Fonds P223 - Hanna Maria Pappius fonds

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Hanna Maria Pappius fonds

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Physical description

1.9 m of textual records
ca. 150 photographic negatives
ca. 50 photographs
7 postcards
1 artifact

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Biographical history

Hanna Maria Pappius (née Kwiecinska), C.M., was born on July 26, 1925, in Łąkocin, Poland. She moved to London with her mother in 1937. They then moved to Montreal in 1940, where Pappius graduated from high school at Sacred Heart Convent in 1942. She obtained a B.Sc. in 1945, an M.Sc. in 1948, and a Ph.D. in 1952—all degrees from McGill and all in biochemistry.

In 1953, Pappius began her employment at the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (MNI/H), associated with McGill University, where she would work until her retirement in 1995. Pappius’s primary role at the MNI/H was as a neurochemistry researcher in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Much of her research concerned the effects of cerebral edema on neurotransmitter and receptor mechanisms.

Pappius also worked in the MNI/H’s Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory throughout her career, eventually becoming the laboratory’s director. Additionally, Pappius taught in several departments of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine. This work involved in both teaching courses and supervising students at the Ph.D. and M.Sc. levels.

After her retirement, Pappius continued to publish research, attend academic conferences, and take part in committees at the MNI/H (particularly the Animal Care Committee, the Research Ethics Committee, and committees related to the MNI/H’s physical needs at the McGill University Hospital Centre’s new site) until the late 2000s.

Custodial history

The documents of this fonds were donated by Hanna Maria Pappius to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine in 2021.

Scope and content

The fonds primarily reflects Pappius’s activities as a researcher at the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (MNI/H): both her experimental research as such and various support activities, including academic publication, coordination of research projects with colleagues, and acquiring funding. It also contains much information about her leadership of the Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory. The fonds contains smaller amounts of documentation regarding her activities as a professor at McGill University, her administrative roles at the MNI/H, and her participation in professional organizations, which reflects the smaller place that those roles occupied in her professional life.

The period of time best documented in the fonds spans the early 1980s to Pappius’s retirement in 1995. Correspondence with colleagues, mostly though not exclusively work-related, contains relatively more material from Pappius’s early career; although, here too, most of the material dates from the 1980s and after.

The main document types in the fonds related to Pappius’s research activities are experiment worksheets and printed tabular research data. Many of the research-related files contain negatives of autoradiographies, with a smaller number of photographic prints. Correspondence can be found in many series besides series F (Correspondence), as much of Pappius’s work was collaborative in nature.

The fonds is divided into eight series: (A) Research, (B) Academic events, (C) Teaching, (D) Administrative activities, (E) Professional organizations, (F) Correspondence, (G) Personal collections, and (H) Visual documents.

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Almost all documents are in English. Some documents in French, particularly those related to Pappius’s interaction with the Quebec provincial government, or Polish, particularly correspondence with Polish colleagues. Occasional documents in German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Georgian, and Dutch—mostly in the form of incidental text related to Pappius’s participation in events outside Canada.

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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

The National Library of Medicine holds the fonds of Louis Sokoloff (MS C 591), an important collaborator of Pappius:;idno=sokoloff591

The Delta Delta Chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority holds material related to Pappius, particularly her time as an undergraduate:


General note

Archival fonds exist at McGill and other institutions for many of Pappius’s colleagues and collaborators who appear as subjects or creators of documents in this fonds This are listed in the related materials and associated materials fields.

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Archival description created by Gregory Sides, 2022.

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