Did you have a baby book when you were little, where your parents would record information about your growth and health and development? The Museum of Health Care has a book sort of like that in our collection– only for adults! Dr. James C. Connell was the author of The Book of a Life, From Generation to Generation, which provided spaces for people to keep careful track of their health information throughout their entire lives.
Born in 1863, Connell grew up to become an influential and prominent figure at Queen’s University and Kingston General Hospital. He was a graduate of Queen’s University and became the first director of its ophthalmology department, as he was an early specialist of surgery of the eye, ear, nose, and throat. He became Dean of Medicine in 1903, remaining in that position until 1929, spending those twenty-six years improving the medical education at Queen’s and expanding the scope of Kingston General Hospital– he even became the Principal of Queen’s for a short time!
He wrote his Book of a Life after he retired. He meant for the book to be a source of education to the public on both the importance of keeping health records and on healthy living standards. He is remembered as a good surgeon and teacher. To learn more about Dr. Connell and his Book of a Life, visit our blog at https://museumofhealthcare.blog/the-book-of-a-life/.