Fonds RC0155 - Frank Norman Walker fonds

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Frank Norman Walker fonds

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  • 1913-1966 (Creation)

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Physical description

60 cm of textual records, graphic material and realia

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Biographical history

Frank Norman Walker was born in 1892 and graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto in 1918. He was a member of the Toronto Academy of Medicine and worked at the Toronto General Hospital. He published widely in the field of medicine in Canadian and American journals. He was awarded a McLaughlin Travelling Fellowship in 1964 and upon his return to Canada was associated with the Department of Anaesthesia, Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario.

Besides being a doctor, Walker had varied interests. He ran as a Liberal candidate for the riding of Woodbine in the federal election of 1926. He was also a member of the Board of Education for Toronto, and for twelve years was a member of its Library Board, twice serving as Chairman. He was elected to offices in the Ontario, Canadian and American Library Associations during the years 1945-1954.

As a historian Walker published several books on the topic of 19th century engineering in Canada and the United States. In Daylight Through the Mountains, which was published by the Engineering Institute of Montreal in 1957, Walker documents the letters and works of engineer brothers Walter and Francis Shanly. The book was co-authored by his wife, Gladys Chantler Walker. Other published works are Four Whistles to Wood-up; Stories of the Northern Railway of Canada (1953) and Sketches of Old Toronto (1965), which concentrates on the personalities and highlights of the city of Toronto in the period 1791-1851. The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature (1967) cites Sketches of Old Toronto in the bibliography under the entry for “Toronto”. His date of death is unknown.

Custodial history

Scope and content

There have been two accruals. The first accrual (13-2009) consists of a variety of materials documenting Walker’s professional career and interests including medical correspondence, published off prints and early sketches of a dissected rabbit (1913). There are also page proofs and preparatory material on Daylight through the Mountains (1957), political memorabilia and speeches. There is also general correspondence, of which a highlight is a carbon copy of letter to Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent dated August 27, 1951 proposing the building of a National Library with a signed reply from St. Laurent dated August 31, 1951. The second accrual (77-2009) consists of research materials gathered and compiled by Walker on Frederic Newton Gisborne (1824-1892), an engineer and inventor, for his proposed book, "Cables of Confederation". There is also a copy of a letter to former premier, Joseph R. Smallwood, 1966; printing blocks; and spoons.

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Fonds was acquired from Morris Norman in 2009.


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There are no access restrictions.

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No further accruals are expected.

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