Collection P133 - Richard L. MacDonnell Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Richard L. MacDonnell Collection

General material designation

Parallel title

Dissection Room Record Book

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the documents found in the collection.

Level of description



Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1846-1891 (Creation)
    MacDonnell, Richard Lea, -1891

Physical description area

Physical description

25.5 cm textual records

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. Richard Lea MacDonnell (1856-1891) was a son of Dr. Robert Lea MacDonnell (1818-1878) ¬– a well-known Dublin-born surgeon, author (founder of the Canadian Medical Journal), professor, and director of the Department of Clinical Medicine at McGill University. Richard MacDonnell grew up in Montreal, and was educated at Bishop’s College School in Lennoxville, QC before studying medicine at McGill University. MacDonnell graduated from McGill in 1876, then studied for a year in Europe and obtained an M.R.C.S. Upon his return, he was appointed one of the Demonstrators of Anatomy and subsequently assumed the position of senior demonstrator in charge of the Department of Practical Anatomy. MacDonnell was also appointed assistant physician and then physician at the Montreal General Hospital, as well as professor of clinical medicine at McGill until his death. In addition to his work as a clinician and professor, MacDonnell was a regular contributor to the Montreal Medical Journal with many articles to his name. On July 31st, 1878, at the young age of 35, MacDonnell died of pulmonary disease, survived by his wife, mother, and sister. His friend and McGill colleague, Sir William Osler, wrote an obituary in the New York Medical Journal that stated: “Although only thirty-five years old, he had reached a position which gave scope to abilities of first-class order and afforded opportunities of impressing upon a large class of students those qualities of mind so essential in the teacher, so priceless to the taught – honesty, system, and painstaking care” (NYMJ, 54: 162, 1891).

Custodial history

Old accession number 257 is for scrapbook 1. The other 2 scrapbooks and 1 dissection record book were added to P133 in August 2016, from the old McGill Medical Library Archives (MLA) acc. 544 (MLA item nos. 38/65/N/3/2; 38/65/N/3/7; 38/65/N/4/2).

A second volume of dissection records (1896-1908) was compiled a few years after MacDonnell’s death, and it has been catalogued separately (with a similar note attached to mention this first volume). The MLA Collection contains some correspondence material, certificates, and diplomas related to Richard Lea MacDonnell and his father, Robert Lea MacDonnell (38/65/Z, 38/65/N).

Scope and content

The collection consists of 3 scrapbooks assembled by Richard L. MacDonnell, and 1 McGill Dissection Room Record Book created and kept by MacDonnell from April 1883-1891. The scrapbooks contain notes, patient prescription information, reprints of various publications by MacDonnell, and lots of news clippings concerning various topics such as the history of Montreal, McGill University, the McGill faculty, Montreal General Hospital, and obituary notices. A second volume of dissection records (1896-1908) was compiled after MacDonnell's death, and can be found in the library catalogue.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

The documents are in English.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Items can be requested for consultation online via the Library Catalogue or by email at Advance notice is recommended.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Osler Database ID


Osler Fonds ID


Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres