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In 1906, she married Dr. Thomas Glendenning (T.G.) Hamilton in Elmwood. In 1909, their daughter Margaret Lillian was born; in 1911, their son Glen Forrester; and in 1915, their twin sons Arthur Lamont and James Drummond. The loss of Arthur in 1919 to the influenza epidemic encouraged the Hamiltons to engage with questions of life after death, and eventually establish the well-known Hamilton experiments in psychic phenomena, including the holding and recording of séances at their home, and other psychical research. Starting in the 1920s, Lillian not only helped organize and participated in the séances, but also carried out a large part of the secretarial work of researching, filing and analyzing the records; she also helped to prepare many of Dr. Hamilton's papers and articles. After T.G. Hamilton’s death in 1935, she carried on the séances and psychical research. From 1939-1940, she conducted two series of experiments with Hugh Reed, including several previous members of the Hamilton group, notably the medium Mary Marshall (aka “Dawn”). Lillian Hamilton brought the Hamilton investigations to a close in 1944, by which time the group had largely dispersed.
With her youngest son James D. Hamilton, Lillian completed the manuscript about the T.G. Hamilton research which was published as Intention and Survival in 1942. Until Lillian's health began to fail in 1955, she continued study of psychic matters and undertook the indexing and care of the Hamilton records. In the early 1950s, she and her daughter Margaret Hamilton Bach began collaborating on the work that was eventually published by Margaret as Is Survival A Fact? in 1969. Lillian died on 18 September 1956 in Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg.
Scope and content
Although more than ninety percent of the collection is related to Dr. T.G.Hamilton's investigations of psychic phenomena, the collection is of interest not only to the psychic researcher. Anyone interested in social characteristics of Winnipeg during the Post-World War I and Depression periods will find these records of local historical events a rich resource.
Medical and political historians may also find these records worth investigation. They cover the period from 1915 to 1935, an important period of medical discovery and of social legislation in Manitoba. The materials documenting Dr. Hamilton's medical and political careers complement the records of the Winnipeg General Hospital held by the Provincial Archives of Manitoba and the Legislative Scrapbooks of the Manitoba Legislative Building.
The records relating to psychic experimentation span the years 1918 to 1945. The highly-controlled experiments conducted by the Hamilton Group are important in that they form a solid bridge between late nineteenth and early twentieth century research and the developments of the last twenty-five years.
The subject matter of the records includes "rappings", clairvoyance, trance states and trance charts, telekinesis, wax molds, bell-ringing, trance scripts and visions, as well as teleplasmic manifestations.
The records are in various formats--scrapbooks, seance attendance records and registers, affidavits, automatic writings, correspondence, speeches and lectures, newspaper clippings, journal articles, books, photographic records, glass plate negatives and positives, prints, slides, tapes, manuscripts and promotional materials related to major publications. The records have been arranged chronologically in order to show the progressive development of the group, the mediums and Dr. Hamilton's relationships with persons of similar interests.
These personal contacts are worthy of special note. People of all walks of life and from all levels of intellectual attainment are represented. The mementos and correspondence include the signatures of such international figures as Alexander Fleming, Sir Oliver Lodge, Lady Arthur Conan Doyle, The Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, Theodore Besterman, Nandor Fodor, Dr. Bruce Chown and Dr. R.G. Crandon.
All loose photographic media have been cross-referenced numerically according to the experiment they represent. These photos are held as PC 12. The photographs are entirely concerned with seances, experiments, teleplasms, levitations and other related activities and were taken by a battery of cameras specially placed and triggered for use during the various seances conducted in the Hamilton home at 185 Henderson Highway in Winnipeg.
Obituary notices are to be found in Alumni Bulletins, journal articles and correspondence.
Immediate source of acquisition
The Hamilton Family fonds was donated to the University of Manitoba by Mrs. Margaret Hamilton Bach in sections over a thirteen month period. Mrs. Bach, daughter of Dr. Hamilton, was most cooperative and often described in full detail the contents of each accession. Such descriptions, considering the complexities involved, the lack of a well-defined filing system, and the scattered placement of the materials throughout the family, proved very helpful.
The collection was deeded to the University by Mrs. Bach on December 6, 1979. On January 4, 1980, a team from the National Archival Appraisal Board appraised the collection, and on March 26, 1980 it was certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board as having outstanding cultural and historical value to Canada.
A.86-56 (Margaret Hamilton Bach) was the last accession added to the collection. This accession added, largely, correspondence, photographic material, cassette tapes and information on modern psychic study.
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