The Maude Abbott Medical Museum Osler Collection

23 - Heart: Acute infectious endocarditis

This exhibit documents in words and images the William Osler collection of the Maude Abbott Medical Museum. This comprises 59 fluid-preserved, glass jar mounted specimens, most of which were derived from autopsies performed by the famous physician during his time as pathologist at the Montreal General Hospital from 1876 to 1884. In addition to donations to the McGill Medical Museum, Osler used these specimens for medical student teaching, for presentations to colleagues at meetings of the Montreal Medico-Chirurgical Society and as the basis of case reports published in medical journals.

The exhibit outlines what happened to these specimens over the years. The pathologic abnormalities are described along with pertinent clinical correlations and comments related to historical and other aspects of the material. Links are made to related Oslerian publications and to pertinent books and journal articles. The collection provides insights into an important aspect of medical teaching at the end of the 19th century as well as the early medical development of one of its great physicians.

We acknowledge with gratitude the support and cooperation of Christopher Lyons, Head Librarian, and Lily Szczygiel, Public Services Assistant, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University.

Many of the original documents presented in this exhibit are catalogued and stored in the Osler Library of the History of Medicine. (https://mcgill.ca/library/branches/osler)