Exhibits and lectures

Recent events: Osler Day Activities 2022

Medical Student Research Symposium

The Library’s reopening events began with a celebration of student work on Tuesday 1 November: the Medical student research symposium, featured participants in the Del Maestro Family William Osler Medical Student Essay Awards and recipients of the Molina Foundation Medical Student Osler Library Research Awards. Learn about humanities research conducted by McGill Medical Students! The essay presentations were one factor in determining this year’s award winners.

Watch the medical student research presentations here:

Del Maestro Family William Osler Medical Student Essay Awards contestants:

  • Yoel Yakobi (first place), "Concessions, Coercions, and Coveted Conversions: Papal Injunctions against Jewish Physicians in the Renaissance."
  • Alba Sanchez-Allakhverdieva (second place), "Beyond the Origins of the Institute Philippe-Pinel: Exploring the Relationship between Forensic Psychiatry and the Deinstitutionalization Movement in Quebec."
  • Devon Haseltine (third place - tie), “Optimizing Global Food Security for a Sustainable and Healthy Tomorrow.”
  • Rushali Gandhi (third place - tie), “On the Presence of Unaccounted Bias: The Saga of Samuel George Morton’s Skull Collection and Race.”

Molina Foundation Medical Student Osler Library Research Award recipients:

  • Saman Arfaie, “Leonardo da Vinci's Medical Library: Mining the Secrets of Genius, and Creativity.”
  • Ali Fazlollahi, “Passing the Torch: Education During the Golden Age of Neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute.”


45th Annual Osler Lectureship: Policing The Womb In the Wake of the American Judiciary with Michele Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, UCI


Our colleagues in the Department of Social Studies of Medicine hosted the annual Osler Lectureship: Professor Michele Goodwin, “Policing The Womb In the Wake of the American Judiciary.” Professor Goodwin addressed the rising tensions involving reproductive freedom in the United States. Starting with the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, she exposed the errors in the decision and ultimately the opportunistic reading of American history by the Court’s majority. She turned to the current state of affairs in American reproductive health, including girls and women fleeing their home states to make it to safety or sanctuary states, but also how those efforts are being targeted and potentially criminalized. Professor Goodwin concluded by pointing out what’s next to ensure reproductive freedom for all persons.

Watch the lecture here:

Professor Joseph W. Lella Symposium


On Thursday 3 November, the Professor Joseph W. Lella Symposium featured a plenary lecture by McGill’s Trenholm Dean of Libraries, Dr. Guylaine Beaudry.

Watch the symposium here:

  • Professor Margaret Lock, “Musings on Joseph Lella: Colleague and Friend.”
  • Professor Bernard Brais (recorded video), “Remembering Joseph Lella as Sir William Osler: A Student’s Recollection.”
  • Brendan Ross, “A Journey through Medical School with the Osler Library as Companion.”
  • Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, “The Osler Gift, the Beginning: Deed, Wills and Memorandums.”
  • Jeremy Norman, “The Organization of the Bibliotheca Osleriana Catalogue & its Influence.”
  • Dr. Guylaine Beaudry, “Fiat Lux at McGill: Integrating Traditional Library Services and Digital Technology for Current and Future Generations of Students and Researchers.”
  • Dr. Mario Molina, “W.W. Francis and the Opening of a Library.”
  • Dr. Milton Roxanas, “My Personal Journey with Osler.”
  • Dr. Vivien Lane, “5 Significant Women in Osler’s Life.”
  • Dr. Maia Woolner, “Finding Time at the Osler Library” (not shown on the recording).


Other recent events and exhibitions


This page, contains 7 separate figures showing different aspects of hypertrophy affecting the lungs. Four of the figures are on different forms of emphysema.

Scholarship at the Source: Allister Neher on Art and Anatomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain.

Join us during Science Literacy Week for a discussion by scholar and author Allister Neher upon themes from his recent book, Art and Anatomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Dr. Neher will discuss how art and anatomy were closely tied during this era, with anatomists attending drawing classes and art students attending lessons in anatomy. Two of the three figures at the centre of Neher’s study are usually known for their connections to the medical world: John Bell was an anatomist and surgeon, and Robert Carswell was a pathologist. Charles Landseer, the third figure, was a famous artist who studied anatomy with Sir Charles Bell, John Bell’s younger brother. Some of their works, which are among the Osler Library holdings, will be on display at the library and will feature in Dr. Neher’s talk.

Watch the event on the McGill Library's Youtube Channel!


Cure Yourself by Electricity! Personal Electrotherapeutic Devices in Canada and Beyond c. 1880s-1930s

A woman with a hand-held electrical device sits in a large bath, looking content. The caption says, "Taking an electric bath" and was used to advertise devices from the Detroit Medical Battery Company.

Curated by Dr. Maia Woolner, Cure Yourself by Electricity showcases the history of portable electrotherapeutic devices during the end of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. Through objects, advertising, and print culture, the exhibit explores the relationship between electric technologies and the body, gendered medical consumerism, and health in popular culture. Featuring devices, texts, and images from the Osler Library of the History of Medicine and the Museum of Healthcare at Kingston, Cure Yourself by Electricity will delight viewers with its presentation of these peculiar devices.

Dr. Maia Isabelle Woolner is a historian and storyteller. Her work in the history of science and medicine investigates why we think the way we do about health and illness, and in particular, mental illness. With a focus on image-making, timekeeping, measurement practices, and patient narratives, her research seeks to connect the history of psychiatry and psychology to broader movements in culture and society.


Past exhibitions and presentations


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