Lauren Williams

lauren.williams [at] 514-398-1364

McLennan Library Building
3459 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C9


  • History of Science and Ideas
  • Rare Books and Special Collections

Liaison Librarian, Rare Books and Special Collections

Supports teaching, learning, research, and outreach activities in Rare Books and Special Collections as the liaison librarian for the Blacker Wood Natural History collection. Also responsible for: history of science; William Dawson Pamphlet Collection; maps; women's studies; literature; theatre programmes; Macdonald College rare collection; Indigenous studies.


  • Master of Library and Information Science, University of Toronto. Specialization in Book History & Print Culture.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Arts College & Political Science, Concordia University.

Areas of Interest

  • Women in the history of science, the book arts, and cartography
  • Natural history, botanical illustration, specimen collection practices
  • Special collections and climate change research
  • Letterpress printing, bookbinding
  • Critical librarianship

Selected Publications and Presentations

Williams, Lauren. "In his own words: Selections from the correspondence files of Casey A. Wood". In Dickenson, Victoria (Ed.), Casey Wood: A Passion for Birds & Books. McGill-Queen's University Press: forthcoming, 2021.

Williams, Lauren; Ing, Elis. "The “Her Natural History” Social Media Campaign: Highlighting female contributions to biodiversity research." ROAAr Newsletter. May, 2020.

Williams, Lauren. “‘If no one else could, I must endeavour to do it myself’: Agnes Fitzgibbon and the Printing of Canadian Wild Flowers”. Panel presentation. Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing Conference; Amherst, Massachusetts. July 15-19, 2019.

Ing, Elis and Williams, Lauren. Activating Special Collections Resources for Climate Change Research. Poster presentation. Rare Books & Manuscripts Section Conference; Baltimore, Maryland. June 17-20, 2019.

Williams, Lauren; Ing, Elis; Hague-Yearl, Mary; Lepage, Frédérique. “From the Beagle to the Bookshelf: Darwin at McGill Library.” Library Matters. October, 2018.

Williams, Lauren. “Uncovering the Stonyhurst Gospel Binding.” Panel presentation. Bibliography Among the Disciplines Conference, October 13th, 2017.

Grant Projects

Project lead: New Homes, New Ways: Women's Experiences of Changing Environments digital project. Virtual Museum of Canada Large Investment Stream program, 2020-2021.

Co-Principal Investigator, with Dr. Victoria Dickenson: The Gwillim Project: Women and Networks of Knowledge and Exchange in the Company Raj. SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, 2019-2022.

Collaborator: Undescrib’d: Taylor White’s Paper Museum and the work of an Enlightenment naturalist (Principal Investigator: Dr. Victoria Dickenson). SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2018-2020.


Fantastic beasts and where to find them at McGill: An 18th century paper museum in collaboration with the SSHRC Taylor White Project team, Rare Books & Special Collections, Feb-May 2020.

Highlights from McGill Library’s History of Science Collections, Science Literacy Week, Rare Books & Special Collections, September 2019.

Discover & Write from Natural History, pop-up exhibition for Blue Met/Blacker Wood event, Rare Books & Special Collections, May 2019.

Special Collections and Climate Change Research, pop-up exhibition for Earth Day, Rare Books & Special Collections, April 2019.

Casey Wood Collection, pop-up exhibition for lecture on Casey Wood, Rare Books & Special Collections, April 2019.

Charles Darwin holdings in RBSC, pop-up exhibition to support Dr. Ehab Abouheif’s lecture on Darwin. Rare Books & Special Collections, February, 2019.

Professional Activities

Continuing Education Committee (2020)

American Ornithological Society, History Committee (2019-present)


Interview with CTV about the restoration of the Columbian printing press in McGill's Book Arts Lab

Twitter @McGill_ROAAr (contributor)

McGill Library Matters (contributor)


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