Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00193A - Raymond MacDougal Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Raymond MacDougal Papers


  • 1936 - 2003 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

4 boxes (.8 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Joseph Raymond MacDougal (known as Raymond throughout his life) was born in Toronto on 5 May 1917 to Paul MacDougal (1883-1958) and Marie Ellen Swan (1995-1961). MacDougal was a keen photographer and captured his British and European biking excursion in 1936. In 1940, after the outbreak of war, MacDougal joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), he hoped to be accepted as a photographer, but was instead assigned to be an observer. He trained in Toronto, before being sent to Clinton, Ontario, the site of a secret radar base, where he assisted with construction and set-up. In the summer of 1941, he attended the Initial Training School (ITS) at Belleville, before being sent to Ancienne Lorette in Quebec for flight training as a navigator. After 64 hours of flight hours, McDougal was transferred due to extreme air-sickness. He was assigned to the Clinical Investigation Unit and was sent to Toronto, where he trained in blood grouping and transfusion and was then transferred to Halifax and, later, to Regina to do blood labs for soldiers going overseas and also assisted with experiments on floatation devices, ditching suits and oxygen regulation. In October 1943, he returned to the secret No. 1 Clinical Investigation Unit located at 1107 Avenue Road in Toronto. MacDougal took over the photographic and joined the motion picture staff, where he worked on educational films for the RAF and RCAF and worked on aerial photography advancements. MacDougal also photographed activities at No. 1 Clinical Investigation Unit including experiments on centrifugal force on pilots at the Banting laboratory.
Raymond MacDougal married Eleanor Campbell on 18 October 1941 and had four children. After the war, he attended medical school at the University of Toronto and graduated in June 1953. Between 1954 and 1957, he worked as the Chief Medical officer for the Food and Drug Directorate in Ottawa, after which he relocated to Montreal to become the medical director of the pharmaceutical company, Frank W. Horner. He later became the Medical Director of Burroughs Wellcome & Co. After he retired, he worked as a consultant for the Terry Fox Foundation organizing studies for the drug Interferon. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal.
Raymond MacDougal died on 20 November 2004 in Kingston, Ontario at the age of 8

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Suzanne MacDougal.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection contains photographs and a typewritten manuscript recording Raymond MacDougal’s wartime experience while serving with the RCAF in Canada. This includes a written description of his war work including posted locations, individuals he worked with, and projects he was involved in. MacDougal’s annotated photographs are included in his typewritten manuscript, The War Years 1939-1945, as well as in a separate album. The album, which had the pages removed for conservation purposes, largely details photographs taken for both personal interest and as a part of his role in the photographic and motion picture section for the Clinical Investigation Unit in Halifax and Regina, and at the No. 1 Clinical Investigation Unit in Toronto, a top-secret medical facility, which MacDougal often describes as No. 1 I.T.S. These photographs notably include various experiments including centrifugal force, oxygen regulators and decompression chambers. MacDougal’s collection also contains photographs of Canadian WWII aircrafts on the runway and in flight, as well as extensive aerial photographs of Toronto, which were captured during the process of making educational films and testing photographic cameras in aircrafts. There are also several photographs from the Victory Aircraft factory in Malton, Ontario including celebrations in November 1944 for the 100th Canadian-built Lancaster aircraft. The collection also contains memorials of friends who died in action during the war. This collection also includes a typescript bound manuscript and photographs of MacDougal’s biking trip across Britain and Europe with his friend, William Dalton Smith, in 1936.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

MacDougal’s two manuscripts and flight log are on deposit with the library and are still owned by Suzanne MacDougal.

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Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Description identifier

Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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Dates of creation revision deletion




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