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Detailed Record


Herbert Stanley Birkett Fonds

Herbert Stanley Birkett Fonds

Physical Description

9 m. textual records. – ca. 100 photographs. – ca. 30 artifacts.



Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

Herbert Stanley Birkett (1864-1942), C.B., V.D., M.D., LL.D., F.R.S.C. (C.), F.A.C.S., received his M.D. from McGill University in 1886. He specialized in otology and laryngology and was associated in practice with Dr. Frank Buller. In 1893, he became Lecturer in Laryngology at McGill and in 1895 he was appointed as Chair in the subject. Birkett was instrumental in developing the departments of Oto-Laryngology at the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) and at McGill University. During World War I, Birkett helped organize and command the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) in France, and became assistant director-general of the Canadian Army Medical Corps earning the rank of Brigadier-General in 1918. From 1914-1921, Birkett was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill and received an honourary degree of LL.D in 1921. Mr. and Mrs. Birkett had one daughter together, named Winifred L. Birkett.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of documents pertaining to Dr. H. S. Birkett’s medical activities, including 117 bound volumes of patient records (1889-1942), medical notebooks (1893-1896), bound RVH reports (1894-1938), RVH charts (1901-1920) and registers (1899-1917). There are also various letters addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Birkett, a manuscript, newspaper clippings, various degrees and medical association certificates, as well as photographs of H. S. Birkett’s personal life and professional life at McGill and elsewhere. The collection also includes various artifacts collected by H. S. B, including military and medical memorabilia collected by H. S. Birkett.

General Note: Series 3 contains some patient records which are restricted under privacy legislation (100 years since date of document). Artifacts associated with Birkett can be found in the Osler Library artifacts room using the location list.

Finding Aids

Inventory list available.

Custodial History

Accession 903. Old accession number 861/66-72 is also associated with material found in this collection (as written on folder 11). The collection was accumulated by Dr. H. S. Birkett, then passed to his daughter Winifred L. Birkett, and bequeathed to the Osler Library and McGill Faculty of Medicine upon her death in 1993. The collection arrived at the Osler Library in two parts: (1) upon the death of Winifred L. Birkett, and (2) during renovations at RVH when a storage room full of the late Dr. H. S. Birkett’s “medical books, medical photos and medical memorabilia” was discovered and transferred to the Osler Library in 1995. The second lot included items of furniture that were sold to antiques dealer Francis Lord (of Milord Inc., 1810 Notre Dame Ouest, Montreal QC H3J 1MS) ca. 1995-96 due to lack of library space at the time. Francis Lord had purchased other items from the estate in 1993-94. Detailed correspondence about the acquisitions from the Estate of Winifred L. Birkett can be found in the Osler Library accession records.


The documents are in English.

Source of Supplied Title Proper

Title based on the content of the fonds.

Retrieval Number



1. Miscellaneous Ephemera, Photographs, Letters, & Manuscript

2. Oversized Degrees, Photographs & Medical Faculty Miscellany

3. Medical Records, Reports,& Registers

4. Artifacts


Birkett, Herbert Stanley, 1864-1942
McGill University - History
McGill University Doctors
Royal Victoria Hospital