Fonds 9-2000 - School of Nursing, Brandon Mental Health Centre fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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School of Nursing, Brandon Mental Health Centre fonds

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Reference code

CA MCK 9-2000

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1890-1989, predominant 1920-1980 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3.85m textual records
880 photographs, 220 negatives
26 slides

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Administrative history

The Brandon School of Nursing was established in 1921 at the Brandon Hospital for Mental Diseases (hereafter B.H.M.D.). It was first alluded to in 1913 when the Superintendent of the B.H.M.D., J.J. McFadden, recommended it as a means of enhancing the reputation of the hospital. In 1919, the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene released a highly critical report on the state of custodial institutions for the mentally ill in Canada that paved the way for reforms such as the establishment of psychiatric nursing schools. In 1920, the new superintendent, Dr. Charles A. Baragar, in his first annual report, again mentioned the need for trained nurses and instructional facilities in which to train them. Lectures began at B.H.M.D. in October of 1920 for attendants and nurses, but they were not compulsory and were not part of a formal program of studies. This was followed in 1921 with the establishment of the School of Nursing through which courses were offered beginning in 1922. The program consisted of a two year Mental Nurses Diploma Course, and a shorter "demonstrative" course that was required for all employees of the B.H.M.D. who elected not to enroll in the diploma course. The Class of 1923 was the first class of graduates from the Brandon School of Nursing. They were, by all accounts, the first graduates in all of Western Canada with a diploma in Mental Nursing. In 1924, wages at the B.H.M.D. were adjusted to take into account the completion of formal training in psychiatric nursing. In 1925, a short lived affiliation with the St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg, that ended in 1927, was begun. That year also saw the beginning of a graduate studies course. In 1930, the diploma course grew to a three year program. In 1986, as many aspects of the B.H.M.D. - now referred to as the B.M.H.C. (Brandon Mental Health Center) - were phased out in favor of community based care, the B.M.H.C. School of Nursing was incorporated into Brandon University's School of Nursing, which began to offer a 2 year Post-Diploma Degree in Nursing and Mental Health.

Custodial history

This fonds was accessioned by the McKee Archives in 2000. Prior custodial history is unknown.

Scope and content

This is a collection of records dealing with the history of the School of Nursing at the Brandon Mental Health Centre. The records consist primarily of administrative documentation created by the school dealing with various internal issues such as student recruitment, graduation services - including an almost complete collection of graduation programs - and records dealing with the behavior of the students. Administrative records also refer to external issues faced by the B.H.M.D. as a whole, such as its burgeoning patient population and the constant problem of adaquate accommodations for patients, staff, and student nurses. The collection also includes staff recollections, and correspondence from within and from outside of the B.H.M.D. Also included are documents relating directly to the history of the School of Nursing and of the B.H.M.D. as a whole. A smaller amount of curriculum materials, including instruction manuals, notebooks, and hand-written lecture notes are also included. Publications from within the B.H.M.D., including "The Opinion" from 1970-1990, and the "The Ego" 1956 - 76 (seven editions)are also included, as well as a collection of outside publications dealing with psychiatric nursing, mental diseases, medical ethics, and heredity. Fonds also includes medical dictionaries and handbooks of different nursing institutions such as the Victorian Order of Canadian Nurses. Lastly, the collection includes approximatley 880 photographs, 220 negatives, and 26 slides, that provide a graphic portrayal of the history of the Brandon Mental Heal centre.

Notes area

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Restrictions on access

Access to these materials is restricted. Those interested in the collection should consult the Archivist.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

N/A as of January 2002.

Associated materials

Associated material: Other material relating to the B.H.M.D./B.M.H.C. are housed at the Manitoba Provincial Archives.

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  • English

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