2016 Spring Newsletter / Alumni News

Alumni Spotlight: Chris Lyons


Chris Lyons, Head Librarian, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill. Credit: C. Lyons

Chris Lyons, MLIS’04, has been the Head Librarian of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University since 2011. From 2004-2011 he was the Liaison Librarian for the same library.

The Osler Library was established in 1929 with a donation of close to 8,000 items from Sir William Osler (1849-1919), a former McGill medical student and professor who went on to found the Johns Hopkins’ medical school and hospital before being named Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford in 1905. The library has one of the world’s best collection of rare books in the field of medicine, as well as deep holdings in scholarship on the history of the health sciences.

Earlier this year, Chris was elected to the Grolier Club, the oldest society for book collectors, scholars, and bibliophiles in the United States. Founded in New York in 1884, the club is dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of books, particularly through its publications, exhibitions, lectures, and research library. Chris is the only active librarian in Canada to have been so honoured.

Chris also served as President of the Archivists and Librarians of the History of the Health Sciences from 2012-2014, and was editor of its publication, The Watermark.

His research is in library history and urban history. Chris is currently a guest editor of a special issue of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada featuring several articles based on collections in the Osler Library, forthcoming in Fall 2015. He is also working on the history of health and housing in Montreal, for which he has been granted a sabbatical in 2015-16.