Dear Dr. Banting
In 2007, a station was put up in Dr. Banting’s bedroom as a more creative way for people to “sign a guestbook” so to speak. The thought was that visitors would write about where they were visiting, what they liked about the museum and what they thought about the tour. It’s safe to say that no one at the museum expected the visitor’s response to this activity. This guest book idea soon involved into what is now known as the Dear Dr. Banting letters. Guest began to leave behind letters addressed to Dr. Banting thanking him for their life, discussing their work in academia and the medical field, children drawing pictures of insulin pumps and syringes, and so much more.
It has evolved into a permanent and staple station in the museum and is beloved by our community. Not only that, it has also become a valuable resource for researchers and academics looking at material culture, the importance of place, and the importance of community. But, letters to Dr. Banting have been around long before this station. As early as 1922, letters were written and addressed to Dr. Banting, thanking him for his work and the discovery of insulin. The online exhibit Dear Dr. Banting will take visitors through a digitized collection of all the letters that have been stored in collections and will also include a section where your personal stories beyond the letters can be shared.
The exhibit will open virtually on November 14th, 2020 (World Diabetes Day). Please stay follow us on our social medias to learn more about the exhibit launch as we get closer!
Virtual Dear Dr. Banting Letters
We miss you! We miss hearing your stories, sharing our heritage and history with you and reading your letters. The letters that our visitors leaves always highlight the importance of history, place, and community.
As a way to continue to hear your stories, we have created a digital Dear Dr. Banting letter that you can fill out and send to us. We will then collect, print and place these letters in the bedroom to continue the spirit of the Dear Dr. Banting letters.
- Download the letter here.
- Open it up in an PDF reader of your choice such as Adobe reader. It will not work if you leave it in the browser. You must go to your file explorer, open the downloaded file in a reader and then fill it out (or it will come back to us blank!)
- Fill in the letter with whatever you want to say! You can tell us what you’re excited about when we reopen, you can talk about living with diabetes during the pandemic, or just a general thank you! Feel free to write whatever you want.
- Sign off your letter with your name!
- Save the PDF as “Dear Dr. Banting – (Your Name and the Date).
- Send the completed PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Dear Dr. Banting Letter” in the subject line!
Unable to fill out the PDF? Leave your letter below in the comments!
There is no obligation to leave any identifying information, but we’d love to know who you are and where you’re writing from.
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Dear Dr. Banting Exhibit Launch