Fonds P155 - W.W. Francis Fonds

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W.W. Francis Fonds

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

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Dates of creation area


  • 1929-1959 (Creation)
    Francis, William Willoughby, 1878-1959

Physical description area

Physical description

185 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Born in Montreal in 1878, William Willoughby Francis earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1902. After interning at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital and spending some time in Europe to pursue postgraduate studies, Francis came back to Montreal where he opened a practice in 1906. He later became editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, then Registrar of the No.3 Canadian General Hospital in France during the First World War. When his second cousin Sir William Osler died in 1919, he donated his library to McGill University. Francis co-edited the catalogue of Sir William Osler's library, the Bibliotheca Osleriana, and ran the Osler Library of the History of Medicine until his death in 1959.

Custodial history

The fonds was generated by W.W. Francis during his time as Osler Librarian. Includes old accession numbers 13, 27, 73, 842, and 889. Several folders previously in this collection were transferred to the current files of the library before the collection was accessioned and transferred to MSS. Index cards for these folders carry a note of transfer.

Scope and content

The fonds contains correspondence related to the Osler Library and its holdings with people such as Maude Abbott, Edward Archibald, William B. Bean, Edward Horton Bensley, Archibald Malloch, Casey Wood, as well as John Farquhar Fulton, Keeper of the Medical History Collections at Yale University's library; the fonds also contains a typescript of talks by W.W. Francis (titled "Showman's Patter") about books and other items held in the Osler Library.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Arrangement is largely alphabetical by correspondent. Description of items taken from file folder labels. Brief index available (subjects): W.W.Francis Correspondence 1929-1959 Index.

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  • 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.

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