Fonds F06 - St. Joseph's Hospital, Chatham, Ont. fonds

Front view of original St. Joseph's Hospital in Chatham, Ontario.

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

St. Joseph's Hospital, Chatham, Ont. fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Level of description


Reference code

CA ON00279 F06

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

52.5 cm of textual records
177 photographs : b&w
122 photographs : col.
1 scrapbook (5 photographs : b&w ; 4 photographs : col.) ; 28 x 21.7 cm
1 scrapbook (22 photographs : b&w ; 24 photographs : col.) ; 28 x 21.7 cm
1 scrapbook (15 photographs : col.) ; 28 x 21.7 cm
1 scrapbook (1 photograph : b&w ; 32 photographs : col.) ; 28 x 21.7 cm
1 scrapbook (30 photographs : col.) ; 28 x 21.7 cm
1 photograph album ; 29 x 25.5 cm
1 drawing: pen and coloured pencil on paper; 24 cm x 38 cm
1 drawing: black ink on paper ; 12 x 16 cm
1 postcard : b&w
1 postcard: col.
1 poster : 33 x 29 cm
1 certificate : 1 seal, ribbon ; 43 x 36 cm
1 photograph (drymounted) : b&w; 19 x 27 cm

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1890 a meeting was held between Reverend Paul O.F.M of St. Joseph’s Parish Chatham, Reverend Mother Ignatia Campbell, and Mother Aloysia Nigh, along with some of the prominent doctors of Chatham. They decided that the community was in need of a hospital and the sisters agreed to run it. A boarding house, formerly the Salvation Army Barracks, was leased until funds could be secured for a new hospital to be built. The hospital was officially opened in its temporary quarters on October 15, 1890 with Mother Aloysia as its head, assisted by Sisters Francis and Martha. Construction began at the hospital’s long-time site of 519 King Street West on the Thames River with the laying of the cornerstone in 1891. Construction was completed in 1892. Over the years, wings were added onto the hospital to accommodate the growing community of Chatham and, therefore, the growing demand for hospital services.

In 1972, the amalgamation of services occurred between St. Joseph’s Hospital and Public General Hospital as ordered by the Ministry of Health for financial reasons. Legislative changes, increasing government control, and the decline of Sisters in the health care field led to the gradual withdrawal of the Sisters from the hospital. The last year that a sister was a hospital administrator was in 1984. In 1992, the Sisters withdrew from residence at the hospital, and in 1993 the ownership of the hospital was changed over to the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society. The hospital is now Riverview Gardens, a long-term care facility.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of essays, annals, a memoire, correspondence, memos, minutes, reports, financial papers, newspapers, newspaper clippings, photographs, drawings, floor plans, fact sheets, orientation booklets, bylaws, yearbooks, speeches, programmes, invitations, cards, newsletters, posters, flyers, press releases, membership roll, and certificates.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were transferred from the Sisters in Chatham to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada - London site archives. Some of the records were donated by former nurses.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

The records are located at the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada - London site archives.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

F06-S002 Correspondence and F06-S006-03 Crisis Fund Campaign 1972 are restricted to the public.

The Archives reserves the right to restrict access to the collection depending on the condition of the archival material, the amount of material requested, and the purpose of the research. The use of certain materials may also be restricted for reasons of privacy or sensitivity, or under a donor agreement. Access restrictions will be applied equally to all researchers and reviewed periodically. No researcher will be given access to any materials that contain a personal information bank such as donor agreements or personnel records, or to other proprietary information such as appraisals, insurance valuations, or condition reports.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Permission to study archival records does not extend to publication or display rights. The researcher must request this permission in writing from the Archives.

Finding aids

There is a series and file list.

Associated materials


No further accruals are expected.

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Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

June 25, 2014
Oct 30, 2018
June 13, 2019
July 2, 2020

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


A. Doyle (ed.) and J. Williams (ed.), St. Joseph's Hospital 1890-1990: Share the Journey, Chatham, Ontario, 1989.

G. J. Humbert (ed.), A Compendium of the Catholic Health Association of Canada, 2011.

Digital object (Master) rights area

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Accession area