Montreal General Hospital


The Montreal General Hospital was founded in 1821. In 1823, four physicians of M.G.H., Drs. Stephenson, Holmes, Caldwell, and Robertson organized the Montreal Medical Institution as a teaching unit of the Hospital. The Montreal Medical Institution was engrafted on to McGill University as its Faculty of Medicine in 1832. This was the first Faculty to actually teach. Since the 1830s, M.G.H. has been affiliated to McGill as a teaching hospital. Records of the M.G.H. School of Nursing, founded in 1890, are in this collection. Also included with the M.G.H. records are those of the Western Hospital of Montreal which was amalgamated with M.G.H. on 1 January 1924 becoming the Western Division of M.G.H. until the opening of the new building on Pine Avenue, in 1955. H.E. MacDermott has written a History of the Montreal General Hospital (Montreal, 1950) and a History of the School of Nursing of the Montreal General Hospital (Montreal, 1940). Access to personal data is restricted.


Legal Records, 1823

Charter, 10 March 1823 (c.442)

The original charter.

Administrative Records, 1820-1952

Board of Governors, 1820-1952, 50 cm (c.1-5, c.10-c.13)

The Governors' records are all in the form of minute books. The chief series, for the years 1820-1890 and 1931-1952, report administrative decisions, staff changes, receipt of legacies, and

annual (unpublished) reports which sometimes include a detailed breakdown of expenditures and patient statistics. Separate minute books were kept for a few special Governors' committees, such as Finance (c.10-11).

Committee of Management, 1822-1918, 1.5 m (c.6-c.9, c.14-c.39)

The Committee of Management's activities are documented chiefly through a nearly unbroken series of minute books, 1822-1918; recording inspections of the wards, Steward's reports of receipts

and expenditure and periodical reports to the Board of Governors. Minute books after 1892 contain name/subject indexes. A letterbook, 1861-1896, covers a variety of subjects, from the repair of scalpels to the appointment of staff (c.39). Subordinate to the Committee of Management was the House Committee, whose minutes deal mainly with the daily operations of the Hospital, such as food supply, furnishings, and fire prevention measures; (c.6-9).

Medical Board, 1876-1960, 2.3 m (c.43-c.60, c.116-c.118)

The minute books record decisions and regulations regarding the medical staff; reports and statements by subcommittees and officers such as the House Surgeon on various medical matters; staff appointments and training; and resolutions and requests addressed to the Committee of Management. The minute books from 1900-1916 contain indexes, while a separate index (c.59) exists for the years 1921-1960. Also included are minutes of a subordinate committee on professional appointments, 1945-1960 (c.60).

Correspondence and Reports, 1900-1910, 1920-1969, 1.3 m (c.405-c.408) PARTS RESTRICTED

This consists of correspondence and reports received by the various secretaries of the Medical Board. After 1920 copies of outgoing letters are included. They deal with appointment of staff, the running of the various clinics, internal and external reports, matters such as funds, internships and material relating to various committees or programs such as Renal Dialysis. There are also separate series on appointment of staff, 1947-1959 (c.408), the Shepherd Memorial Lectures, and Patients' Statistics, 1961-1972, (c.408). The main correspondence series is divided into chronological blocks (1900-1910, 1920-1948, 1949-1959, and 1960-1969) within which the arrangement is alphabetical, usually according to subject, name of organization or committee but sometimes according to name of the author. There is a very small amount of material relating to medical cases in which both physician and patient are identified.

Financial and Accounting Records, 1818-1902

Donations and Bequests to M.G.H., 1818-1894, 35 cm (c.40, c.349-c.351, c.415)

The donations are recorded in lists of subscribers with amounts contributed, 1818-1822, as well as statements of bequests, estate inventories and papers related to the probate of benefactors' wills, 1837-1891.

Account Books and Statements, 1832-1839, 30 cm (c.41-c.42, c.384)

These books provide a daily itemized record of supplies, mainly food, bought for the Hospital, with names of suppliers and cost per unit, 1832-1839. A servants' account book documents the names, functions, pay rate and length of service of nurses, cooks, laundry maids and other hospital servants from 1832 to 1853 (c.41).

Medical Records, 1822-1971

Admission Registers, 1822-1968, 2 m (c.61, c.65-c.115, c.120-c.124, c.147, c.249-c.250, c.252, c.374-c.375) RESTRICTED

These series of registers record patients' name and, usually, sex, age, religion, country of origin, present residence, date of admission, physician, whether paying or free, disease, and date of discharge. There are separate chronologically arranged series for Indoor and Outdoor Patients. There appears to have been some overlapping of function and information between the Weekly Admission Books (c.91-c.99) and the Indoor Patients' Register (c.84-c.90).

Case Books, 1863-1951, 5.5 m (c.62-c.64, c.130-c.146, c.151-c.202, c.204-c.205, c.225-c.247, c.251, c.253-c.265, c.269-c.283) RESTRICTED

These bound volumes contain the record of individuals' medical treatment, usually amounting to two or more pages each with 100 or more cases per book. After entries giving the patient's name, age, address, diagnosis, physician's name, and result (whether cured), there is usually a summary of the patient's medical history, sometimes with references to his or her social circumstances, and a detailed report of the medical treatment prescribed. The internal arrangement of the casebooks is chronological, and about half of them contain indexes by disease or patient's name. Most contain 100 cases or more. There are various series of case books, such as Medical (c.130-c.146), and Surgical (c.226-c.247, c.253-c.256) and Gynaecological (c.273-c.281).

Records of Deaths and Autopsies, 1855-1920, 1 m (c.148-c.150, c.248, c.289-c.318) RESTRICTED

These bound volumes of investigations into causes of death record the patient's name, age and occasionally occupation and the doctor performing the autopsy. A detailed analysis of the anatomy and various organs constitutes the main part of each report. The arrangement is chronological.

Treatment Registers, 1848-1967, 50 cm (c.115, c.119, c.125-c.129,c.206-c.207, c.266-c.268, c.284-c.288, c.319-c.321) RESTRICTED

These registers were kept to regulate various hospital activities including daily diets (1860-1881) and prescriptions (1871-1876) for patients, and schedules for surgeons (1904-1924).

Diet Books, 1860-1871, 1877-1881, 2 vols, cm (c.383, c.385)

These provide details about the patients' diets.


Medical Records, 1822-1824, 1902-1903, 1912-1848, m (Acc. 43, 150, 171, 264, 265, 554, 562) RESTRICTED

These include an Autopsy Book, 1902-1903; Emergency and Accident Register, for Outdoor Surgery, 1907-1908; list of diseases occurring in the Montreal General Hospital, 1822-1823; list of diseases of patients admitted into the M.G. Hospital, 1823-1824; and Pharmacopoeia of the M.G.H. and the Royal Victoria Hospital, 1912-1948.

Public Relations, 1864-1971

Scrapbooks of Newsclippings, 1864-1963, 1 m (c.377, c.380-c.382, c.386-c.388, c.391-c.392, c.395-c.404)

Mounted in large volumes are articles, chiefly from Montreal newspapers, recording activities of the Hospital and its staff members. Several scrapbooks are devoted to specific themes such as Fund Campaigns (c.396, c.399). Several contain original photographs. The arrangement within each scrapbook is chronological.

Patients' Questionnaires, 1970-1971, 60 cm (c.413-c.414) RESTRICTED

These questionnaires, signed by patients, give check-list responses to a series of questions on hospital services.

150th Anniversary of MGH, 1971

Correspondence and Memoranda, 1970-1972, 50 cm (c.411-c.412)

These files of correspondence, guest lists, brochures, programmes were created by the Reunion Executive Committee in commemorating the Hospital's 150th anniversary.

Historical Notes, ca 1940-1960

Historical Notes, ca 1940-1960, 50 cm (c.412, c.443)

Notes and extracts on the history of M.G.H.

Photographs, 1888-1960

Staff Members, Buildings, 1888-1960, 1 m (See Photography Inventory)

There are approximately 150 large and medium sized single photographs of individuals, groups of interns and interiors and exteriors of hospital buildings. There is also an album of staff and hospital scenes, ca 1890-1960.

Medical Photographs, ca 1890, 10 cm (See Photography Inventory)

Albums of photographs of patients afflicted by various diseases and accidents.

Published Materials, 1851-1965

Annual Reports, 1851-1965, 1 m (c.352-c.373)

These reports, published each year, record the names of serving Governors, committee members, and staff physicians, as well as notable events of the year and a detailed breakdown of income, expenditure, names of benefactors and amounts contributed, and statistic on diseases and accidents treated.

Publications by and about M.G.H., 30 cm (c.443-c.445)

These include staff bulletins and articles about M.G.H. and its history.

Regulations and Procedures, 1946-1955, 3 cm (c.432)

These include several manuals and forms for hospital procedures.


Systematic training of nurses began at Montreal General Hospital in 1890 with Nora Livingston as Superintendent. H.E. MacDermot has written a History of the School of Nursing of the Montreal General Hospital (Montreal 1940).

Administrative Records, ca 1890-1971

Office of Superintendent/Director of Nursing, 10 cm (c.416, c.436)

There are a small number of letters, reports, forms, account books, as well as a guestbook and file on School of Nursing Associates, 1968-1969. Listed.

Graduation Records, 1920-1971, 5 cm (c.422, c.429)

Correspondence, programmes, addresses, class photographs, and newsclippings. Arranged chronologically and listed.

Historical Files, ca 1890-1965, 4 cm (c.431-433)

Notes, papers and articles on the history of the School.

Student Admissions and Training Records, 1890-1923

Admissions Registers, 1890-1923, 7 vols, 22 cm (c.416-c.417, c.424) RESTRICTED

The registers record the student's name, age, residence, religion, and in some cases a form of agreement signed by the student. Listed.

Training Record Books, 1890-1899, 1910-1939, 4 vols, 20 cm (c.417-c.418) RESTRICTED

These reports, issued each year, give student names, grades, occasional comments and are signed by the Charge Nurse or Superintendent of Nurses. Listed.

Reports on Pupil Nurses, 1905-1921, 8 vols, 35 cm (c.418-c.420, c.425) RESTRICTED

Reports on nurses working in various departments, giving name, class and comments. There is also an attendance register, 1919-1925. Listed.

Registers of Nurses' Work, 1899-1920, 3 vols, 12 cm (c.426-c.428) RESTRICTED

Gives duties performed each week and contains registers of nurses with dates of birth, religion, courses followed over 3 years and remarks on subsequent careers. Listed.

Curriculum Records, 1900-1952

Curriculum Records, 1900-1952, 20 cm (c.420-c.421)

These include lecture notes by staff members Holt and Strumm (1900), correspondence about courses and examination papers, 1949-1952. Listed.

Alumnae Association, 1905-1975

Minutes of Meetings, 1905-1975, 2 cm (c.421, c.437)

These record activities, membership lists, constitution, and brief accounts talks given to the Association. Listed.

Administration Records, 1905-1907, 1 cm (c.421)

Correspondence concerning the establishment of the Association. Listed.

Social Functions, ca 1930-1965, 25 cm (c.421, c.429)

Correspondence, programmes, scrapbooks, menus, speeches relating to the Reunion of 1956, the 50th and 75th Anniversaries, dinners to graduates, and sick benefits. Listed.

Annual Reports, 1907-1971, 7 cm (c.421)

These give membership lists, reports of various officers and committees, and statements on various funds. Listed.

Photographs, 1890-1960

Photographs, 1890-1960 (See Photograph Inventory)

There are photographs of staff individuals and groups, classes, nurses' uniforms and building interiors and exteriors.

Published Materials, 1925-1971

Announcements, ca 1943-1970, 2 cm (c.416)

These describe admissions requirements, outline of courses, and list teaching staff.

Writings by Staff Members & Graduates, ca 1950-70, 1 cm (c.437)

Articles on medical subjects.

M.G.H. School of Nursing Alumnae Newsletters, 1956-1963, (c.421)

School of Nursing Student Annuals, 1925-1927, 1955-1971, (c. 430)

Students, 1929-1967

Student Government and Activity, 1929-1967, 12 cm (c.430-c.431, c.436)

Included are copies of constitutions of the Student Association, 1929, 1966, and a small amount of memoranda and correspondence. There are also several informal photographs of students in groups (See Photography Inventory) and a scrapbook (c.430). Listed.

Graduates, ca 1890-1970

Files on Graduates, ca 1890-1970, 20 cm (c.429, c.441) PARTS RESTRICTED

These files mainly record information about students after graduation although a few files contain copies of academic records. They include correspondence from and writings by graduates, biographical and obituary notices and occasionnally a few personal papers, photographs (See Photography Inventory), medals or memorabilia. Arranged alphabetically. Access to academic records is restricted. Listed.

Staff, 1890-1970

General Records, ca 1900-1940, 4 cm (c.431)

These records include lists of nurses in charge of various functions, rules, correspondence on staff duties, and group photographs.

Individual Records, ca 1890-1970, 30 cm (c.422-c.423, c.434-c.435)

Correspondence, writings, biographical notices and some personal papers, photographs, (See Photography Iventory) and memorabilia are included. The records were created as information files on individuals, not as personnel records. Arranged alphabetically by name. Listed.


Administrative Records, 1949-1974, 60 cm (c.409-c.410)

Minutes of the Executive Board, 1949-1968, recording decisions regarding the Auxiliary's administration of the Gift-Tea Shop, the Travelling Shop and other service activities for the Hospital. Also included are annual financial statements, 1950-1974, and correspondence with branches.

The Women's Auxiliary News Letter, 1950-1966 (with gaps), 5 cm (c.409)


Minutes of meetings, 1923-1970, 8 cm (c.333-c.336, c.409-c.410)

The minutes are largely devoted to the papers on medical subjects read before this group of M.G.H. physicians; in many cases a summary of the paper and following discussion is given, but sometimes no more than the subject is recorded. The minutes together with a very small amount of additional papers supply membership lists and financial accounts.


Administrative records, 1874-1935

Records of the Board of Governors and Corporation, 1874-1934, 6 cm (c.208, c.223, c.337)

These records consist of minutes of an inaugural meeting in 1874 and a minute book recording building operations, financial reports and medical statistics. Meetings were relatively infrequent, usually being quarterly or annual. There is also a Governor's Visiting Book with comments, 1901-1934.

Records of the Committee of Management and Subordinate Bodies, 1900-1935, 20 cm (c.209-c.212, c.215-c.216, c.322-c.332, c.337, c.339, c.340)

The majority of these records consist of the minute books of the Committee of Management, 1900-1923, recording financial statements, ward reports of patient statistics, reports from the House Committee, and fund-raising activities. A small amount of correspondence exists (c.340). The minute books of the subordinate House Committee deal with the management of Hospital services, and such subjects as patients' fees and the purchase of equipment. The building of a Private Patients' Pavillion in the early 1930s is documented by minutes of a special committee, accounts and correspondence.

Accounting Records, 1873-1924, 5 cm (c.213-c.214)

Two journals record receipts from various sources and disbursements for supplies, such as drugs and equipment, and for services, such as telephone and light.

Medical Records, 1873-1949

Records of the Medical Board, 1886-1929, 10 cm (c.217-221, c.341-342)

The records consists mainly of minute books, 1886-1929 which deal with regulations regarding the medical staff and management of the various wards. There is some incoming correspondence about staff appointments, and other matters to the Secretary of the Medical Board, 1898-1929 (c.341-c.342).

Case Books, 1936, 1947, 1949, 50 cm (c.183, c.194-c.195, c.201-c.202) RESTRICTED

Labeled "Western Division" these books of individual medical and surgical cases form part of a large M.G.H. case book series (c.151-c.202).

Registers, 1873-1912, 10 cm (c.222, c.224) RESTRICTED

A register of deaths, 1873-1907 gives patient's name, age, sex, occupation, date of death, and disease with occasional remarks. An attendance register, 1909-1912, records doctors' names, medical department, and the date.

Western Hospital School for Nurses, 1888-1926

Registers and Time Books, 1888-1926, 6 vols, 20 cm (c.438-c.439)

These records include a register of graduates, giving name, medal

number and date of graduation (c.439); three time books recording ward training and giving name, address, religion, nationality (c.438) and a register of nurses giving similar information (c.438). Listed.

Graduates and Staff, 4 cm (c.439-c.440)

There are a few photographs and testimonials for students. Listed.

Minutes of Alumnae Society, 1913-1922, 1 vol, 2 cm (c.439)

The minutes contain the by-laws, names of officers, and descriptions of various programmes and speeches to the Society.

Publications and Historical Materials, 1875-1911

Act of Incorporation and By-Laws, 1875-1908, 1 cm (c.343-c.346, c.438)

Annual Reports, 1889-1923 (gaps), 10 cm (c.348, c.378-c.379, c.438)

The Annual Reports, record outstanding events, a summary of receipts and expenses, and detailed statistics on diseases treated.

Publications by or about Western Hospital, 1874-1911, 1 cm (c.338, c.347, c.415, c.438)

There are a few invitations, programmes of events, and newsclippings relating to the Hospital.

Historical Note, 1876, 4 pp (c.338)

The origins of the Hospital are recounted in an unpublished note by Francis Campbell.