Library abuzz with activity for Open House & Homecoming 2016

The Library & Archives have planned a great mix of activities, events and initiatives for Homecoming (Thursday October 27 – Sunday, October 30) and Open House (Sunday, October 30, 2016). Discuss the future of the Library & Archives with Dean Cook, talk a walking tour of rare books or public art on the McGill campus, read the oldest McGill theses in our collection, or register for your free library borrowing card. There is something for everyone to discover! Please note that all activities listed below in chronological order are FREE and some require registration. Have fun!

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

Homecoming: Medicine – Lecture Series: Osler Library & the History of Medicine 

Sir William Osler, MDCM 1872, is considered by many to have been one of the greatest physicians of all time, thanks to the contributions he made to modern medical education, notably, creating the first residency program and taking medical students out of the lecture halls and into the hospitals for bedside clinical training. Did you know that he was also a bibliomaniac during a golden age for book collecting? Discover some of the standout pieces of the one-of-a-kind collection he left McGill.

A light lunch will be served after the talks.

When: Friday, October 28, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Where: Osler Library – 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1Y6, CANADA

Free. Registration required. To register:

Dean Colleen Cook speaking to 2015 Homecoming attendees

Dean Colleen Cook speaking to 2015 Homecoming attendees

Homecoming: Fiat Lux – Reimagining the McGill Library with Dean Colleen Cook

The Library plays a crucial role in providing the content, resources and services that cultivate curiosity, inspire ideas and stimulate research in the digital age. To continue its central role in the University’s Academic Mission and ensure McGill continues to attract and retain the finest students from Quebec, Canada and around the world, the Library must physically transform its facilities to meet the evolving needs of the 21st century student. Join Colleen Cook, Trenholme Dean of Libraries, for coffee and a fascinating glimpse into the planned future of the McGill Library.

When: Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Where: Ground Floor, Research Commons, McLennan-Redpath Library Building, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0C9, CANADA

Free. Registration required. To register:

The Falcon (1938) by Robert Tait McKenzie. Photo credit: Klaus Fiedler

The Falcon (1938) by Robert Tait McKenzie. McLennan Library Building terrace. Photo credit: Klaus Fiedler

Homecoming: Public Art at McGill: An introductory tour

Join us for a 45-minute walking tour of art on the McGill campus that is designed for alumni and friends as well as the McGill and Montreal community. Parents and students are also welcome. Tours will be led by members of the Visual Arts Collection team.

When: Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM

Where: Meet in the Arts Building lobby. 853 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0G5, CANADA

Free. Registration required. To register:

Rare Books & Special Collections

Rare Books & Special Collections

Open House: Rare Books & Special Collections guided tour (bilingual) 

When: Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 2:00PM

Where: Meet at information desk 1st  floor, McLennan-Redpath Library Building, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0C9, CANADA

Nahum Gelber Law Library. Art:Élégie Criblée de Rose by Jean McEwen, gift of Roy L. Heenan © Estate of Jean McEwen / SODRAC (2014)

Nahum Gelber Law Library. Art: Élégie Criblée de Rose by Jean McEwen, gift of Roy L. Heenan © Estate of Jean McEwen / SODRAC (2014)

Open House: Library Tours of the Humanities & Social Sciences Library, Marvin Duchow Music Library, Nahum Gelber Law Library, Schulich Science & Engineering Library

When: On-going 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Where: Meet at information desks of various library buildings. See this map or click on the linked branch library name above for more information.

McGill theses & dissertations. Photo credit: Sarah Severson

McGill theses & dissertations. Photo credit: Sarah Severson

Highlights from the McGill Library theses and dissertation collection

This Fall, 135 years of McGill graduate scholarship will be available online!  In 2012, we went to the stacks of Rare Books and Special Collections and began digitizing print only theses and dissertations. These were then uploaded to our institutional repository, The project took four years to complete and to date almost 7,000 theses have been digitized representing almost a million pages (992,491 to be exact)!

The week of October 24th, the Library will be launching a website featuring highlights from our theses and dissertation collection. Check out to read work by notable McGill graduates including:

  • Harriet Brooks, M.A. 1901:  Harriet Brooks was the first woman to graduate from a Canadian university with a graduate degree in electromagnetism. She was among the first persons to discover radon and to try to determine its atomic mass and she also also worked under the supervision of Marie Curie for a brief period of time.
  • John Humphrey, Ph.D. 1945, L.L.D. 1976:  Humphrey wrote the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Irving Layton, B.Sc. 1938, M.A. 1946: Layton was a celebrated Canadian poet. Among his many awards during his career was the Governor-General’s Award for A Red Carpet for the Sun in 1959. In 1976 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
  • Thomas Chang, B.Sc. 1957, M.D.C.M 1961, Ph.D. 1965: Dr. Chang is a Canadian physician, medical scientist, and inventor. He invented the world’s first artificial cell. An Order of Canada recipient, he is the founder and Director of the Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre and Professor of Physiology, Medicine & Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.
  • Brenda Milner, Ph.D. 1952: Dr. Milner is a Canadian neuropsychologist who has contributed extensively to the research literature on various topics in the field of clinical neuropsychology. She is sometimes referred to as “the founder of neuropsychology”. She is the Dorothy J. Killam Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the MNI and McGill University .

Do you know someone who wrote a thesis at McGill? More than 41,902 theses are now available for viewing at We invite you to go searching and lose yourself down the rabbit hole. Found something cool? Connect with us to share and you might just find it featured on the website!

Library Membership Card

Library Membership Card

McGill Library – Alumni Services

  • New service just in time for Homecoming! Alumni can now sign up for a FREE McGill Library Borrowing Card*. Register now to borrow books and other print materials from the McGill Library.
  • Access special e-resources through a searchable catalogue dedicated specifically to alumni. Start exploring WorldCat – McGill Alumni E-Resources* now!

Learn more about other exciting events and initiatives for alumni here.

*restrictions may apply

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