Collection RBSC-ARC-1742 - William Brenton Burnett collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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William Brenton Burnett collection

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • Variations in title: Previously known as The William Brenton Burnett Papers.

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  • 1891-1964 (Creation)
    Burnett, William Brenton

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Physical description

6 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

William Brenton Burnett was born on June 13, 1870 in Sussex Corners, New Brunswick. In 1891 he received a B.A. from Acadia University. He went on to teach in Alberta and British Columbia before attending McGill University where he graduated with an M.D. From 1900 to 1914 he operated a private practice in general medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia. Leaving his private practice, Dr. Burnett focused on gynaecology and obstetrics until 1938. During this time he was also awarded the Fellow of American College of Surgeons degree.

He participated in several medical associations including the Vancouver Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association. Additionally, Dr. Burnett was extremely interested in mining communities as indicated by his membership and executive roles in groups such as the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mining Co., B.C. and Yukon Chamber of Mines, and the Mining Association of B.C.

He died quietly on May 20, 1964.

Custodial history

The material was given to the Woodward Biomedical Library by Dr. Burnett’s daughter, Dorothy Burnett. It was transferred to Rare Books and Special Collections in 2015.

Scope and content

The collection of papers of William Brenton Burnett consists mainly of autograph letters, typescripts of addresses, notebooks and documents. These relate to Dr. Burnett’s life as a student at Acadia University and at McGill University, and as a teacher and physician in Vancouver, British Columbia. The principal part of the collection deals with the early years of the period covered (1891-1964). A number of diplomas accompany these papers.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The material was given to the Woodward Biomedical Library by Dr. Burnett's daughter, Dorothy Burnett.


It is not known whether the papers have received any sorting or handling prior to acquisition by Woodward Library.

In June of 1979 the material was placed in acid-free envelopes numbered I to XVII along with brief notations on their content by Woodward Memorial Library.

The current arrangement was inherited from Woodward Library.

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RAD compliant finding aid compiled by M. Hunter, July 2015.

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