Collection P111 - Maude Abbott Collection

Dr. Emanuel Libman testimonial dinner. Photographs Exhibit panels regarding the heart Plates for Maude Abbott's Atlas

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Maude Abbott Collection

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the documents in the collection.

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  • 1868-1953 (Creation)
    Abbott, Maude E. (Maude Elizabeth), 1869-1940

Physical description area

Physical description

3.2 m of textual records. -- photographs. -- glass slides.

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Biographical history

Maude Abbott was born in St Andrew's, Quebec, and graduated with a B.A. from McGill University in 1890. One of the first women to obtain a bachelor's degree in arts from McGill University, Abbott was denied admission to the McGill Medical School, since women were not yet admitted, and subsequently attended the University of Bishop's College where she received her medical degree in 1894. Following postgraduate studies in Europe, Abbott returned to Montreal where she met the Chair of Pathology at McGill University, Dr. George Adami, who appointed her Assistant Curator of the Medical Museum in 1898. In addition to her efforts at curating and maintaining the specimen collection at the Medical Museum, Abbott became a renowned teacher and an expert in cardiac disease. In 1924 the Medical Museum and the Pathology Department were moved from Strathcona Building and Abbott was named curator of the new Central Medical Museum until her retirement in 1936. Abbott was a founding member of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC), the International Association of Medical Museums, and helped develop and organize the Canadian Medical War Museum. Her main area of medical interest was pathology and she specialized in congenital heart disease. She taught in McGill's Department of Pathology from 1912 to 1935, was the first woman to be honoured by the Pathological Society of London and published her authoritative Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease in 1936. Her second vocation, one inspired and encouraged by Sir William Osler, lay in museum work and medical history. She was curator of the Medical Historical Museum at McGill and lectured and wrote on a variety of historical topics, her major publication being the History of Medicine in the Province of Quebec (1931).

Custodial history

Acc. 606 was a gift of Dr. F. Wiglesworth, April 1978. File 144 donated by Dr. Richard Fraser. Old accession numbers 171, 189, 191, 401, 405, 412, 438, 515, 606 and 889.

Scope and content

The collection contains private records and papers relating to the medical and teaching career of Maude Abbott. It consists in large part of correspondence, 1894-1920, including family correspondence with, among others, her sister Alice Abbott, 1904-1919, and her brother Rev. Harry M. Babin, 1916-1920. Also included are manuscripts and drafts of articles and addresses; case reports; post-mortem records; glass slides and drawings; exhibit panels largely pertaining to her research on congenital heart disease; programmes of medical meetings, 1902-1937; reprints and papers relating to the history of medicine in Montreal and Quebec, as well as to the history of McGill, 1829-1936. In addition, there are photographs, some poems, an autobiographical sketch and a printed copy of her Classified and Annotated Bibliography of Sir William Osler's Publications, 1939, with corrections and annotations by W. W. Francis. Fonds also includes a draft of Abbott's letter to the Dean of Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, regarding admission (1889).

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Some accessions to the fonds were organized into series; for example, Accession 438 was organized into the series (1) Collection of programmes of medical meetings, 1902-1937, (2) Family letters, 1894-1920, and (3) Bundle of manuscripts, drafts, etc. of articles. These series are reflected in the current arrangement of the fonds. Other accessions were not organized into series upon their addition to the fonds and are described here as accessions.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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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

Legacy inventory list is available as a PDF:
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