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University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services William Harding le Riche fonds
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William Harding le Riche fonds

  • UTA 1469
  • Fonds
  • [187-] - 2005 [predominant 1929-2004]

Personal records of W. Harding le Riche, documenting his personal life in South Africa and Canada and his career as an epidemiologist, especially at the School of Hygiene and in the Department of Preventative Medicine at the University of Toronto.

The records include correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and photographs; drafts of articles, chapters of books and whole books, including le Riche’s Memoirs; addresses; course outlines, lecture notes and other teaching files; conference files; and reports derived from academic research and consulting work. There is also a set of LPs consisting of a recording by the South African Broadcasting Corporation of a 1966 lecture series by Raymond Dart, an eminent anthropologist who first described Australopithecus africannus.

Le Riche, William Harding

Sound recordings

This series includes 2 interviews with le Riche. One relates to South Africa and discusses his childhood, his early education, his family life as well as his opinions on various aspects of South African history, events and people. A second is an interview with Betty Kennedy done in 1967 discussing the problem of obesity and diet. Finally, the third tape is of a Methodist choir of the Basuto people taped by le Riche during a visit to his homeland. The choir is introduced by le Riche at the beginning of the tape.

Family and personal

This series contains material relating to the le Riche family generally, to specific members of it – Harding le Riche’s, mother, siblings, wife, children, and grandchildren, personal information about le Riche himself, and his scrapbooks. The files on Professor le Riche contain biographical information, curriculum vitae, and press coverage of his activities, along with files on honours bestowed, memorabilia, a riding accident, and his trip to South Africa in 1964. B2006-0004/004 contains several certificates of awards both loose and in a large album. This series also includes family documents from 1888-1930s. (B2006-0004/001)

The largest single component of this series is the scrapbooks. They contain press clipping of items of family, academic, and political interest, programmes for and invitations to social and professional events, some photographs, the occasional letter, a large number of first day covers, and memorabilia relating to Professor le Riche’s travels and other activities. The first scrapbook (1945-1946) is filed in B2003-0012/001; the later scrapbooks (1964-1966, 1967-1973, 1973-1978, and 1978-1986) are filed in B2003-0012/002 to /005. Scrapbook for 1966-1968 is filed in B2006-0004/004. Loose items associated with scrapbooks dating from 1967 to 1986 are filed in folders in B2003-0012/ 001, /004 and /005, as appropriate.

The series concludes with an album of 9 records, titled “Beyond Antiquity: A series of lectures on the origins of man by Professor Raymond Dart, Professor Emeritus, University of the Witswatersrand, Johnannesburg, South Africa”, with an accompanying printed outline of the lectures. The series was produced by the South African Broadcasting Corporation in 1966, and le Riche was a contributor to it. Raymond Dart had been a professor of anatomy at Wits when le Riche was a student there, and was just beginning his career as an anthropologist. Le Riche was already interested in the subject and some of his friends visited the Sterkfontein caves in August 1936 with Robert Broom, the country’s leading paleontologist, who, a few days later, discovered the first Australopithecus at the site. Dart became famous for his description of the Taung skull, Australopithecus africannus.