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Information

Halpern Family fonds

Media Type: 
Multiple media
Call Number / Archival Reference Number: 
F-58
STEM Field: 
Medicine
Psychiatry
Neurology
Description: 

Fonds consists of materials documenting mainly the personal life of the Halpern family but also includes some records relating to George's and Fanny's scientific and professional interests. Activities and topics documented include the Halperns' emigration to Canada, George's scientific research and business enterprises, his work with Brock House (a senior citizen's centre), Ida's community interests, and Fanny's medical career in China.

Biography/Administrative History: 

Fanny Gisela Halpern was born August 1, 1899 in Krakow, Poland. After graduating in medicine from the University of Vienna in 1924, she worked in various clinics in that city. Her interest in neurology and psychiatry led her to study with Professor Wagner-Jauregg, who had received the Nobel Prize for developing the malarial treatment of syphilis. Fanny was invited to China in November 1933 to teach at the Medical College of China in Shanghai. She later taught at Shanghai’s St. John's University and Women's Christian Medical College. In 1935 she organized China's first modern psychiatric hospital, Shanghai Mercy Hospital for Nervous Diseases. She became the hospital's medical director, while at the same time serving as a consultant to several other medical institutions. Fanny founded the first Committee on Psychiatry in China. She also established a Committee on Mental Hygiene in Shanghai, which became the Mental Hygiene Association of that city. The group consisted mainly of volunteers who worked in mental hygiene and child guidance clinics. She wrote many articles on psychiatry and neurology and presented papers at scientific meetings in Europe and China. For much of her time in Shanghai, Fanny shared her life and home with her mother, Rosalie, who joined her there after Simon's death in 1939. Shortly after her mother passed away in 1951, Fanny moved to Vancouver to be near her brother, George, and his wife, Ida. Fanny Halpern died on June 26, 1952.

Date(s): 
1865-1990
Extent: 
3.07 m of textual records, ca. 700 photographs, 193 transparencies, 40 objects, 9 contact sheets, 7 sound recordings
Province: 
BC
Hosting Institution: 
Simon Fraser University
Collection Contact: 
archives@sfu.ca
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