Fonds - George Edward Buckley

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George Edward Buckley

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Physical description

2.2 meters of textual records
146 photographs: b&w, mounted; 36 x 30 cm or smaller.

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Biographical history

Dr. George Edward Buckley practiced as a physician in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia for 69 years. Buckley was born in 1847 in Sydney, N.S. the son of Rev. James Buckley (originally from Ireland) and Abigail (Brown) Buckley. His brother was Albert Hall Buckley (1862-1957), a Halifax druggist and his nephew was William Hall Buckley (1874-1950) a Guysborough jeweler and photographer. Buckley attended Sackville Academy and College in New Brunswick before studying under Dr. Samuel Muir of Truro, NS, for eighteen months. Buckley graduated from the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1867. In the same year he moved to the town of Guysborough where his parents were living and began practicing medicine. In 1872 Dr. Buckley married Eva Georgina Campbell of Guysborough, she later died in 1877. One of their children was Abigail Georgina Buckley (1874-1961) who married John Alexander Tory (1868-1950). Dr. Buckley's second marriage was to Celia Mary Pearson of Montreal in 1879 and they had four children. Dr. Buckley was known to be a traveling doctor, but a hip injury in May 1927 caused him to stop all travel, but continued the practice in his home until May 1936. Buckley was a member of the Canadian Medical Association and an honorary member of the Nova Scotia Medical Society. He died in Guysborough in July 31, 1936 at the age of 89.

Custodial history

Purchased from a Toronto dealer in July 2014 with financial assistance from the Tory family, descendants of Dr. Buckley.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of business records in daybooks and ledgers and photographs of family members, including himself. The financial records document his 69 year medical practice as a family doctor for Guysborough and surrounding areas (Intervale, Riverside, Manchester, Glenkeen, Canso, Salmon River, Boylston). The daybooks (1867-1936) record daily activities of Dr. Buckley including date of doctor visit, patient’s name, community name, medicine prescribed, the doctor’s fees, and any immediate payments made. This information was then transcribed into the ledgers of patients’ accounts (1867-1936), organized by patient’s last name, to track payments and methods of payment over time. Daybooks for 1908 to 1929 also have a separate section entitled “Indian Accounts”, referring to members of first nations communities, that list a specific health condition, doctor’s fee, and patient’s name. While the ledgers have indexes (either as part of the book or as a separate small book numbered with the ledger), the daybooks are generally not indexed except for included or small separate books which only record patients who paid and were consequently not entered in the ledger at that time.

The photographs include formal family portraits and informal groups, mostly of men and children, taken by several professional photographers including William Notman, W.G. Hadley, The People’s Gallery, W.D. O’Donnell, and Gauvin & Gentzel. Few are identified and dated, most are not. Photographs of houses, scenery and landscape are also included.

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Physical condition

Many of the older volumes (before 1910) have damaged binding on the spines due to extensive reference and use by Dr. Buckley.

Immediate source of acquisition


Numbering and lettering of daybooks and ledgers were originally completed by Dr. Buckley.
Daybooks for 1871-1873, 1892-1893, 1909, 1917, and 1919, and Ledger D (1895? to 1905?) are missing.

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Availability of other formats

All materials have been digitized. Scans 201611200 to 201626355.

Restrictions on access

Originals are closed for preservation. Please use digital copies.

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Finding aids

Lists which include retrieval information are available for the photographs and separately for the business records

Associated materials

  • See also the Buckley Family fonds - William Hall Buckley was a nephew of Dr. Buckley.
  • See also the James C. Tory fonds - Dr. Buckley's daughter, Abigail, married John Alexander Tory, brother of James.

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