McGill web gems: Lincoln North and Osler's Montreal

McGill web gems: Lincoln North and Osler's Montreal McGill University

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McGill Reporter
May 17, 2007 - Volume 39 Number 17
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 39: 2006-2007 > May 17, 2007 > McGill web gems: Lincoln North and Osler's Montreal

McGill's web gems

Lincoln North and Osler's Montreal

Explore the hidden gems and secret places on the websites of McGill University and its affiliated institutions.

Lincoln North: The Joseph Nathanson Collection of Lincolniana

Caption follows
Honest Abe enjoys plenty of northern exposure.

Since the word "fascinating" pops up in the column more often than it did in the original Star Trek, I'll describe Lincoln North as "unexpected" and "intriguing" instead. You wouldn't expect a Canadian university like McGill to have such an incredible virtual exhibit about the 16th President of the United States. We owe it all to Dr. Joseph N. Nathanson (1895-1989), an American graduate of McGill who taught Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell University for five decades. He was an avid Lincoln enthusiast whose collection eventually included, according to the site, "over 500 monographs, in forty languages, including 1,050 pamphlets, several periodical runs, over 250 images of Lincoln, some serious, some rather defamatory, several paintings, at least 30 sculptures, full figure or busts, smaller items, such as mourning badges, medals, memorabilia, complete sets of Lincoln motif china, chairs from Lincoln's office or homeā€¦" the list goes on and on. In 1986, three years before his death, Dr. Nathanson generously donated the entire collection to his alma mater. The site itself is beautifully designed, with an enormous amount of historical backstory and an easy-to-navigate virtual exhibit.

Tour of Osler's Montreal 1870-1885

And while we're in the 19th century, why not take a look at ourselves as well? This site was produced in 1998 by McGill's Osler Library of the History of Medicine to honour the then-upcoming 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir William Osler, one of the most celebrated physicians in the world. Born in Bond Head Ontario, Osler obtained his medical degree at McGill in 1872, and later taught at the Faculty of Medicine and worked as a physician and pathologist at the Montreal General Hospital. His later career spanned the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins and Oxford, but his Montreal period is the focus of this site. It takes you on a tour of his haunts, residences and workplaces and displays the larger Montreal of his day, all contrasted with a 1998 map of the same general neighbourhoods. The site is very 1998, with only a rudimentary design and very basic text and photo links, but it's a wonderful window on Montreal and McGill's past.

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