Blog Archives

“Les meilleures au Monde” | Québécois recipes for your Québécois apples

It is finally apple season! This time of year, Québec apples are at their best and many of us make the pilgrimage to the orchards of the Eastern Townships for a taste of crisp, fresh from the branch Macintosh apples. …

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Caption This! Choral edition

‘Wake up, Mr. Jones!  No, not you, the one next to you.  It’s a B flat in bar 37.’ Our thanks this month to Stephen Silvester for the caption! Honourable mention to Richard Orlando for his submission:           …

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Fly High!

Another month, another caption! In August, our prompt for the Caption This series was an image of His Majesty’s Airship R-100 at the St-Hubert Airport during its 13-day trip to Canada in the summer of 1930.  The British government launched …

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Q & A with Chris Lyons, New Associate Dean of ROAAr

Christopher Lyons recently stepped into the role of Associate Dean of ROAAr, McGill Library’s rare and archival collections group. With Prof. Nathalie Cooke on sabbatical, Lyons will be leading ROAAr for the next year, bringing his wealth of experience and …

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New Findings on Thomas Chatterton

This past Summer Chris Jones travelled from Scotland to spend one month in the Reading Room to investigate several rare editions from the Rare Books stacks attributed to the young poet, Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770).  Professor Jones was the recipient of …

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Meet the Curator – Dr. Maia Isabelle Woolner

cure yourself by electricity

Dr. Maia Isabelle Woolner curated the exhibition Cure Yourself by Electricity! Personal Electrotherapeutic Devices in Canada and Beyond c. 1880s-1930s. On display in the ground floor lobby of the McLennan Library building, the exhibit is a shockingly fascinating tour through …

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‘Wrong author, you silly Shih Tzu. Godot will never recognize you in that James Joyce disguise.’

two well dressed dogs attached to a dog cart

By Labiba Faiza, ROAAr McGill Library This July, ROAAr’s Caption This series celebrated the dog days of summer by featuring a picture of an incredibly stylish dynamic dog duo. It came as no surprise that participants came up with a …

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Fashionable Northern Tours

Summer is the perfect time for a holiday get-away. Maybe you are in the midst of looking into various guides and maps to get to your perfect destination and make the most of it. Travellers of the nineteenth century did …

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“I fear our cypher is detected”: When agony ads go awry

The “FLO. Ciphers,” sent between September 1853 and January 1854, were a lovers’ correspondence that appeared in the Agony Column of “The Times”. Identifiable only by their addressee, the correspondence was the subject of much intrigue due to the unique numeric cipher in which it was written. The cipher was broken and later intercepted by Charles Babbage, a Victorian mathematician with a knack for code breaking. The ever-witty Babbage let the correspondents onto his discovery by correcting the grammar and spelling of one of their messages. Finding themselves exposed, the lovers ended their secret correspondence in haste.

By: Ronny Litvack-Katzman, Research Assistant, ROAAr At first glance, the Agony Column appears a perfect outlet for clandestine correspondences. Throughout the 19th-century, thousands of writers across the British Empire successfully sent and received cryptic messages through popular Victorian newspapers such …

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Enduringly Paw-pular

John McCrae and his dog Bonneau

Trends in dog breed popularity come and go – but our love of dogs is here to stay. July weather brings us into the dog days of summer so we’ll take a moment to explore some canine curiosities and the …

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