International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    National Archives of Canada


    Category Institutional Archive
    Country Canada
    Address 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N3, Canada
    Telephone 613-992-3884
    Fax 613-995-6274


    The National Archives of Canada contain an extensive record of the Government of Canada’s control of leprosy.There are 69 entries in the Agriculture Department. These commence in 1872. There are administrative documents and reports relevant to leprosy in various parts of Canada (in general from 1878) and also in specific places, such as at Englishtown, Cape Breton (1889-90), New Brunswick (from 1888), and Grosse Isle (1894). There are also reports of suspected cases in Nova Scotia, Winnipeg (1890), and Anticosti (1890). There is extensive documentation relating to leprosy in New Brunswick, to the lazarette at Tracadie, and the work of Dr A C Smith (dating from 1885). There are documents relating to the introduction of legislation (1890, 1891) and to appointments of Drs Graham and Montague in connection with a Leprosy Investigation (1891). There are documents relating to claims of cures such as that of Juliette Pinault (1883-4), J Rumball (1889), W Y Brunton (1890), and C Esmonin (1893).

    There are reports received from elsewhere or correspondence entered into with organisations such as the Royal College of Surgeons (1872) and the Indian Leprosy Commission, or places such as Hawaii (1885), Norway (1875), Bombay (1878), London (1887), British Guiana (1888), the Cape of Good Hope (1889), Jamaica (1890), and Iceland (1894-5). There is material relating to various leprosy conferences and congresses including correspondence from 1896 leading to the Berlin Conference and the Bergen Conference (1909).

    From the archives of External Affairs there are records of leprosy from 1886 and 1891 and documents related to the Conference in Strasbourg (1922-1923), and the International Congresses in Rio de Janeiro (1946-1952), Havana and Madrid (1947-1953).

    In the National Health and Welfare archives, there is the minute book reporting leprosy in the years from 1815-1931. There are general reports on leprosy from 1897-1928, 1928-1932, 1932-1940, 1950-1965, 1923-1967, 1971, and 1971-1975. There are files on leprosy in British Columbia (1906-1910, 1910-1919), on leprosy in New Brunswick (1895-1909, 1900-1903, 1903-1907, 1907-1913, 1913-1918, 1909-1919); the Act Respecting Leprosy (1906-1919); medical reports on the colony on D’Arcy Island (1891-1931 and 1922-1932); on Bentinck Island (1921-1934); and on leprosy amongst indigenous peoples from the Indian and Northern Health Services (1922-1972, 1946-1953, 1958-1963, and 1963-1971).

    From the Privy Council there are records of the repeal of the Leprosy Act (1971); and from the Secretary of State, there are reports of leprosy in British Columbia (1891-1900 and 1892).

    There are twenty-two photographic holdings recording individuals suffering from the disease taken between 1921-1927.

    In the Canadian Centenary Archives, there is correspondence regarding lepers’ aid (1960-1962).

    In the Ken Bell archives, there are photographs of the activities of His Eminence Paul-Emile, Cardinal Leger among lepers at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped, Yaounde, Cameroon, 1971-1975, published in the book A Man and His Mission: Cardinal Leger in Africa (1976).

    Entry made February 2002


    Name The Archivist
    Organization National Archives of Canada
    Address National Archives of Canada, 395 Wellington St, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N3, Canada.
    Telephone +1 995-5138 Toll free: 866-578-7777 (Canada and USA)
    Fax +1 613-995-6274

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