Digital Archives Initiative

Health Sciences Centre Construction Photographs, 1971-1977



Early Days of the Medical School at Memorial University: Health Sciences Centre Construction Photographs, 1971-1977

The first home of the Medical School was in the General Hospital, which was located on Forest Road in the east end of St. John's, and in Memorial University's Education Building. Next, Temporary Buildings were built on campus to house the Faculty of Medicine (and other university units) until a permanent facility was constructed.

In 1971, funding had been confirmed through the Federal Health Resources Fund. Scrivener Products Limited (Toronto) was then selected to manage the project and coordinate the development of the facility, working closely with the St. John's based firm Project Management and Design Limited.

Mr. R. Harvey Self, project manager and president of Scrivener Products Newfoundland, a branch of Scrivener Products (Toronto), set up contract photographers John O'Reilly and Gordon King, who worked at Medical Audiovisual Service (MAVS) in the Faculty of Medicine, to take photographs of the construction of the Health Sciences Centre. The first photographs were taken before any construction began. The photographs include: the development of the complex; equipment; several of the many people who were involved with the project; and a number of events that took place.

The first steel of the Health Sciences Centre was erected on Aug. 9, 1972, and the first concrete was poured Oct. 24, 1972. Just under 12 months later the last piece of steel was laid on Oct. 5, 1973. Although the building was not yet completed, the Medical School Faculty Council held a meeting in the Main Auditorium on 18 Dec. 1973. There are also photographs that were taken in North Sydney at the time of the C.N. strike in August, 1973. Several trailers, carrying equipment for the Health Sciences Complex, were stranded there for a week. Strikes slowed progress on more than one occasion.

Titled description sheets, which matched up with each photograph, were also created. There are several description sheets missing, nor are there any negatives for those gaps. The final description sheet contains the number 278 but there are only 263 photographs and titles in the collection.

The Faculty of Medicine moved into the building in 1974 and the General Hospital moved into the HSC in the spring of 1978. The Honourable Frank D. Moores, then Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, officially opened the facility on October 26, 1978. A new building, currently under construction, will be opened in 2013, which will provide extra space for the Medical School, which is expanding, as well as room for the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Human Genetics.

Partnerships

The Lillian Stevenson Nursing Archives and Museum
The Lillian Stevenson Nursing Archives and Museum, Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre, St. John's, NL, under the direction of Janet Story, Archivist, graciously agreed to be a partner in the creation of this exhibit.

Upon the kind invitation from Janet Story to come to the Lillian Stevenson Nursing Archives and Museum we discovered index card size description sheets containing both the titles for the photographs and corresponding negative numbers. We also discovered another set of negatives, which were numbered. As a result, the titles and images could now be matched. The cooperation of the Lillian Stevenson Nursing Archives and Museum made it possible to put this collection together in its original order. The title for each photograph is quite detailed, thus demonstrating clearly the progression of the construction of the Health Sciences Centre.

Health Sciences Information and Media Service (HSIMS)
Health Sciences Information and Media Service (HSIMS), Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, kindly agreed to be a partner in the creation of this exhibit and also provided the 263 digital images.

Sponsor

Memorial University - Faculty of Medicine Founders' Archive

Associated Website:

The Early Days of the Medical School