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Archival description
McGill University Archives Margaret A. Somerville Fonds Series
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Teaching materials

This series consists of teaching materials, including lecture notes, from Somerville’s comparative medical law course and advanced torts course at McGill University. Also included are files pertaining to student supervision.

General filing materials

This series consists of general filing materials, the bulk of which is dated 2009-2016, and includes correspondence, Quebec Bar Association Membership, reference letters, royalty statements, and research notes for The Ethical Canary. These files a...


The communications series chiefly reflects the public role of Somerville as an ethicist and researcher through a mixture of personal/professional correspondence, often with colleagues, invitations to events and greeting cards.

Subject files/consults

This series contains subject files including some professional consultations on ethical issues such as AIDS, same-sex marriage, pain management, euthanasia, health care policy, and blood systems as well as research notes on drug abuse, immigration...

Conference papers and lectures

The largest and most comprehensive series is conference papers and lectures with most of the presentations taking place in Canada, Australia and the United States, many with separate speech and shorter slide summaries. The subjects covered include...

Writing/publishing activities

The substantial writing/ publishing activities series covers most of her academic career in Canada, 1979-2015 and provides worked drafts of her most substantial publications including The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit, Deat...

Media Relations

This media relations series documents Somerville’s many and varied interactions with the media through contact lists, articles, interviews, personal publicity files, and photographs by Barbara Woodley.

Personality/family matters

The personal matters/family series is the most varied one, documenting family life through correspondence and photographs and personal life through awards and honours from both Canada and Australia. Also there are records reflecting her interest i...

Committee memberships

The committee memberships series includes minutes, protocols and reports reflecting Somerville’s work as a an expert in ethics on the Law Reform Commission of Canada, the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Research Ethics committee, Expert Advisory Committ...