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Description found in Archives

Records from the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital [graphic material and textual record] 

Series consists of



Place of creation


0.1 m of textual records
c. 2774 photographs: col. slides, col. prints, b&w prints, b&w negs.

Scope and content

Series consists of two hospital admission registers as well as a catalogued and cross-indexed collection of medical and biological photographs that originated in the Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. Volume 3635 consists of two admission registers; see two lower-level descriptions for further detail on the admission registers. Volumes 3726-3732 contain a catalogued and cross-indexed collection of medical and biological photographs. The photographic collection consists of medical slides of aboriginal patients and their various medical conditions, circa 1948-1967. There appear to be three separate series of photographs used at different times. Most slides of patients indicate the patient's name, date of birth, and diagnosis. The collection of medical and biological photography is heavily catalogued and cross-indexed by patient name, condition, and in some cases includes a detailed medical history.

Graphic (photo)
32: Restricted by law
from 3726 to 3732
32: Restricted by law
Textual records
32: Restricted by law
32: Restricted by law
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown. Credit the Library and Archives of Canada.

Photographs Medical History cross-referenced index cards A-Z, 0 to 900 R227 3728 2 2 (Microform)

Photographs Numerical index for colour slides 1395.5 to 1613.8; for prints 571-637; for photo 1001 to 1243; two log books. R 227 3729 2 2 (Microform)

Textual See lower-level descriptions. (No finding aid)

Biography / Administrative history

Towards the end of the 1945-1946 fiscal year, National Health and Welfare acquired the Jesuit College Hospital at Edmonton, Alberta from the Department of National Defense. The hospital became part of the Indian Health Services Division and was renamed the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital. The first non-veteran First Nations patients were admitted in 1945 and the first Inuit patient in 1946. The Department of National Health and Welfare also maintained services for patients of the Department of Veterans Affairs already in the hospital. The hospital's name change to the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital was made official only on August, 26 1946, and the Privy Council approved National Health and Welfare's purchase of the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital from National Defense on March 27, 1947 (P.C. 1119). In 1947, with a capacity between 350 and 400 beds, the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital was the largest hospital operated by the department. During its early operation by National Health and Welfare, the hospital was primarily viewed by the department as a sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis in Aboriginal people (First Nations and Inuit) from Western and Northern Canada, although general medical, surgical, and maternal care was also provided. The hospital moved to new buildings in 1967, by which time pharmaceutical treatment for tuberculosis was available. The hospital became referred to as the Charles Camsell General Hospital or the Charles Camsell Hospital.

On December 1, 1980, the Charles Camsell Hospital and its staff of 585 were transferred to provincial jurisdiction. The hospital became part of the newly-established Metro-Edmonton Hospital, District No. 106.

Additional information

Custodial history
The records in this series were likely devolved to the province of Alberta on 1 December 1980, when the minister of National Health and Welfare transferred the Charles Camsell Hospital to provincial jurisdiction. The records came to be held by Edmonton's Royal Alexandra Hospital, which returned the records to Health Canada's regional office in Edmonton, which then transferred the records to Library and Archives Canada. While the records were under provincial control, the Charles Camsell Hospital Historical Society, or at least its Chairperson, became involved in the cataloguing of the graphic material in this series, although the extent and context of the Society's involvement in the cataloguing and cross-indexing is unclear.

Source of title
Title based on the contents of the series.

No further accruals are expected.

Related materials
Records from departmental headquarters that are related to the Charles Camsell hospital may also be found in the central registry series in the Medical Services Branch sous-fonds, as well as in the Public Health Engineering Division series in the Health Protection Branch sous-fonds.

Associated material note
Other records from the Charles Camsell hospital can be found at the City of Edmonton Archives and at the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Staff and patient memoirs and biographies are compiled in "The Camsell Mosaic: The Charles Camsell Hospital 1945-1985" (1985). The Provincial Museum of Alberta holds a collection of arts and crafts created by patients at the Charles Camsell Hospital during its operation by National Health and Welfare, a collection described in ISBN 0-7732-1076-8.


Related control no.

1. 2001-11-05 EFRC
2. 2003-01384-9
3. RG29