Friends of the Library

Branching out! Seed Library grows in year two

Library Matters - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 13:47

By Dana Ingalls, Liaison Librarian, Macdonald Campus Library

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

It may be snowing, but spring is just around the corner, and the Macdonald Campus Seed Library is ready to help you get your garden started! Offering gardening resources and more than 200 varieties of flowers, herbs, and vegetable seeds (70+ more varieties than last year!), the Macdonald Campus Seed Library is free and open to all members of the McGill community (i.e. students, faculty, staff, alumni).

Launched in 2017, the Macdonald Campus Seed Library is the first academic seed library of its kind in Quebec and third in Canada. Credit: Lauren Goldman

Register in person at the Macdonald Campus Library, or online. Check out our gardening resources, browse our seed catalogue, and if you don’t have time to come to the library, you can request seeds using our online borrowing system and have your seeds sent to the McGill library branch of your choice.

A special thank you goes out to our seed donors West Coast Seed Company, Salt Spring Seeds, Wildrose Heritage Seed Company, Incredible Seeds, Urban Harvest, and Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol.

If you have any questions, please contact Dana Ingalls at Happy gardening!

From the seed library to Dana’s garden! Three Sisters planting with Painted Mountain corn, Canada Crookneck squash, and Purple Podded pole beans, all native North American heirloom varieties. Credit: Dana Ingalls

New “Well-being Collection” at the Law Library

Law Library Blog - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 15:49

In 2016, we started a “de-stress zone” at the Law Library, where we provide puzzles for students to help them relax. This initiative has been very successful with a great majority of our students. A few weeks ago, we received a suggestion by some law students to add some reading material to this area: “to read things other than cases and doctrine”.

With this in mind, we decided to offer a small collection of titles that students can use to balance their school/well-being life. Books on time management, cooking for college students, copying with stress and tools for succeeding at Law School are now available. Take a look at this new section on the main floor, next to the puzzle corner. All the books are on regular loan so take advantage of it, and check out a book to relax a bit.

Sanduq el-Dunia

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 17:35

Sanduq el- Dunia is a gateway about Cairo where its future and its historical development to be debated, discussed and dreamed about; where the art technology revived different layers of the city’s history, memory, and heritage; this gateway gives an exceptional experience at Cairo’s history by digitally navigating its past.
Sanduq el- Dunia’s enables users to preview and explore the existing database of images, as well as to contribute to the database by uploading their images.
This project is being executed on two platforms, the first one is the website that acts as an interactive platform with a mini cityscape. The second platform – mini Sanduq el- Dunia presents an interactive preview wall on a 75” touchscreen.

The way that Sanduq el Dunia chose to approach the history and culture of the city is influenced by an award-winning project the “Wall/ Næggen” executed by the Museum of Copenhagen with Gibson Group.

Below watch Sanduq el- Dunia project in Copenhagen:

Sanduq el- Dunia’s mission is “- To create an interactive, innovative and multidimensional public platform that reflects the cultural and natural diversity of Cairo, its inhabitants, and their living memory.
– To celebrate and highlight the immense and diverse riches in archaeology, architecture, arts, culture and social-political movements present in Cairo, amongst others.
– To build strong networks among all stakeholders (governmental, cultural institutions, civil society organizations, businesses, educational institutions, artists, Galleries) and democratize the production of and access to collective memory, history, and knowledge.”


Raseef 22 / رصيف 22

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 08:33

Raseef 22 [Sidewalk 22 (as the number of countries in the Arab League)] is a collaborative information platform that emerged in the spirit of the Arab revolutions started in 2011. Officially launched in Lebanon in August 2013, Raseef 22 offers independant and critical news and views on social, political and cultural movements active in the Arab world. In addition to journalists, writers and artists contributing articles, the platform is maintained and its content curated by an editorial board of fifteen people.

The website is bilingual, English and Arabic, however at the time of our visit, there was much more content available in Arabic than in English. One certainly hopes this something that will be developped in the future.

Navigating Raseef 22 is very easy, thanks to a single top menu highlighting categories of publications: Life, Politics, Culture, Economy, Blog and Videos. Users can also subscribe to receive a weekly selection of topics, and follow Raseef22 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Last, people eager to contribute can submit theit articles (in .docx format) directly from the Contribute page.

Find your cause | McGill24 2018

Library Matters - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00

Find your cause

McGill24, the university’s annual day of giving, will have its 3rd installment on March 14th 2018.

We see it as an opportunity for McGill community members to dedicate themselves to a cause that resonates with them.

For many, that cause is the Library.

The impact of giving to the Library

Gifts to the Library have an immediate impact, providing students with the tools they need to nurture their curiosity, achieve academic success and go on to fulfilling careers. The following are just a few of the many things made possible through recent donations.

The Library of the future

With Fiat Lux, the Library is looking to the future and to a building project that would answer the concerns of the McGill community, providing a world-class teaching and learning centre technologically equipped for the 21st century.

Be the change

Many students, faculty and researchers call the McGill Library their “home away from home”.

On March 14th, let’s come together with the common goal of ensuring that this “home” offers them inspirational collections, cutting-edge facilities and services that respond to their individual and changing needs.

Get involved by visiting our Giving Page.

Join McGill’s social media Thunderclap by clicking here.

#McGill24 #McGillProud


The Mossman Lecture: A History

Library Matters - Mon, 02/26/2018 - 15:47

Dr. Donald Mossman

A scientific mind

Raising awareness about scientific thought was a passion of Dr. Donald Mossman’s. He was a chemist and McGill University alumni who continues to impact students and researchers with a Library collection and a lecture series, both named in his honour.

A scientific legacy

The Mossman Collection on the History of Science and of Ideas focuses on topics such as the sociology of science. It was initially the personal library of Dr. Mossman and his wife, Dr. Dorothea Mossman. They donated it to McGill in 1974 and established an endowment to support its continued development. It’s now housed in the Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering.

With this endowment and a later bequest, Dr. Mossman also established two named lectures in the History of Science and Ideas in honour of his two great friends, also McGillians, Elizabeth B. McNab and D. Lorne Gales.

Elizabeth B. McNab (B.A. 1941) had a distinguished career, becoming the first woman to hold the position of Director of Annual Giving at a Canadian University and, later, the first woman to become head of University Development at McGill. Her association with McGill spanned 40 years until her death in 2006.

D. Lorne Gales (B.A. 1932, B.C.L. 1935, LL.D. 1979), was the founder of the McGill Development Office and a member of the original McGill University Rowing Club. He too was deeply involved with McGill for over 63 years, from his student athlete days through his role as General Secretary of the Graduates’ Society.

A timely discussion of climate (in)action

True to Dr. Mossman’s mission of raising pertinent scientific questions, the 2018 D. Lorne Gales Lecture will address climate change.

Why is Climate Action So Hard? will be presented by Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University on March 22, 2018 at 6:00pm in McGill’s Otto Maass Chemistry Building, Room 112.

Click here for more info.

Digital Library of the Middle East

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 02/24/2018 - 17:30

DLME is a response to the current threats in the form of destruction, looting and illegal trade to the cultural heritage of the Middle East.

The digital Library of the Middle East aims to federate different types of cultural heritage material consisting of archives, manuscripts, museum objects, media and archeological and intangible heritage collections. The DLME implements international cultural preservation goals by providing accessibility and urging documentation and digitization; contributing to security and sustainability by encouraging inventory creation, cataloguing, documentation and digitization of collections as well as forming a community of interest that seeks collaboration among people, organization and countries who value this heritage; which in returns can help mitigate looting and the illegal resale of heritage materials.

The digital platform of the DLME brings together digital records of accessible artifacts ranging across twelve millennia. It provides metadata for each objects that describes various aspects of the artifact or document, it might include its contested meaning or significance, its history and its provenance when available. This platform is searchable, also the collection is classified based on different criteria such as Language, type, date, creator, medium and etc.The Digital Library of the Middle East is continuously developing and progressing through scholarly inputs, crowd-sourcing and new knowledge discovered through its use.

The Zoological Society of Montreal to the Rescue

Rare Books and Special Collections blog - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:04

By Anna Hayward, McGill School of Information Studies

David and Bess, flying from their home at the palace of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa, moved to Montreal at only 4 months old. Like many in 1967, they came for the excitement that Montreal’s Expo ’67 promised. But unlike many Expo goers, David and Bess were lion cubs.

David and Bess. Photo by Miss Claire Vanier, found in the Society’s journal The Lynx (Vol. 1, No. 4 Summer 1967).

The royal cubs were flown in as part of the Ethiopian Pavilion. From their arrival, the Zoological Society of Montreal’s general manager and founding father, Gerald T. Iles, was heavily involved in their care and welfare. In fact, he visited the two cubs almost every day in the summer of 1967, protecting them from malevolent maintenance workers who he said tormented and threw cigarette butts at the felines.

The wild animals seem to have had a real affection for Mr. Iles. As he wrote in the Society’s journal The Lynx in 1967 “I tried [giving them] vanilla ice cream. This was much appreciated. After finishing the treat David would often give me a lick up my face which was hard to take. In time Bess would also show her appreciation in the same way.”

He quickly decided that live animals should never have been brought to Expo ’67, but all the same he tried to keep them happy and healthy. The latter pursuit was no easy task – from their arrival, the lions were plagued with infections, abscesses, and illness. Mr. Iles spent a considerable amount of time with the lions on his lap, driving them back and forth between the Zoological Society’s veterinarian and the pavilion.

Gerald Iles shows David and Bess a Mirror. Photo by Mary Burns, found in the Society’s journal The Lynx (Vol 3, No. 2 December 1974).

As the summer ended, and the Zoological Society had written several angry letters about the treatment of David and Bess to all parties involved in their immigration to Canada, the Society was ready to put up a fight to adopt the lions. But no fight was necessary, it took only one letter to convince the City of Montreal to relinquish their ownership of the cubs, a further tribute to the city’s lack of interest in the lions’ well-being. As winter set in, a generous member of the Society offered to house the lions at McGill’s Macdonald campus.

What happened to Bess and David after that is unclear but what is clear is the kind and charitable nature of the Zoological Society of Montreal. Throughout its 52 year existence, the goal to protect the wildlife of Canada, or any foreign wildlife visitors, was the Society’s driving mission. Founded in 1964, the Zoological Society of Montreal brought attention to conservation issues through field trips, guest speakers, and large projects, including their own endangered species pavilion at the post-Expo exhibit Man and His World in 1975. The Society also contributed to other conservation initiatives through benevolent donations, animal adoptions, and support.

We are currently processing the archives of the Zoological Society of Montreal to provide access to these rich records to our research community (MSG 1164). We would like to thank the Zoological Society of Montreal for donating their papers and supporting the processing.

To see the lion cubs in action, click here (see 00:32-01:32 mark).



New Publication: The Dialectical Forge, by Dr. Walter Edward Young

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:00

The Dialectical Forge: Juridical disputation and the evolution of Islamic law, published in 2017, is the first monograph of Dr. Walter Young (although he has a number of other works in preparation, see below), graduate of the Institute of Islamic Studies. This book is a revised version of Dr. Young’s 2012 Ph.D. thesis, supervised by Prof. Robert Wisnovsky and Prof. Wael Hallaq, and is the 9th volume in Springer’s “Logic, argumentation & reasoning” series.

We had the occasion to ask the author a few questions regarding his monograph in a short email interview:

JM: This is a revised version of your Ph.D. thesis? What aspects have changed between the two versions?

: Yes, significantly revised. Among other revisions: 

  1. It is a single volume—the dissertation’s second volume (the translation of the Ikhtilāf al-ʿIrāqiyyīn /al-ʿIrāqiyyayn) has been mostly excised;
  2. The focus throughout is maintained almost solely on juridical dialectic (no treatment of theological or philosophical dialectic, apart from Aristotle);
  3. The case studies have been expanded and all now appear with full prose analyses;
  4. A new section detailing Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī’s theory of qiyās has been appended.

JM: What can you tell us about this book?

WY: The real aim of the book is to bring juridical dialectic into the limelight as a key dynamic in the shaping not only of substantive rulings (fiqh, furūʿ), but of legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) and dialectical theory (jadal/munāẓara) itself.

In fact, in my view, and I believe it is supported by mountains of evidence and obvious to most who consider it, the exigencies of dialectical disputation left their marks on all Islamicate intellectual projects whose scholars engaged in it. The study of the theory and practice of Islamicate dialectics should, in my view, provide essential concepts and tools for exploring, analyzing, and comprehending all such Islamic sciences which may in any way be qualified as “argumentative” (i.e., pretty much everything). It should therefore be a thriving discipline, but remains understudied—in fact practically unknown in the larger field of Islamic Studies (despite some excellent contributions in the last four decades). So a key aim of the Dialectical Forge (and pretty much all of my work) is to promote the study of Islamic dialectics, and to try to get scholars excited about it and involved in it. One way to do this, I think, is by showcasing the high level of sophistication attained by dialecticians (practitioners and theoreticians), by publishing and analyzing both the theory literature and example/historical disputations.

In this spirit of inspiring scholars to be excited about and involved in the study of Islamicate dialectics, Dr. Young has created an impressive website: the Society for the Study of Islamicate Dialectical Disputation (SSIDD). This site hosts information and resources on the study of Islamicate dialectical theories, practices and contexts, as well as a discussion forum for scholars to share ideas and sources.

JM: What drew you to this area of research?

WY: Two key factors—via the work of two esteemed advisors, mentors, and friends—drew me to the study of Islamicate dialectical disputation in general, and juristic dialectics in particular:

  1. A brilliant (and for me, career-changing) class on Islamic dialectical theory (especially the ādāb al-baḥth) conducted by Rob Wisnovsky;
  2. The teachings and publications of Wael Hallaq in the areas of legal and dialectical theory.

And I was very privileged to have both Prof. Wisnovsky and Prof. Hallaq as advisors to my dissertation.

We wish to congratulate Dr. Young on his monograph, and thank him kindly for his comments!

Other publications by Dr. Walter Edward Young


  • “Mulāzama in Action in the Early Ādāb al-Baḥth;” Oriens 44.3-4 (2016) [special issue: Major Issues and Controversies of Arabic Logic], pp. 332-385.

Forthcoming or in preparation:

  • (critical edition and translation) On the Protocol for Dialectical Inquiry (Ādāb al-Baḥth): A Critical Edition and Parallel Translation of the Sharḥ al-Risāla al-Samarqandiyya by Quṭb al-Dīn al-Kīlānī (fl. ca. 830/1427), Prefaced by a Critical Edition and Parallel Translation of its Grundtext: the Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth by Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d.722/1322); Brill (Islamicate Intellectual History) [planned submission Winter 2018]
  • (critical edition and study) Scholarly Contexts of the Early Ādāb al-Baḥth: An Intellectual Prosopography Drawn from the Margins of Quṭb al-Dīn al-Kīlānī’s Sharḥ al-Risāla al-Samarqandiyya, with Critical Editions of its Common Glosses; Brill (Islamicate Intellectual History) [planned submission Summer 2018]
  • (monograph) The Jadal Primer: An Introduction to Classical Sunnī Juridical Dialectic [in preparation, pending funding]
  • (article) “Al-Samarqandī’s Third Mas’ala: Juridical Dialectic Governed by the Ādāb al-Baḥth;” Oriens (Spring 2018; special issue: Uṣūl and Falsafa in Post-Classical Islamic Scholarship)
  • (article) “Have You Considered (A-ra’ayta)? Don’t You See/Opine (A-lā Tarā)? A Working Typology of Ra’ā Formulae in Early Islamic Juridical Disputation;” in Y. Papadogiannakis and B. Roggema, eds., Patterns of Argumentation and Exchange of Ideas in Late Antiquity and Early Islam; Routledge (Centre for Hellenic Studies)

The Dialectal Forge is available through McGill Libraries, as well as through and Springer.

Mobilizing McGill at the Library: Crowdsourcing Social Justice

Library Matters - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 09:12

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. – United Nations, World Day of Social Justice website

Did you know that 91% of worldwide Wikipedia editors are male? That only 17% of Wikipedia biographies are about women? Let’s change that at the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon for Gender Equality on Feb. 20. Photo of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, March 2016. Credit: Lauren Goldman

At its core, the “Library” is directly connected to the tenets outlined in the above quote. It’s a place where people can have access to resources and services in an equitable way. Privacy, confidentiality, and intellectual freedom is upheld. Censorship is fought against. In many ways, libraries play a key role in empowering their communities in knowledge building and sharing, so it should come as no surprise that librarians here at McGill Library are mobilizing the campus community in order to make change.

Call for action

On February 20th, United Nations World Day for Social Justice, librarians Michael Groenendyk, Marcela Isuster, and Emily Kingsland in collaboration with the Office for Students with Disabilities invite you to help break down barriers to information in different ways. The full day event at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library gives participants the opportunity to learn more about a specific topic related to human rights (i.e. universal design, gender equity, LGBTQ+ issues, etc.), research techniques, open data, and digital platforms (i.e. Scalar, Wikipedia, ArcGIS Online) while adding reliable information to the internet for all to access through crowdsourcing.

During the Quebec Healthcare Access Map-a-thon, participants will learn how public data sources can be used with mapping software (ArcGIS Online) to visualize issues related to health accessibility.

Marcela elaborates, “We have been working with many of these tools for a long time and had been discussing their value as storytelling devices. When we heard about United Nations’ World Day of Social Justice we felt it was a great way to show the McGill community the power these tools can have beyond the academic world. It also aligns with our belief that the library has a pivotal role in fostering and promoting inclusion and social justice. We are very lucky to have access to all this information and technology and what better way to give back and be engaged citizens than by using our access to promote access for all?”

Crowdsourcing Social Justice | Tuesday, February 20 | 10am to 5:30pm| Humanities & Social Sciences Library | Redpath Library Building, Main Floor | Research Commons, Rm A | The event is open to the McGill students, faculty, staff and alumni.

For more information or to register for sessions, click here.


Contest! Decode This Curious Hieroglyphick Valentine

Library Matters - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 14:51

By: Anna Dysert, Librarian, Archival & Rare Book Cataloguing

Decode the image below for a sweet Valentine’s Day message and win a prize!

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.

Help us unlock the answers and you could win some goodies including a McGill travel mug and book!

Email your entry to

Deadline for submission is Wednesday, February 28.

Look out for the answers in an upcoming blog post and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Syrian Print Archive

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:38

Remembering H. Rocke Robertson (1912-1998)

De re medica - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 23:45
H. Rocke Robertson was a distinguished surgeon and the first McGill graduate to become Principal and Vice Chancellor of McGill University. An enthusiastic supporter of the Osler Library, Dr. Robertson was an instrumental force behind the Osler Library’s move from … Continue reading →

Visualizing Palestine

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 13:31

Launched in 2012, Visualizing Palestine is the first project of Visualizing Impact (VI), an independent, non-profit “laboratory for innovation” (…) aiming at: “breaking new grounds in socially aware data science, technology, and design” and “mainstreaming marginalized perspectives on critical social issues.”

Visualizing Palestine publishes data-driven visual tools, in Arabic and English, providing context and analysis to mainstream coverage of news related to Palestine. The multidisciplinary team (scholars, designers, technologists, and communications specialists) collaborates with both individuals (civil society actors, advisors) and organizations to support their impact in advocating for justice and equality. In addition, their by-weekly infographics are heavily used for teaching in higher education, and exhibitions. Last, Visualizing Palestine regularly facilitates storytelling workshops (in Beirut, Lebanon), and can provide student groups with a VP Toolkit to help raise awareness on campus.

Visualizing Palestine is co-funded by individual benefactors, grants and sponsors, as well as by crowdfunding efforts.

Colour our rare and special collections!

Rare Books and Special Collections blog - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:56

Join us in a social media colouring fest! McGill Library, along with hundreds of our friends at libraries, museums, and cultural institutions around the world, has turned our collections into colouring books. This year, we’ve included material from the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, the Marvin Duchow Music Library, and Rare Books and Special Collections. You can participate by downloading our colouring book and sharing your finished work to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and tagging us (#McGillLib or #McGillRarebooks or #OslerLibrary) as well as #ColorOurCollections.

Bellin, J.N. (1744). Plan de la Nouvelle Orléans. | G4014 N5 1744 B44 | Lande Canadiana Maps | Rare Books and Special Collections

This fun initiative was launched by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016. We are proud to participate for a third year in a row. Check out our past offerings for more great images from 2017 and 2016.

-Posted on behalf of the team: Jennifer Garland, Lauren Goldman, Greg Houston, Sarah Severson, and Mary Yearl.



Ganjoor, collection of Persian literary works

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 02/03/2018 - 13:25

Ganjoor is an online open access collection of Persian literature. This collection provides access to a diverse and extensive collection of the literary works of Persian poets. Ganjoor is the result of a collective effort whose purpose is to gather thousands of treasures from classical and modern Persian literature and to provide free access to this valuable collection. All the provided information in this website is in Persian.

In addition to the main collection, Ganjoor offers several other interesting features such as: Library, Statistics, Music Index, Random line of poetry, and more.

Lists of poets and their literary works are available in the Library, and Statistics sections.

The Music Index section lists poems that were used in different musical compositions or songs. In this section, the list of poems is categorized according to the artist or band’s name.

Ganjoor is even accessible on Facebook, where you can listen to famous poems read by native Persian speakers!

A Bali-inspired Musical Suggestion

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 16:00

On this sunny Friday afternoon, we would like to offer you a musical suggestion for your listening pleasure: Colin McPhee’s Balinese Ceremonial Music for Two Pianos

Colin McPhee was a Canadian composer, pianist, writer and ethnomusicologist born in Montreal in 1900. He spent several years, from 1931-1938, in Indonesia, mostly Bali and Java studying the art and music from these regions; the tones and rhythms of gamelan ensembles inevitably influenced many of his compositions. McPhee wrote a number of books on his experience in Indonesia, including the hefty Music in Bali: A study in form and instrumental organization in Balinese orchestral music.

In this YouTube recording, Colin McPhee performs his piece on piano accompanied by the renowned British composer, Benjamin Britten. Another recording of this piece, as well as other compositions by McPhee, is available through McGill Libraries on CD, and by online streaming: Tabuh-Tabuhun and Symphony No.2, Balinese Ceremonial Music.

Balinese gamelan instruments, from

You can read more on the music of Southeast Asia in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, v.4, and on Colin McPhee here, or on these sites:

And for books on gamelan, music and ensembles, see here. For information on l’Université de Montréal’s Gamelan ensemble, Giri Kedaton:


3D Printer Saves Button Maker: A Love Story

Library Matters - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 16:09

By Merika Ramundo, Communications Officer, McGill Library

Working in communications at the Library, I am often challenged by tasks that tap into the “other duties as required” part of my job. Most recently, I was faced with finding a replacement part for one of our button makers. Since our button makers travel from branch to branch for different events, it’s only normal that they have succumbed to some wear and tear. In this case, one of the machines was missing a tiny steel pin needed to align the machine’s sliding component. Without this tiny pin, the machine doesn’t work properly – it makes “wonky” looking buttons.

The “Socket Hd Cap Screw” (right) a colleague sourced for me didn’t match up with the button maker pin.

Strike 1, 2, 3…

So I called the supplier and they told me that they do not supply additional parts and that I needed to buy a new machine if I wanted a new pin. I then called a button maker manufacturer out of Canada who proceeded to tell me that if I didn’t buy the machine from them, they could not supply me with the replacement part.  I combed hardware stores across the city for this tiny, little pin to no avail. One of my colleagues even tried to find something comparable at a specialty store in his neck of the woods but nothing worked.

Eureka moment

The first week back from the holidays, I noticed that some 3D printing workshops were coming up here at the Library. One workshop, scheduled for this Thursday, titled Introduction to CAD design for 3D printing caught my attention because it focuses on replacing household items. That’s when it hit me – maybe a 3D printer could be used to replicate the part. I asked my colleague responsible for our 3D printers, Michael Groenendyk, if printing a pin would be possible and without hesitation, he and Sterling, our 3D printing peer tutor, took on the job.

The 3D printed pin (right) is almost a perfect match.

Great success! Sterling was able to take measurements of the steel pin, design a model, and duplicate it without a problem, and in record time. The 3D pin fits perfectly and the machine is back in business.

So the next time you need a bottle opener or outlet protector, you may want to consider our 3D printing service. I did and it saved me some time, a little bit of money and lots of headaches.

Thanks again to Michael and Sterling for their help!

For a short video on how the pins work together, check out the video below.

Majallat al-Adab Archives

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 13:24

The literary and cultural journal al-Adab was founded in 1953 by the famous Lebanese novelist, short-stories writer, journalist and translator Suhayl Idris (1925-2008). A monthly periodical, Majallat al-Adab is still considered one of the leading literary journals.Since 2015, al-Adab has been published electronically. But back issues (1953-2012) are now also available online, on the al-Adab Archives website. Issues can be browsed by date of publication, and articles can be individually downloaded and saved as PDF, or printed.

Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:30

The Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative (MEPPI), a strategic multi-year program, launched in 2009 aiming to raise awareness about the value and importance of preservation of the region’s photographic heritage. Since then, it developed into a multi-faceted initiative expanding over research and capacity building objectives.

The Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative consist of 3 parts:

  • MEPPI courses
    Since the beginning of this program, three introductory photograph preservation courses have been held to train collection personnel in the region. Up until now, more than 60 professionals from institutional and private collections in the Middle East benefited from the training. Topics covered are as follow: an overview of the technical history of photography and photographic processes; an introduction to the history of photography; digitization fundamentals; emergency preparedness and response; preservation planning and the care, handling and storage of photographic materials
  • MEPPI survey
    The MEPPI survey focus is on identifying signification photograph collection in the Middle East and North Africa in order to develop an online directory of collections
  • MEPPI Symposium
    Between 2015 and 2017, MEPPI focused on the long-term preservation of photographs in the Middle East. Intensive workshops, and a symposium were held in 2017 on the photographic legacy of the Middle East and North Africa.