Fonds 030 - Dr. Francis O’Dea fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Dr. Francis O’Dea fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

CA NL0001 030

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1945-1977 (Creation)
    O'Dea, Dr. Francis

Physical description area

Physical description

6.5m textual material

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Francis Lawrence O’Dea (1916-1979), physician, was born in St. John's on 5 September 1916, the son of the Honorable John V. O’Dea and May Coady. He completed primary and secondary school at St. Bonaventure's College and Memorial University College. Then O’Dea enrolled at University College in Dublin in the Faculty of Medicine, where he obtained his qualifying degree, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O. in 1944.

In 1944 O’Dea married Raymonde Judd, eldest daughter of Raymond and Mollie Judd ( nee Shea, formerly of St. John's) of Dublin. They have five children, Shane, Susan, Oonagh, Annmari and Francis. He spent the autumn of 1944 as Resident Medical Officer at Smithdown Road Hospital, Liverpool, England and the following winter in general practice at Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, England. In the spring of 1945 O’Dea returned to St. John's and established a general practice.

From October 1946 until May 1947 O’Dea undertook post-graduate work at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin and received his licentiate in Midwifery. He then proceeded to Hereford, England where he was Obstetrical Officer at the County Hospital until July 1948.

On his return to St. John's in 1948 he set up the first specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology, pioneering for improved maternity health care in Newfoundland. That year he co-authored, with Dr. Hatcher of the University of Toronto, Survey of Maternal and Child Health for the Newfoundland Department of Health. He attempted to introduce the Grantly Dick-Read method of natural childbirth into the hospitals but was prevented by the conservatism of the time. From 1948 until 1967 he was Medical Officer in Charge of the Department of Health's Pre-Natal Clinic which, prior to the introduction of MCP, served those who had no access to private medical care. While serving on the staffs of Grace and General Hospitals, he was Chief of Obstetrics at St. Clare's Mercy Hospital.

Dr. O'Dea was active in the Newfoundland Medical Association serving as Chairman of the Committee on Economics from 1954 to 1959. At the same time he was a member of the Canadian Medical Association's Committee on Economics. In 1958 he was President of the Newfoundland Division of the Canadian Medical Association. He was also involved in the St. John's business community as a Director and President of Newfoundland Brewery Limited and as Director of Browning Harvey Limited, of which he was Vice President in 1965.

Dr. O’Dea died in 1979 after a lengthy illness.

Custodial history

The family of the late Dr. Francis O’Dea donated his papers to the Medical School. Dr. K.B. Roberts transferred them to the Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, QEII, Memorial University of Newfoundland, where the fonds was processed in 1987, Coll-086. In 2005 the fonds was transferred to the Faculty of Medicine Founders’ Archive.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the personal and professional records created by Francis O’Dea during his work in the medical profession and his involvement with a variety of individuals and organizations in Newfoundland. The fonds contains patient records, patient accounts and appointments, and receipt books from 1949-1977. There is also a small amount of correspondence relating to Medicare and the Newfoundland Medical Association. The fonds is arranged in the following series:

1.0 Medical Accounts, 1945-1977 (Entire Series is Restricted)
2.0 Patient Records, 1949-1975 (Entire Series is Restricted)
3.0 Administrative Files, 1950-1967 (Contains Restricted Material)

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The papers of Dr. Francis O’Dea were transferred to the Faculty of Medicine Founders’ Archive by Mr. Bert Riggs, Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, which had custody of the papers. Mr. Riggs transferred the papers to the Founders’ Archive in July 2005.


When the papers of Dr. Francis O’Dea arrived at the Founders’ Archive, the material had been arranged and described by the CNS Archives. This formed the framework for further arrangement into acid free folders and boxes, and relabeled, and description of the collection.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access to some of the materials in this fonds is restricted. Such material is clearly marked in the finding aid and will not be available to researchers. For further instruction, contact the archivist.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Material in this fonds is protected by copyright. Copyright regulations state that any copy of archival material is to be used solely for research or private study. Any use of copied material for any other purpose may require the authorization of the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance from the copyright holder(s).

Finding aids

Faculty of Medicine Founders’ Archive finding aid # 30. File level control

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres