Paul H.T. Thorlakson fonds
Call Number: Mss 68, Pc 84, Tc 63 (A.86-58, A.87-20, A.87-23, A.87-37, A.87-48, A.91-13, A.92-31)

Title: Paul H.T. Thorlakson fonds.

Dates: 1906-1986.

Extent: 7.5 m of textual records and other material.

Biographical sketch: Dr. Paul H.T. Thorlakson was born in North Dakota but grew up in Selkirk, Manitoba. Following overseas service as a medical sergeant during World War I, he received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in 1919. After practicing at Shoal Lake, Manitoba, and after undertaking post-graduate training in surgery in London and in Europe, Dr.Thorlakson entered group practice in Winnipeg in 1926. He was President and founder of the Winnipeg Clinic in 1938 and served as Surgeon-in-Chief at the Winnipeg General Hospital and Professor of Surgery at the University of Manitoba. He received an Honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba in 1952. In addition to his service in many other provincial and local organizations, he was also involved in a number of Icelandic organizations. Dr. Thorlakson was the first President of the Manitoba Institute for the Advancement of Medical Education and Research and also served as President of the Manitoba Council on Education. He is the author of more than seventy medical research papers. In 1952, he was President of the National Cancer Institute of Canada and, in 1969, he was elected Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, a position he held for nine years before retiring at eighty-two years of age. Dr. Thorlakson died in 1990.

Custodial history: The first five accessions of the fonds were donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Dr. Paul H. T. Thorlakson in 1986 and 1987.  The 1991 accession was donated to Archives & Special Collections by the Medical Library and the 1992 accession was donated to Archives & Special Collections by Dr. T. Kenneth Thorlakson.

Scope and content: The fonds contains biographical records, medical and community activity records, material created by the offices of the First International Congress on Group Medicine and the Canada Icelandic Continental Conference, photographs, slides, and tapes. The biographical records document Dr. Thorlakson's early life and family history. Included are personal papers of his father, Reverend N.S. Thorlakson, and of his uncle, Reverend Paul Thorlakson, as well as three biographical manuscripts (two unpublished) by Dr. George Houser, Dr. Ross Mitchell, and T.A.J. Cunnings. Among his medical career papers are those pertaining to the organization, development, and administration of the Winnipeg Clinic and Manitoba Medical Centre (Health Sciences Centre). Also included are his scholarly papers, speeches, remarks, addresses, and presentations and records of his various duties as Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. Photographs and slides are primarily associated with Dr. Thorlakson's scholarly presentations and personal history.  In total, the photograph collections contains 653 photographs and slides. The tape collection, for the most part, contains audio recordings of his presentations on medical subjects. The tape collection totals 9 audio-cassettes, 6 audio reels, 1 phonograph record, and 2 videocassettes.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.

Finding aid: A printed finding aid is available in the Archives reading room and an on-line finding aid is available at the link below:

MSS 68, PC 84, TC 63 (A.86-58, A.87-20, A.87-23, A.87-37, A.87-48, A.91-13, A.92-31).