Fonds P218 - F. Clarke Fraser Fonds

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F. Clarke Fraser Fonds

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17.5 cm of textual records
1 photograph : b&w ; 20.1 x 25.2 cm

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Biographical history

F. (Frank) Clarke Fraser was an early pioneer of medical genetics in Canada. Born 29 March 1920 in Norwich, Connecticut, to parents Annie Louise (Clarke) Fraser and Frank Wise Fraser, F. Clarke Fraser grew up chiefly in Jamaica, but returned to Nova Scotia, where his material grandfather lived, for his studies. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Acadia University in 1940. Upon graduation, he attended McGill University for a Master of Science. Following graduate, he served in the Canadian Air Force, where he trained as a bombardier, before returning to McGill for a PhD in genetics (1945) and a MDCM (1950), carrying out significant research in teratology and syndromology. He was the founder of the Department of Medical Genetics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and its first director. He served in this role and as Molson Professor of Human Genetics at McGill from 1950 – 1982. Following, that he moved to St. John’s to develop a similar programme at Memorial University, taking up the post Professor of Clinical Genetics. He returned to McGill as a Professor Emeritus in 1985, until his retirement in 1999. In 1995, the Department of Medical Genetics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital was renamed the F. Clarke Fraser Clinical Genetics Centre at McGill University. F. Clarke Fraser’s work was foundational in the creation of the field of medical genetics and genetic counselling. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1985 and awarded the Prix du Quebec in 1999. He was also inducted as a laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2012. F. Clarke Fraser had four children with his first wife, Beryl Deblois, from whom he divorced in 1972. He later married Marilyn Preus, a clinical geneticist and textile artist. F. Clarke Fraser died in Nova Scotia on December 17, 2014, at the age of 93.

Custodial history

Materials were found in the Department of Social Studies of Medicine (3647 Peel) and donated by Department Chair Annmarie Adams to the Osler Library in May 2017.

Scope and content

The fonds consists chiefly of student notebooks kept by F. Clarke Fraser while an undergraduate at Acadia University during the late 1930s-1940. They represent a variety of subjects, including zoology, physics, mathematics, and biology. Two notebooks date from his Med IV year (1949-1950) at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine, one with ophthalmology lab and clinical notes and reading and lecture notes, and one an obstetrical diary from the Montreal Maternity Hospital. Also included is a later reprint of an article (published 1957), loose notes, and a photograph of F. Clarke Fraser and a companion dining at the Montreal restaurant Au lutin qui bouffe, famous for its resident piglet, which restaurant-goers were often photographed holding and feeding.

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  • English

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Restrictions on access

File 10 may be subject to restriction under patient privacy legislation. File 14 contains patient names and information restricted under patient privacy legislation.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Items can be requested for consultation online via the Library Catalogue or by email at Advance notice is recommended.

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Associated materials

F. Clarke Fraser's entry can be found in the library's digital collection of McGill Yearbooks, 1950, page 147.

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