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Fonds F40 - Gisela Albrecht fonds
Title and statement of responsibility area
Gisela Albrecht fonds
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Level of description
CA ON00008 F40
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[ca 1963]-1986 (Creation)
Physical description area
8.8 cm of textual records (16 files) 8 photographs : b&w and col. ; 17.5 X 12.6 cm and smaller, one photograph is glued to a metallic paper frame 1 key : metal ; 8.1 X 3.1 cm 1 key ring : metal ; 12.6 X 2.6 cm 1 slide ruler : yellow and clear plastic ; 31 X 5.7 cm 1 case for slide ruler : black vinyl ; 35 X 7.5 cm
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Gisela Albrecht was born in Germany on 18 Feb. 1928. She graduated from high school in 1945 shortly before the end of World War II. Several months later she fled her home province, which had become part of the Russian occupied zone of Germany, and relocated to the northwestern part of the country. Ms. Albrecht was accepted into the nursing program at the University Hospital, Hamburg-Eppendorf (U.K.E.) in Germany and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1949. During her eight years of employment at U.K.E., she worked first as a staff nurse in the Internal Medicine Department and later as Head Nurse of a neurology ward. In 1957, Ms. Albrecht emigrated from Germany to Canada, where she settled in Toronto. Here she worked for several months as a staff nurse at Sick Children’s Hospital before she joined the Nursing Department at the Ontario Hospital, Toronto, later re-named in 1966 as Queen Street Mental Health Centre (QSMHC). She has described her initial shock at the physical environment inside the old, dark buildings – large overcrowded wards, open bedroom dormitories, long halls with locked doors, and some of the “treatments” used such as cold wet packs, continuous water baths and insulin shock therapy. That reaction soon gave way to a real satisfaction and commitment to working with the mentally ill. During her lengthy career at QSMHC, Ms. Albrecht had the opportunity to witness firsthand and participate in the tremendous changes that occurred over the years, not only at the Centre but in the mental health field generally. Ms. Albrecht began her career there in 1958 as a staff nurse. From 1963 to 1970 she held the position of Head Nurse for Acute and Admission Services. In 1970 she was promoted to the position of Nursing Coordinator for Acute and General Psychiatry, which included several clinics, a position she held until 1979. Between 1979 and 1991 Ms. Albrecht was the Assistant Director of Nursing, and during several intervals of two or three years, she served as the Acting Director of Nursing. This was the final position she held, leading up to her retirement in 1994. While working at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, Ms. Albrecht chaired a number of intra- and inter-departmental committees, the senior hospital management committee, and various task forces. She was also a member of the Archives Committee for several years. Ms. Albrecht was a member of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), including its Psychiatric Nurses Interest Group and its Provincial Nursing Administrators Interest Group. In addition, she completed a two-year extension course in Communication and Organizational Psychology at the University of Toronto, and obtained the Certificate in Hospital Departmental Management from the Canadian Hospital Association.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of various materials that primarily pertain to programmes and services offered at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre but it also consists of materials that pertain to a variety of other related topics such as the management of patients with disturbed behaviour, nursing procedures and techniques, patient rehabilitation and recovery, and suicides or attempted suicides. Fonds includes nursing newsletters, memoranda, proposals, workshop materials, lectures, a thesis, a collection of poems and a newsletter authored by psychiatric patients, a book review, and a guidebook regarding the Mental Health Act and the police. Significantly, the fonds includes an organizational review of services offered at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre with related responses and comments by staff to the report.
Immediate source of acquisition
Fonds was donated by Gisela Albrecht in July 1994 upon her retirement.
Language of material
Script of material
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Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Access to F40.1.5 is restricted in accordance with the amended donor agreement.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Finding aid is available in hard copy, MS Word, and database formats.
Associated / related material
Related materials can be found in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Queen Street site fonds.
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Name access points
- Albrecht, Gisela (Creator)