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Boris Babkin Fonds

Boris Babkin Fonds

Physical Description

78 cm of textual records



Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

Boris Babkin was born in Russia, and received his M.D. from the Military-Medical Academy of St. Petersburg in 1904. It was there that he met the pioneering physiologist Ivan P. Pavlov. He worked as Pavlov’s assistant until 1912, and remained a close friend throughout his life; for example in 1949, he published a biography of his old master. From 1912 until 1922, Babkin taught physiology at various Russian Institutes, but in 1922 political considerations forced him into exile in London. After a short period as professor of physiology at Dalhousie University, he joined McGill’s Faculty of Medicine in 1928. This inaugurated an active period of research and publishing, particularly on glandular secretions and the nervous system. After his retirement, in 1942, Babkin continued at McGill as a research fellow in physiology and neurology, and as an associate of the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Scope and Content

The fonds documents mainly Babkin’s professional interests in physiology, especially glandular secretions and the nervous system. The fonds contains correspondence; lecture notes; citations; research notes and papers, including manuscripts sent to him by his colleagues; reprints of scientific articles mainly in Russian; and material used in the preparation of the biography of Ivan Pavlov. The latter contains correspondence with Ivan Petrovich Pavlov and members of his family, 1923-1948; photographs and portraits; and an unabridged typescript copy of Parts 1-3 of Pavlov: a Biography, with manuscript corrections, 1943-1946.

Finding Aids

Complete inventory list available online.

Custodial History

Old accession number 390.


The documents are in English and Russian

Source of Supplied Title Proper

Based on the documents in the fonds.

Retrieval Number




Babkin, Boris Petrovich, 1877-1950
McGill University Doctors
Pavlov, Ivan