Teasdale and Corti at the National Archives - News & Events - Library and Archives Canada
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To: National and local assignment editors, news editors/directors, department editors

 

LUCILLE TEASDALE AND PIERO CORTI AT THE
NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA

 

OTTAWA, October 11, 2000 --  The National Archives of Canada announces the official acquisition of the personal archives of Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti, the extraordinary Canadian-Italian medical couple who dedicated their lives to their patients at St. Mary's-Lacor Hospital, in Gulu, Uganda. The signing ceremony held in Montreal, was attended by Mr. Corti, Mr. Ian E. Wilson, the National Archivist of Canada, and a number of members of the Teasdale family and the Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti Foundation.

The ceremony

Ian E. Wilson presented a cheque for $25,000 to Ms. Monique Teasdale, Lucille Teasdale’s sister and secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Foundation, on whose behalf the Teasdale-Corti family donated its archives. He stressed the importance of welcoming these records to the National Archives of Canada: "Canadians will have unfettered access to the history of these incomparable models of vision, dedication, devotion, self-denial, ingenuity, optimism and humanity... Their example will continue to serve as an inspiration for young people today and tomorrow and encourage them to do more."

Piero Corti, a talented speaker, naturally regaled the audience with stories of Lucille. He was happy to see Lucille take her rightful place in history and to be recognized as a real hero in Canada, a country that was always dear to her despite her long absences. Ms Louise Baillargeon, from the Foundation, noted that this transaction has a much more practical significance for the charitable institution. "The amount that the Foundation received today constitutes an important contribution to the budget of St-Mary’s-Lacor Hospital which requires 1.2 million dollars to operate properly. It will be used to help the sick, either by expanding the facilities, purchasing equipment and medicines, training new professionals or conducting research."

The event was hosted by, Andrée Lavoie, the archivist responsible for the acquisition, which she considers to be an exceptional one. "The acquisition of this fonds been the most moving of my entire career. I had the privilege of meeting Piero and Dominique Corti, the husband and daughter of Lucille Teasdale, and to get a close look at the records they are bequeathing us. They give us an unparalleled glimpse into the extraordinary life of this family, which sounds to us like an epic novel but is in fact their reality."

The National Archivist and the famous doctor in animated discussion.
The National Archivist and the famous doctor in 
animated discussion.
Ian E. Wilson handing the cheque to Monique Teasdale.
Ian E. Wilson handing the cheque to Monique Teasdale.
Piero Corti, Ian E. Wilson, Andrée  Lavoie (front right) and members of the Foundation and of Lucille Teasdale's family.
Piero Corti, Ian E. Wilson, Andrée Lavoie (front right) 
and members of the Foundation and of 
Lucille Teasdale's family.

The fonds

The description of the fonds, which includes a biography of Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti, is available to the public on the National Archives of Canada Web site, by consulting the general inventory of ArchiviaNet, the on-line research tool. The fonds consist of various types of documents that are a testament to the work, courage and many accomplishments of Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti. They include correspondence, photos, films, awards and other personal and professional documents that were used in the filming of a documentary on Lucille Teasdale, which will later be broadcast on the CTV and TVA networks.

The correspondence includes touching letters that the couple exchanged before their marriage. The photos and films, taken in Africa and elsewhere, illustrate the professional and personal life of Lucille, Piero and Dominique, from the operating room to safari to the dining room. A film of Lucille’s funeral in Gulu, Uganda, (1996) is also included. The national and international awards that the couple received for their work and their great courage include the prestigious Feltrinelli and Sasakawa awards, as well as the Order of Canada, the Ordre du mérite du Québec and the Order of Italy. The personal and professional papers recount the various stages of Lucille’s and Piero’s life and the evolution of the St. Mary's-Lacor Hospital.

Fonds Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti (ArchiviaNet General Inventory)

The Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti Foundation 

Established during the lifetime of Lucille Teasdale by her sisters Lise and Monique, and by Piero Corti, the Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti Foundation (Montreal and Milan) is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to ensure that the couple’s teaching and research work carries on. The Foundation contributes financially to the operation of St. Mary's-Lacor Hospital and its special projects and promotes the two doctors’ example among young people here and around the world. The couple’s daughter, Dominique Corti-Vergani, herself a doctor, also works for the Italian Foundation.

The National Archives of Canada
The mandate of the National Archives of Canada is to acquire and preserve the nation’s historic testaments, including the essential records of the Government of Canada. By making these sources from their past and their history available to Canadians, the National Archives help protect the rights of all citizens and help them better understand their country.

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Media representatives who want pictures from the ceremony or of the Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti fonds, a detailed inventory of the fonds or any other information on this matter, can contact:

Pauline Portelance
Media Relations Officer
Telephone: (613) 996-6128
E-mail: media@lac-bac.gc.ca