Fonds 1469 - William Harding le Riche fonds

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Reference code

UTA 1469


William Harding le Riche fonds


  • [187-] - 2005 [predominant 1929-2004] (Creation)

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Extent and medium

8.04 m of records [textual, graphic, publications, sound recordings] (39 boxes)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

William Harding le Riche was born on March 21, 1916 in Dewetsdorp in the Orange Free State South Africa. He graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Witwatersrand in 1936 and received a Bachelor of Medicine (M.B.) and a Bachelor of Surgery (B. Ch.) in 1943 in the medical school in Johannesburg. In 1949, le Riche earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Witwatersrand for his thesis on studies in health growth and nutrition. During that same year, he also won a Rockefeller Fellowship to study at the Harvard School of Public Health where he finished a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in 1950. He moved to Canada in 1952 where he accepted a posting in the Department of National Health and Welfare. From 1952 to 1957, le Riche worked in Ottawa on the first Canadian sickness survey for the federal government.; and later, in Toronto with the Physicians’ Services Incorporated (PSI). In 1957, Dr. Andrew Rhodes, Director of the University of Toronto's School of Hygiene recruited le Riche. In 1962, le Riche became head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biometrics.

Dr. le Riche remained as head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biometrics at the University of Toronto until 1975. In 1982 he retired as professor of epidemiology in the Department of Preventative Medicine and Biostatistics, and was named professor emeritus.

Since his retirement, Dr. le Riche has continued to be active in the Canadian medical field. For example, in 1987 he took part in the review of communicable disease program for the Toronto Department of Public Health and served as an expert witness at the inquest into the E. coli deaths at the Extendicare Nursing Home in London, Ontario. His memoirs were published privately in 1993

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Scope and content

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.

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Finding aids

  • This finding aid describes all or portions of the following accessions in the le Riche fonds:B1989-0046, B1995-0021, B2002-0016, B2003-0012 and B2006-0004
  • The extent described in this finding aid is 6.2 of the total of 8.04 metres in the fonds.
  • Three accessions, B2002-0016, B2003-0012 and B2006-0004, are described in their entirety in this finding aid. Series 6 (Manuscripts and publications) covers all five accessions, while Series 7 (Addresses) encompasses accessions B1995-0021, B2002-0016, B2003-0012 and B2006-0004, but not B1989-0046.
  • The remaining series for accessions B1989-0046 and B1995-0021 are not yet described here. Readers wishing to consult these series are directed to the appropriate accession record and to its finding aid.
    -The elements (media, dates, and extent) given for each series cover only the material that has been described in this finding aid.

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