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Toronto General Hospital
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Dr. W.G. Bigelow fonds

  • ON00343 0094
  • Fonds
  • 1932-1993

The Dr. W.G. Bigelow fonds consists of 21 series of textual records documenting the life and work of the pioneering Canadian heart surgeon, medical researcher, and co-developer of the cardiac pacemaker, Dr. Wilfred G. Bigelow:

0094-1 Appointment books
0094-2 Medical textbooks
0094-3 Case histories
0094-4 Medical conference programs
0094-5 Patient/surgery lists
0094-6 General patient files
0094-7 Correspondence
0094-8 Experimental and clinical research files
0094-9 Lectures and speeches
0094-10 Diagnoses and procedures
0094-11 Medical research grants-in-aid
0094-12 Professional Societies, Associations and Committees
0094-13 Toronto General Hospital files
0094-14 Medical insurance accounts
0094-15 University of Toronto files
0094-16 Medical journal publications
0094-17 Meetings
0094-18 Japanese publications on hypothermia research
0094-19 Travel files
0094-20 Medical office expenses
0094-21 Income tax returns

Collectively, the materials comprising this fonds illustrate virtually every aspect of Dr. Bigelow's personal and professional life as a surgeon and hospital division head, academic instructor and researcher, clinical investigator, author, lecturer, medical conference presenter and panellist, and member of numerous medical societies and medical/scientific committees.

In particular the fonds provides information about Dr. Bigelow's contributions to the advancement of cardiac surgery and the treatment of heart disease, especially his central accomplishments in contributing to the innovation and development of the surgical use of hypothermia in open-heart surgery and the electrical artificial cardiac pacemaker.

Sans titre

Correspondence and position papers

Series consists of correspondence and position papers regarding Princess Margaret Hospital’s relocation and the merger between Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. The material related to the Princess Margaret Hospital relocation was compiled while Dr. Cowan was Chair of the Oncology Coordinating Council at the University of Toronto. The material related to the TGH-TWH merger is from Dr. Cowan’s time as Head of the Department of Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. Opinions on the proposed merger had been requested of the Chairs of Clinical Departments in the Faculty of Medicine by the Dean of Medicine, University of Toronto in 1985. Each head of a hospital’s Department of Medicine were sent copies.

Dr. Cowan organized these files with both names and numbers. File titles retain Dr. Cowan’s original titles and his file numbers are included at the end of the file titles in brackets. Arrangement is according to Dr. Cowan’s original numbering. There were two different files numbered 23. Files 1-21 and 37 were not donated to the Archives.

Bell Wing and Clinical Services Building photographs

Series consists of photographs documenting the destruction of the TGH Bell Wing and the construction of the Clinical Services Building. These photographs were taken by Dr. Cowan from his offices across the street at Cancer Care Ontario (620 University Avenue, Toronto, 15th and 13th floors) from May 2001 to July 2003, in order to document the event. Eight of these pictures were used by UHN’s Public Affairs Department at the official opening of the Clinical Services Building. Photographs had been arranged by Dr. Cowan in a binder entitled <i>Toronto General Hospital Pictures Before & After</i> and divided by film number and date. These divisions are reflected in the file titles.

The Toronto Hospital record group

  • ON00343 RG 1
  • Record group
  • 1986 - 2000

The record group includes 14 fonds:
TH 1. Nursing Education and Research Department fonds
TH 2. Department of Public Affairs and Communications fonds
TH 3. Status of Women Committee fonds
TH 4. Medical/Legal Affairs fonds
TH 5. Finance Directorate fonds
TH 6. Surgical Directorate fonds
TH 7. Medical Advisory Committee fonds
TH 8. Board of Trustees fonds
TH 9. Office of the President fonds
TH 10. Joint Hospital/University Relations Committee fonds
TH 11. Office of the Chief Operating Officer fonds
TH 12. Department of Strategic Planning fonds
TH 13. Office of the Executive Vice-President fonds
TH 14. The Toronto Hospital Auxiliary fonds

Sans titre

Correspondence & Administration

Series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence accumulated by William Louth who served as TTH Executive Vice-President from 1986 to1992. Most files relate to the TGH/TWH Merger.

The Toronto Hospital Auxiliary fonds

Fonds consists of five series:

14.1 TTH Auxiliary (General Division) Minutes
14.2 TTH Auxiliary (General Division) Annual Reports
14.3 TTH Auxiliary (General Division) Scrapbooks
14.4 TTH Auxiliary (General Division) Correspondence
14.5 Histories and Ephemera

Sans titre

Department of Public Affairs and Communications fonds

Fonds consists of records created and accumulated by The Toronto Hospital Department of Public Affairs and Communications. The fonds includes 12 series:

2.1 The Toronto Hospital annual reports
2.2 Caring
2.3 Correspondence
2.4 Photographs
2.5 News Releases
2.6 Medical Staff Bulletins
2.7 Canadian Museum of Health and Medicine
2.8 Archives and Historical Committee
2.9 Miscellaneous publications and minutes
2.10 Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital
2.11 Western Hours
2.12 Scrapbooks

Sans titre


Series consists of photographs taken and collected by the Department during the time of David Allen as part of the Public Relations Department’s Photo and Slide Library. Files include photographs of Administration (former and current) of The Toronto Hospital, Trustees, Auxiliary, Dignitaries and Celebrities, Medical Staff, Residents, and so-called “historical archive files” referring to photographs of buildings, sites and past events. Some of the files also include newspaper clippings, enlargement and usage notations, speeches or programs, cataloguing information, consent forms, and mock-ups or samples of publications for which the photographs were used. Photographs were used for publications and other activities of this Department. Some of the material may also have been produced or used by IMS Creative Communications, a sub-department reporting to the Toronto General Hospital’s Public Relations Department.

Original consent forms are not part of this series. The original file list can be found in file 2.4.1. Subject files are arranged alphabetically. Staff and students are listed by their surname and then their given name. Headings have been included in the file list to indicate index tabs. Handwritten changes and additions to original file titles have been included as part of the file title.

File 2.4.52 includes correspondence from A. Hudson.

File 2.4.78 is of a patient who lived in the Toronto General Hospital for approximately 30 years of her life.

File 2.4.146 includes a ribbon-cutting photograph from the official opening of the Fraser M Fell Pavilion.

File 2.4.155 includes a photograph of American actor Mickey Rooney.

File 2.4.228 includes a photograph of American actor Mary Tyler Moore.

File 2.4.403 includes a biographical statement from Mr. Mickevicius.

File 2.4.426 includes a reproduction of an etching of Burnside Hospital in 1878.

File 2.4.428 includes a photograph of TB Outdoor Treatment, 1912 and the medical records department.

File 2.4.447 includes 4 photographs entitled “Fall of Burnside-June 1980” and 1 contact sheet entitled “Burnside demolition”.

File 2.4.450 includes photographs of Dunlap Building demolition.

File 2.4.455 includes photographs of early ambulances.

File 2.4.497 includes portraits of Drs. Rob Inman, Carl Laskin, Darrell Ogilvie-Harris, Rod Davey, Wayne Marshall, and John Craven.

File 2.4.521 includes images depicting cardiac rehab patients undergoing exercise therapy; name of patient removed from file title.

Files 2.4.522 to 2.4.525 were labeled file folders not listed in the departmental file list that came with the initial record transfer. Original order has been maintained.

File 2.4.508 contains a portrait of Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen.

Files 2.4.596 and 2.4.596b contains historical images of Toronto General and Wellesley Hospitals from photographers Herb Knott & Co. Ltd.

File 2.4.599 contains images of the TTH Mascot, Shuttlebug.

File 2.4.607 includes images from the dedication of the Percy R. Gardiner Coronary Unit in June 1968.

File 2.4.616 seems to include images from Cardiovascular Research Day 1991, though there is no indication as to why; it could be misfiling from the office of origin.

File 2.4.620 includes images of Dr. Anthony Lane.

File 2.4.641 includes the OCI news release from 1985 regarding the Zeiss EM902 electron microscope and images of Dr. Ottensmeyer.

File 2.4.716 includes images of house staff; residents; Drs. R.M. Janes, Banting, Best, C.L. Starr, Morley, Botterell, Aikens, Beaumont, and Gordon Richards; Louise Eastwood, Charles O’Reilly, Mary Agnes Snively, Miss Balmer, Rev. John D. Strachan, and the original image of TGH nursing students observing an operation ca. 1895. This original image includes the names of the nurses and physicians on the verso.

File 2.4.723a includes images of the Burnside Lying-in Hospital / Maternity Building, TGH on Gerrard, the layout of the 1855 building, historical interiors, and an image of Dr. Don Wilson performing a heart transplant in the TWH OR.

File 2.4.732 includes images of: TGH nurses graduation 1969; clerical staff; early ambulances; cardiovascular surgery; medical equipment; opening of the Donald R. Wilson Centre for Research in Education; Black History Month; original image of neuropathology rounds with Dr. Eric Linell and Drs. Hyland, Tom, Lloyd, Woolen, and Wong; group shot from the retirement party for K.G. McKenzie with all staff identified; diabetic diet kitchen, college wing ca. 1930; group shot of Capt. Boddington, Major Hyland, Colonol Crass, Major Botterell, Capt. Richardson and Capt. McCormick taken by the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology, University of Toronto, September 1940; Burnside Lying-In Hospital; undated original photograph of TGH house staff with babies ca. 1920s; TGH Emergency Department; patient-model reading “Our Bodies Our Selves”; The Toronto Hospital Auxiliary Annual General Meeting 1998; Angela Ash posing with her drawings; Toronto Western Hospital Auxiliary 100th Anniversary tea 1997; opening for the Arthritis Centre of Excellence 1998; and “Hats Off” promotional shot for Project 2003.

File 2.4.732c has a group picture of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, Toronto, Canada, November 1958.

File 2.4.836 includes pictures of the facilities in the Private Patients’ Pavilion.

File 2.4.894a includes a letter from Dr. B.S. Goldman regarding the origins of the TGH Pacemaker Club.

File 2.4.915 includes portraits of Drs. John Craver and Colin Shapiro.

File 2.4.920 includes pictures of the unveiling of a plaque and dedication for the John David Eaton Building and the Dunlap Radiological Centre by Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario Hon. John Black Aird, November 1980 and a historical plaque unveiling with Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario Hon. Pauline McGibbon, June 1980.

File 2.4.923a includes a picture of Dr. S. Herman with radiology residents.

File 2.4.934 has pictures from the nurses’ residence building.

File 2.4.991 includes pictures of Drs. Scott Adams and Luc DeNil.

File 2.4.992 includes pictures of Dr. Ruth Martin.

File 2.4.993 includes pictures of Drs. Ruth Martin and Nick Diamant.

File 2.4.999 includes a group picture of a staff baseball team ca. 1925, as well as pictures of teams from the 1970s-1990s.

File 2.4.1015 includes a pre-1960 picture of the TGH Switchboard.

File 2.4.1023 includes pictures of Drs. K.G. McKenzie, Gordon Murray, Charles Tator, W.G. Bigelow, J. Callaghan, Botterell, J.W. Scott, R. Tasker, J. Mann, Tak Mak, G. Davidson, and Augusta Stowe Gullen.

File 2.4.1025c has a prop-up display for the “Strengthen the hands that heal” fund campaign.

File 2.4.1098b has a picture of patients doing crafts.

File 2.4.1108 includes photographs in which actors are portraying patients. No actual patients are in the images.

File 2.4.1109 includes photographs of Mary Tyler Moore and James Garner while filming at the hospital.

File 2.4.1110 includes sheets of slides from May 3, 1989 of Italian and Canadian flags photographed by Gary Beechey, and a sheet of slides for the Sign up for Life organ donation campaign photographed by Toronto General Hospital Photography.

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