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Sir William Osler (1849-1919) was a Canadian physician often called "the father of modern medicine" for the central role he played in revolutionizing medical education via the internship and residency system at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where medicine was taught "at the bedside." He was equally renowned as a superb diagnostician, a prolific author of medical and historical works (including his landmark textbook, The Principles and Practice of Medicine), an avid rare book collector, and an advocate for medical libraries.
The Osler Library of the History of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, is the primary repository for the William Osler Papers, which range from ca. 1800 to 1994. The collection contains photographs, personal and professional correspondence, case notes, and published articles. The Osler Library also holds the Harvey Cushing Fonds, consisting of material gathered by Cushing to prepare his 1925 biography of Osler, including transcripts of many Osler letters.
The Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland is also a repository of Osler materials, contained in the William Osler Collection and in the collections of his Johns Hopkins colleagues such as Lewellys Barker and William Welch. The Osler Collection includes photographs, personal and professional correspondence, published articles, lectures, and research notes used for revisions of The Principles and Practice of Medicine.
As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has collaborated with the Osler Library of the History of Medicine and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives to digitize and make available over the World Wide Web a selection of the William Osler Papers for use by educators and researchers. This site provides access to the portions of the William Osler collections of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine and Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives that have been selected for digitization. Individuals interested in conducting research in the William Osler Papers are invited to contact the Osler Library of the History of Medicine and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives.
This online Exhibit is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Osler's medical career and professional life. It is divided into sections that focus on Osler's life and major contributions to clinical medicine, medical education, and medical libraries.
Visitors may access additional materials through Search on the navigation bar. They may also view the materials alphabetically or chronologically by choosing Browse on the navigation bar. Documents and visuals in these lists are arranged by format and then either alphabetically by title or chronologically.