Fonds UA-12 - Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

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


  • 1968- (Creation)
    Dalhousie University. Faculty of Medicine.
  • 1863-1992, bulk 1950s-1970s (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

30 m of 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

Dalhousie Medical School is an internationally-recognized faculty in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education. As the only medical school in the Maritime provinces, it is closely affiliated with the provincial healthcare systems in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and is affiliated with more than one hundred teaching sites, including nine teaching hospitals.

The school’s history begins with The Dalhousie College Act, ratified in 1863, which stipulated the establishment of a medical faculty. With the support of the premier and a provincially-funded Halifax hospital, the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1868, half a century after the founding of the university, and the fifth medical school in Canada, preceded by McGill (1842), Queens (1854), Laval (1823) and Toronto (1843).

The initial class of 14 students was taught by a volunteer faculty of Halifax physicians under the leadership of Dr. Alexander P. Reid as dean. Only primary subjects were offered, and students transferred to McGill, Harvard or New York to complete their training; by 1870 a full program was available and in 1872 the first class graduated from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine.

In 1873 financial difficulties forced the school’s closure, and two years later the independent Halifax Medical College was formed, with Dr. Reid as president. After an ambiguous affiliation with the college, in 1889 Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine was re-established, with the Halifax Medical College remaining as the teaching body while the Faculty of Medicine took the role of an examining body.

As a result of an application to the Carnegie Foundation in 1909, the medical school was reorganized, and in 1911 the Halifax Medical School was fully reintegrated into the university, a full-time pre-clinical teaching staff was appointed, and strict entrance requirements were established. In the absence of a dean, Dr. A.W.H. Lindsay served as faculty secretary until 1915.

The medical faculty made significant contributions to First World War efforts with the 1915 mobilization of Stationary Hospital No.7, which provided medical care between French field hospitals and those in Britain and Canada. Stationary Hospital No.7 comprised 162 Dalhousie medical professors, senior students and nurses. On returning from France in 1919, Dalhousie’s Colonel Dr. John Stewart was appointed Dean of Medicine, remaining in the position until 1932.

In the early 1920s grants from the Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations enabled the construction of the Dalhousie Public Health Clinic and the Medical Sciences Building, and the expansion of the Pathology Institute. In 1925 the school obtained an A1 accreditation from the American Medical Association.

Dr. Harry Goudge Grant served as dean from 1932-1953, overseeing the faculty through two decades of financial troubles, which were alleviated somewhat by contributions from the provincial governments of Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. During this period the faculty established the first continuing medical education program in Canada.

From 1954-1971 Dr. Chester Stewart served as dean, and it was during his tenure that the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building was conceived and completed, housing the W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library, several medical science faculties, and facilities for teaching and research. Subsequent deans included Dr. Lloyd Macpherson (1971-1976), Dr. J.D. Hatcher (1976-1986), T.J. (Jock) Murray (1986-1993), John Ruedy (1993-1999), Dr. Noni MacDonald (1999-2003), Dr. E. Howard Cook (2003-2009) and Dr. Thomas J. Marrie (2009-2015) and David Anderson (2015- ).

Custodial history

The majority of material was transferred to the University Archives from storage in the Tupper Building in two phases. The first on April 11 and August 2, 1983 (Accession Nos: MS-1 33-83, 35-83, 58-83). The second phase occurred on April 15, 1985 (Accession No. MS-1 26-85). On June 15 1993, minutes from 1867-1875 and listings of Interns 1930-1936 (Accession No. MS-1 26-93) were relocated to the Archives. The acquisition of Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association files in 1994 (Accession No. MS-13 3-94) provided access to additional Dean's Office correspondence. Further material including correspondence from 1907, Faculty Council and Departmental Head Meeting minutes was moved to the Archives on September 15, 1998 (Accession No. MS-1 63-98). Further accruals are expected.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records that document the administrative and operational activities of the Faculty of Medicine. These include general correspondence, minutes (faculty and departmental), financial records, reports, statistics, administrative relationships, program information, course materials, examination records, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, photographs as well as provide evidence of relationships with outside organizations.

Principally, the material is composed of records from the Dean's Office of the Faculty of Medicine. To facilitate access to the collection the materials have been organized into 17 different series.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Material associated with the fonds includes the private papers of Dr. C.B. Stewart (MS-13-61) (former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine), Dalhousie Medical Student's Society (MS-13-59), Halifax Medical College (MS-13-5), Medical Society of Nova Scotia (MS-13-55/Accession No. 13-85), Dr. H.B. Atlee (MS-13), Dr. Angus E. Murray (MS-13), Dr. John Stewart (MS-13-39), and Dr. R.C. Dickson (former Head of the Department of Medicine). An alphabetical listing of the University's private medical archives material can be found by accessing the following URL: ../ead/unms13.htm.

Related materials


General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Faculty of Medicine of Dalhousie University fonds, UA-12, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion


Language of description

Script of description


Accession area