Uncovering the McGill Library Lyman Collection : The Lasting Legacy of an Amateur Entomologist

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Uncovering the McGill Library Lyman Collection : The Lasting Legacy of an Amateur Entomologist
The authors describe the efforts they made to retrace and reveal the lost story of a poorly documented special collection bequeathed to McGill University in 1914 by Henry Herbert Lyman (1854-1914), a Montreal amateur entomologist. Lyman’s legacy lives on at the university through the Lyman Entomological Museum and Research Laboratory and the entomological literature collection, known as the Lyman Collection, housed at the Macdonald Campus Library. Lyman’s collection of 20,000 butterflies and moths formed the nucleus of the Museum collection, which was augmented over the years by substantial collections of other insects contributed by curators such as Albert Winn, George Moore, Keith Kevan and Vic Vickery. University archival materials, library records, and historical accounts of the museum and its literature collection helped the authors trace the history and various moves of the collection and allowed them to identify those materials likely to have belonged to Lyman originally. The collection was first housed in the Redpath Museum, but was relocated to the Macdonald campus in 1961 and merged with the Macdonald Insect Collection in the Department of Entomology. Today the collection numbers nearly three million specimens of insects, the second largest collection in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The collection was analysed by the authors to determine its uniqueness within Canada as compared with a selection of comparator academic libraries.
Library & Information History
Vol. 34
no. 3
August 2018
Waters, Natalie, and Emily MacKenzie. “Uncovering the McGill Library Lyman Collection : The Lasting Legacy of an Amateur Entomologist.” Library & Information History Vol. 34, no. 3 (August 2018): 149–159.
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