Collection P166 - Harold Elliott Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Harold Elliott Collection

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  • Source of title proper: Based on the documents of the fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • May 1940 – August 1945 (Creation)
    Elliot, Harold, 1907-

Physical description area

Physical description

34 cm of textual records – photographic – some sketches.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. Harold Elliott was born at Cache Bay, Ontario in 1907. He was a graduate of the McGill School of Medicine. As a medical student, Dr. Elliott interned at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1934, and upon graduation from McGill in 1936 interned at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. This was followed by post-graduate work at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, England, and at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1939, Dr. Elliott interrupted his neurosurgical training at the Montreal Neurological Institute to serve overseas with the No. 1 Canadian General Hospital and the No. 1 Neurological Hospital, attaining the rank of Major. His war experiences led to a number of studies on war injuries, specifically gun-shot wounds of the head, severe brain injury, peripheral nerve injury and spinal cord trauma.

After the war, Dr. Elliott returned to Montreal and the greater part of his career was spent there. Among other positions, he served as Director of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Queen Mary Veterans' Hospital, Director of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Montreal General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at McGill. After the disbanding of the department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Montreal General Hospital, Dr. Elliott became active in Cornwall, Ontario, providing neurosurgical service at the Cornwall General Hospital as well as the Hotel Dieu Hospital in that city. At around this time he was also a Consultant at Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in Brockville, Ontario, and a lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Elliott published widely on a variety of topics, and was also an inventor, producing the "McGill Hammer," a variety of reflex hammer, and the "stretch-chair," or a stretcher that can be converted into a convalescent chair. Some of Dr. Elliott's major contributions were in the field of traffic accidents. He was largely behind a conference, "Medical Aspects of Traffic Accidents," which was held in Montreal in May, 1955. He also urged police authorities and the motor industry to do what they could to decrease the incidence of these accidents. In addition, Dr. Elliott assisted in organizing a conference on Parkinson's Disease for the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Dr. Elliott had professional memberships in the Canadian Neurological Society and the British Society of Neurological Surgeons, and a fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

Custodial history

Donated by the family.

Scope and content

The collection consists of seven volumes of Elliott's personal diaries, which were bound together, at his own expense, after their completion. These diaries cover the five-year period that Elliott spent serving overseas, primarily in England. The contents of the journals include handwritten entries, sketches and watercolours that were either executed in the pages of the diary or pasted in, and photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, playbills, menus and other paraphernalia that were also pasted into the diary. These serve to document both the development of the war and Elliott's personal experiences. The diaries are generally in chronological order although there are places, particularly in the last three volumes, where the diaries have been bound out of sequence.

The fonds also contains several folio sheets of photographs and clippings regarding Elliott's career.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

The documents are in English.

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

Finding aids

A Brief Description of the World War Two Diaries

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Physical storage

  • Box: P166-1
  • Box: P166-2