The Hospital for Sick Children Archives

Identity area



Authorized form of name

The Hospital for Sick Children Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Hospital for Sick Children Archives
  • SickKids Archives
  • Hospital for Sick Children Archives
  • SickKids Archives


  • Healthcare Institution

Contact area


Janet Wencer



Street address

Hospital for Sick Children 555 University Avenue





Country name

Postal code







Description area


The Hospital for Sick Children Archives was begun as a centennial project by the Women's Auxiliary in1970. Initial donations and transfers were accepted beginning in 1970, described and arranged by volunteer staff from 1971 to 2002, and operation of the Archives passed to the Hospital Library in 2005.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

The Hospital for Sick Children Archives is subordinate to the Hospital Library. Archives staff report to the library's Director, who in turn reports to the Chief of Education, and as of 2012, the Hospital Library & Archives form part of the hospital's Learning Institute.

Records management and collecting policies

The Archives collects, preserves and makes available records no longer in active use, but of continuing historical interest and created by the Hospital or its medical, nursing, and support staff. The Archives welcomes donations of relevant material. The Archives does NOT collect, or make available, medical records of patients -- to obtain patient records, please contact the Health Records Department.


The storage area has compact shelving that provides approximately 190 m of shelving.


Records date back to 1875 and many of them were initially accumulated and stored by the administrators of the hospital. After the formation of the Archives, departments, divisions, and staff of the hospital began to contribute selected records.

The Archives has also received major donations of accumulated material from the School of Nursing (1886-1974), the Alumnae Association of the School of Nursing (1903-2012), the hospital's Research Institute (incorporated 1954), and the SickKids Foundation (incorporated 1973). In addition, the Archives has some records of other organizations with which the hospital is, or has been, affiliated.

Holdings include: 100 m of textual records (consisting of minutes of boards and committees, press clippings, hospital publications and reports, medical and nursing educational material, histories and personal recollections, and collections of ca. 500 subject files) ; ca. 3,100 photographs and drawings (in a variety of formats) ; ca. 300 videotapes ; ca. 70 films ; ca. 400 objects ; ca. 40 architectural drawings or models ; ca. 30 audiotapes ; and 1 philatelic collection.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Finding aids, both textual and electronic, are available for many of the collections in the Archives, particularly for photographs. There are also box lists and an accession register.

Access area

Opening times

The Archives room is open, by appointment only, on Monday through Friday, except for statutory holidays.

Access conditions and requirements

Please call ahead to make an appointment for research or to make a donation.


The Archives room is accessible, but space is limited. Please call ahead to discuss any special requirements.

Note that some record formats require special viewing equipment, not owned by the Archives.

Services area

Research services

Electronic finding aids can only be searched by Archives staff. Archives staff will provide reference service of up to one half hour, free of charge. For more detailed research, staff will conduct expert searches based on knowledge of the records and findings aids, at its discretion, for a fee.

Reproduction services

Photocopies can be made by staff for a nominal fee. Higher quality reproductions or digital copies can usually be provided, but costs will vary depending on the condition of the original material and the format of the reproduction.

Copies are understood to be solely for the purpose of research or private study. Any other use may require authorization of the copyright holder of the work in question.

If material is requested for publication or further reproduction, the Archives requires a disclosure statement of the intended use, and requests that a credit line be given to the Archives as the source of the material.

Public areas

The Archives area does not have wireless access or public computers.

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created March 7, 2012.
Revised March 9, 2012.


  • English



Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario