Series 2 - Publications and research notes

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CA MUA MG2001-2

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  • 1945-1998 (Creation)
    Robertson, H. Rocke (Harold Rocke), 1912-1998

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.6 m of textual records.
1 videocassette.
4 photographs.

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Biographical history

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, on August 4, 1912, Harold Rocke Robertson, known as H. Rocke Robertson or “Rocke”, received his primary school education at St. Michael’s School and his secondary school training, from 1926-1929, at Brentwood College in Victoria. From 1925-1926, accompanied by his sister, Marian, he studied near Geneva, Switzerland, where he acquired French. In 1929 he moved to Montreal where he attended McGill University, receiving a B.Sc. (1932) and an M.D.C.M. (1936). He also completed an internship at the Montreal General Hospital under Dr. Fraser B. Gurd and he studied pathology under Dr. Pop Rhea. Following this, Robertson earned a medical fellowship at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Scotland, where he studied from 1938 to 1939. In 1937 he married Beatrice Rosyln Arnold, known as “Rolly” at Arncliffe, her family home, in Senneville, Quebec, and had four children: Tam, Ian, Bea, and Stuart, known as “Tooie or Toopot”.

H. Rocke Robertson died on February 8, 1998, Ottawa, Ontario. His funeral was held at McGill University.

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This series documents Robertson’s contributions to the medical field through articles and reports on such diverse topics as wounds and infection and surgical techniques, 1953, 1958, 1963 1964, 1974, 1981 Container 2, File 47, 49, 51, 56 Container 2, File 59 ), trauma care, including one VHS cassette 1962 1996 (Container 1, File 11), the state ofthe Canadian Health Care System, 1972 1973 (Container 2, Files 52 53), and the effects on human health of lead in the environment, 1974 (Container 2, File 54; Container 5, File
123 . In particular, Robertson made significant contributions towards the efficiency of hospital operating systems, to the treatment of wounds, and to gastrointestinal surgery, especially duodenal ulcers and to vascular surgery, with an emphasis on venous thromboembolism and arterial replacement, 1954, 1957, 1962, 1960 1962 Container 2, Files 46, 48, 50; Container 4, File 106). Robertson’s publications include: The Emergency Care Project Books I and II, 1973 1974 (Container 16, Files 236 237), Health Care in Canada: A Commentary, 1973 (Container 5, File 120; Container 16, File 239) and Health Care in Canada: Supplementary Papers, 1973 (Container 16, File 240). This series also contains the article, entitled “Ten Years After”, published in the McGill Journal of Education, which reflect on Robertson’s principalship at McGill, 1978 1980, 1980 Container 2, File 57; Container 5, File 122 .

Newspaper articles, correspondence files, published and unpublished publications, and descriptions of visits to libraries worldwide demonstrate Robertson’s diverse personal interests, particularly his passion for rare English dictionaries 1963 1992 1946 1993, 1966 1986 (Container 6, Files 176 188; Container 8, Files 145 147, 149 152, 172) as well as his interest in literature and rare books, which includes a book of hand written literary quotes 1967 1991 (Container 15, Files 1/225 2/225), as well as efforts to imitate
the literary style of Lyttleton Hart Davis in a letter to his brother, Bruce Robertson, 1989 1994 (Container 4, File 82). This file also includes two of Robertson’s creative writing endeavours, entitled “Silly Boy” and “The Paymaster, or the Artful Dodger”. This series also contains Robertson’s and his grandson’s A Collection of Dictionaries and Related Works, Volumes 1 and 2, 1987 (Container 16, Files 1/235 2/235).

Robertson’s interest in the history of medicine is documented, in particular, through his correspondence with Joyce He slow, ormer Professor of English at McGill University, in which she discusses the Fanny Burney Papers, 1963 1976 (Container 8, File 169) as well as through additional correspondence and articles, 1993 1997, 1976 1984 (Container 8 , Files 170 171). Burney’s first person account of undergoing surgery without anesthesia is later incorporated into one of Robertson’s article on the history of medicine entitled, “Without Benefit of Anesthesia” (Container 8, File 146) which also addresses George Wilson’s anaesthetized amputation during the nineteenth century Further indications of this interest include Robertson’s annotation of the Archibald and Archibald McCrae Correspondence for the Osler Library 1976 (Container 8, Files 154, 159

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