The sun in full splendor, embroiders the east

And brightens the dew (den?) on the lawn

Tis Valentine’s day and my love I address

This letter can boast of a flame

So pure and so true I want words to express

But I ask you to give it a name

And while my dear love on this letter you gaze

Heave a sigh for a heart that is true

And believe that? it such warm affection conveys

As exists for no other but you

Elaine Fernald

Fair is the morning the bird leaves its nest And sings a salute to the dawn The sun in full splendor embroiders the east And brightens the dew on the lawn.

Tis Valentine’s day and my love I address This letter can boast of a flame So pure and so true I want words to express But I ask you to give it a name And while my dear love on this letter you gaze Heave a sigh for a heart that is true And believe that it such warm affection conveys As exists for no other but you.

A Tribute to Janet Blachford (1938 – 2018 )

Library Matters - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 10:51

By Ann Vroom, Chair,  Friends of the McGill Library

Photo: Bryan Demchinsky

McGill University, the Friends of the McGill Library and the greater Montreal community lost a special friend and guiding light this winter with the passing of Janet Savage Blachford on February 12th in Montreal from leukemia.

Novelist, literary activist, outdoorswoman, organizer, philanthropist, gardener, dedicated volunteer and joyous spirit, Janet was an inspiration to all she met and to all who knew her work.

Her effervescence, passion, generosity of spirit, intellectual curiosity and sense of humour infused and enhanced all that she did, whether for the Quebec Writers’ Federation, IPLAI (Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas), Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, The Garden Club, the Friends of the McGill Library or her novels. Her contributions were recognized by a broad public, but her tireless work and contributions behind the scenes were appreciated by a privileged few.

Janet believed deeply that the whole point of life was creation. She said that writing saved her and gave her life, especially in the last year through her illness, when she completed her second novel, Blue Lake.

The 2018 Spring Issue of the Montreal Review of Books recently published a review of Blue Lake.

At McGill, Janet was a uniquely dynamic volunteer, originally leading the Friends of the McGill Library as Chair, and eventually becoming one of the co-leaders of the current FIAT LUX Campaign to re-envision McGill’s Library for the 21st century. A combination of Janet’s enlightened vision for the Library, her willingness to lead by example in hosting events and her determination to cultivate key supporters made her a driving force in the success of this project to date. And so it will be Janet’s spirit, which will continue to move this initiative forward.

The Trenholme Dean of Libraries, Colleen Cook, was honoured to speak at Janet’s Celebration of Life ceremony on February 23rd. Her words express so well how much Janet will be missed by her family, friends and the McGill Community.

With the permission of Janet’s husband, John Blachford, we reprint her remarks below.

By Colleen Cook, Trenholme Dean of Libraries

Janet was a personal friend and friend extraordinaire of McGill University, particularly its Library.

Long before I started my term as Trenholme Dean of Libraries, the Blachford Family was honored as the Library’s Friend of the Year in 2003 for their outstanding contribution in creating the Margery Trenholme Chair in University Libraries. At the time of the award, Bernard Shapiro, then Principal at McGill said:

“John and Janet and their family shared Miss Trenholme’s understanding of the importance of libraries in any community. The library of Margery’s time compared to the library of today is a very different place but the core values remain the same: providing the best possible access to information for students and researchers.”

Friends of the Library members, Janet Blachford, Allan Hilton and Cecil Rabinovitch

Janet joined the Friends soon after, and under her leadership, the Friends were able to attract leading writers, jurists, and social commentators to McGill as lecturers for the Friends of the Library. Janet was named Friend of the Year in 2009 following her chairmanship of the Friends.

The stories I would like to tell today live in between the lines of these wonderful accomplishments. With the assistance of Ann Vroom, the current Chair of the Friends of the McGill Library, who could not be here with us today, I am very happy to share with all of you a few favourite memories I have of Janet.

The first is personal and so typical of Janet. In December, when I had a small personal hiccough in my life…my condo building burned down….I received the following words from Janet in an email:

“Some random events are just plain mean and miserable, and that fire is one of them….These twists and turns demand nimble footsteps, in and out of the radar, and I know you have that ability to see, accept, create patience, and finally to fling it all over your shoulder and get on with whatever comes next. I’ve admired your technique for years and think it should be patented.”

I mean really…..what else is there to say? What a way with words! As a matter of fact, when I had to enter my rather soggy and frozen condo to retrieve a few things that bitter Montreal night, I took out only one book, Janet’s Blue Lake. I hadn’t finished reading it yet! And I didn’t want to miss any of her words…..

A second little story is emblematic of her passion for libraries….

As a student at McGill, Janet enjoyed taking in art on campus including the iconic sculpture of the dancing trio of Muses known affectionately as the Three Bares. Little could she have known that one day she would be associated with what in certain Library and fundraising circles would be affectionately and admiringly known as the “Three Furies”. Along with her dear friends Ann Vroom and Cecil Rabinovitch, this triumvirate came to symbolize all that was worthy of volunteerism to move forward the project to reimagine our Library for the 21st century.

Janet was the moving force that kept the dance in perpetual motion. Vision, dedication and passion could be the new names for the muses. And Janet emphatically had all three with a serious dose of effervescence added to the mix. FIAT LUX, Latin for Let There Be Light, is a wish, a challenge and a gift of knowledge, research, collaboration and sharing. Ponder these words. Janet had a keen intellect and a thirst for knowledge; her love of research shone like a beacon in the fluid style of her prose; her collaboration can be attested to by the countless  organizations who have benefitted so much from her involvement; and sharing.

Look around you – who here is not the richer for having shared in her life?

Janet brought light to us all. She helped us to see what perhaps we had never seen and to rediscover what perhaps we had lost or forgotten. Her light will live on. Her lust for life will be her legacy. What a role model. What a friend.

Losing Janet is like losing one of the greatest pine trees at Blue Lake. As it crashes to the ground, it leaves a gaping hole in the canopy of the forest. But with that loss comes rebirth as new trees grow in the sun. Thank you Janet for your sunlight. – a tribute from a Friend of the McGill Library

“Janet Savage Blachford: This is not a sad story” by Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette, February 12, 2018

Obituary: Montreal author Janet Blachford raced against time to finish novel, Montreal Gazette, Febraury 13, 2018

New Arrivals at the Islamic Studies Library – March 2018

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 03/30/2018 - 11:56

Throughout the year the Islamic Studies Library acquires numerous resources, books and journals (print and electronic formats),  all of which contribute to the depth of the collection.

Here we highlight just two works recently received.

Nicolai Sinai. The Qur’an: a historical-critical introduction
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.

Originally published in German (Der Koran: Eine Einführung Stuttgart: Reclam, 2017), Nicolai Sinai’s 2017 English translation now grants access to a wider audience interested in a critical academic introduction to the Qur’an. At 242 pages, the work offers a concise introduction to the “basic methods and current state of historical-critical Qur’anic scholarship”. The author surveys the historical background by briefly introducing basic features of the Qur’an along with Muhammad and the milieu of the time, before moving to Part Two to discuss critical methodology. While Part Two deals with literary coherence, inner Qur’anic chronology and the broader intertextuality of Jewish and Christian contributions, Sinai completes his analysis in application to selected themes found in the Meccan and Medina Surahs. The absence of a concluding chapter to summarise his work does not negate the value of his contributions. If you are interested in academic Qur’anic studies, then Sinai’s book is a must read.

The Islamic Studies Library holds a wide range of works related to Qur’anic studies in a number of languages. The collection is accessible to the public.

 

Francisco del Río Sánchez. Arabic manuscripts in the Maronite Library of Aleppo (Syria) Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona Edicions, 2017

 

Offered as the third of three volumes, all of which detail the manuscript holdings in the Maronite Library of Aleppo, this last volume completes the catalogue inventory (more than 1640 items). The first two volumes respectively catalogued manuscripts in Syriac and Karshuni (Arabic using the Syriac alphabet) with the final volume devoted to Arabic manuscripts. This latest volumes covers 1596 Arabic manuscripts, along with 50 images and includes an index for all three volumes (manuscripts in Arabic, Latin Script, Greek, Syriac and Karshuni). Aside from ecclesiastical works such as Biblical texts, theology, history and philosophy, the collection also contains works from Muslim authors which reflect the needs and interests of the local community between the 16th and 18th centuries and beyond.

The Islamic Studies Library houses numerous catalogues of manuscripts in a variety of Islamic languages. Manuscripts that are held at McGill can be found at Rare Books and Special Collections on the fourth floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences library.

 

Welcoming new Librarians

The Turret - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 11:08

The Schulcih Library is excited to welcome not one, not two, but THREE new librarians to our ranks!

From left: Lucy, Nu Ree, Andrea

First, we have Nu Ree Lee. Nu Ree comes to us from Purdue University in Indiana where she was a research data management librarian. Nu Ree is the new librarian for Bioengineering, Biomedical engineering, Chemical engineering, Mining and Materials engineering, and Earth and Planetary Sciences (whew, so many). If she is your subject librarian, you can reach Nu Ree at nuree.lee@mcgill.ca

In addition to being an awesome librarian, Nu Ree has a King Charles Spaniel/Bichon mix dog named Chopin, is originally from Toronto, and recently took up kickboxing.

Next, we have Lucy Kiester. Lucy has moved here from Dalhousie University in Halifax where she worked in the Health Sciences library with Nursing and Dentistry. She is the new Undergraduate Medical Education Librarian (only 800 students!) and can be reached at lucy.kiester@mcgill.ca.

Lucy hails from a very small town in the Pacific Northwest, loves to salsa dance, and admits to watching a stunning number of videos on Youtube.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Andrea Quaiattini. Andrea comes to us from the University of Alberta where she worked all over their Health and Sciences libraries. She is the new liaison for Graduate Medicine, Medical Education, and many of the Medical Specialties. To reach Andrea email andrea.quaiattini@mcgill.ca.

Andrea is originally from Calgary, loves a good walk in the mountains, and proudly admits to knowing far too much (or exactly the right amount) about Monty Python.

All three of these librarians are very excited to be joining the team of librarians at Schulich and are looking forward to making connections with their students and faculty! Send an email to say hello, ask for a consult, or get other library support.

As ever, if you are unsure of who your subject librarian is, feel free to send an email with your question or topic of research to schulich.library@mcgill.ca, and we will be sure to direct your email to the correct librarian.

New Exhibition: If Walls Could Speak: the History of Morrice Hall

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 03/23/2018 - 08:03

If Morrice Hall’s walls could speak, you would hear the story of faculty and students of the Presbyterian College of Montreal, of wounded soldiers returning from war overseas, and of members of the International Labour Organization seeking a safe space to work during war-time.

Morrice Hall interior during International Labour Organization occupation (1940)

Today home to McGill’s Islamic Studies Library, the Institute of Islamic Studies, and the English department’s Tuesday Night Cafe Theatre, Morrice Hall was built in 1882, as a home for the Presbyterian College. Named in honour of David Morrice, then-Chairman of the College’s Board of Management and generous donator of $80,000, Morrice Hall was an extension to the original College building, itself built in 1873.

Drawing of Morrice Hall – Presbyterian College Journal, vol. 5, no. 3 (1885), p. 86

Presenting a mixture of photos, publications, plans, and maps spanning 135 years, If Walls Could Speak will take you through the major moments in the history of Morrice Hall: from its foundation, to expansion, to the interruptions of war, to the demolition of the original building and the renovations that created the space we know in 2018.

Curated by Islamic Studies Library’ staff -Ghazaleh Ghanavizchian, Jillian Mills, Anaïs Salamon-, this exhibit offers a unique experience making materials discoverable simultaneously in a physical display and on a touch table.

Touch Table Exhibit capture (2018) – credit: Greg Houston

Title: If walls could speak: the History of Morrice Hall
Dates: February 19, 2018-July 15, 2018, during opening hours
Location: Islamic Studies Library, 1st floor of Morrice Hall

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