Dr. Wallace Seccombe 1915-1917

Dr. Seccombe

Dr. Wallace Seccombe 

Dr. Wallace Seccombe was born in Toronto on April 3rd, 1878. He graduated from the School of Dentistry of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons in 1900, and led his own private dental practice for fifteen years ("Dean Wallace Seccombe," n.d.). He was the first dental officer who was appointed by the Toronto Board of Health to outline dental health and education in public schools ("Dean Wallace Seccombe," n.d.). He became the College’s Superintendent in 1912, and was the professor of dental economics, and the librarian and curator of the museum from 1915-1917 ("Dean Wallace Seccombe," n.d. & "Wallace Seccombe, LDS DDS," n.d.).

Dr. Seccombe was the Faculty of Dentistry’s first Dean after the School of Dentistry joined forces with the University of Toronto in the years of 1925-1926 ("The Late Dean Wallace Seccombe, D.D.S., F.A.C.D.," n.d.). He played an integral role with negotiating this move, and made sure that all of the old standards of teaching were up to par with the University’s ("The Late Dean Wallace Seccombe, D.D.S., F.A.C.D.," n.d.). He was dean following WWI, when the Faculty saw a rapid rise and fall in student admissions, and the school struggled financially. Dean Seccombe was able to overcome this challenge and focused on the quality of classes and enlarging the size of the library to support students ("The Late Dean Wallace Seccombe, D.D.S., F.A.C.D.," n.d.). 

He was also recognized as a leading foreman in the dental profession, and made the groundbreaking decision to establish the department of Preventive Dentistry at the Faculty, which was adopted by the leading dental schools in Canada and the United States (Crowling, 1936, p. 4). The American Association of Dental Schools appointed him to the position of chairman in a committee that was given a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to conduct a survey and analysis of dental education in the US and Canada ("The Late Dean Wallace Seccombe, D.D.S., F.A.C.D.," n.d.). Moreover, his dedication to his profession also established the degrees of Bachelor of Science in dentistry and Master of Science in dentistry at the University of Toronto ("Dean Wallace Seccombe," n.d.).

During the time when he was appointed librarian from 1915 to 1917, he recognized the importance of growing the collection and thus, speding the entire library budget on new books. He also moved one of the book shelves to the reading room where students could pick up and read the books without signing them out. After resulting in 27 lost books he moved the bookshelf back behind a desk and hired a full-time library clerk to oversee their circulation (RCDS, 1917).

Select Works

References

Crowling, T. (1936). Wallace Seccombe, D.D.S., F.A.C.D. Oral Health, Vol. 26 (1): 3-4.

Royal College of Dental Surgeons. (1917). Annual announcement of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Canada, 1917.

Seccombe, W. (1911). Disciplinary power of the dental board of Ontario. Oral Health, Vol. 1 (3): 14-18.

Seccombe, W. (1911). The new dentistry act. Oral Health, Vol. 1 (4): 8-17. 

Seccombe, W. (1913). Future need for dentists in Canada. Oral Health, Vol. 3: 15-18.

Seccombe, W. (1915). Localized dental clinics for children. Oral Health, Vol. 5: 507-513.

Seccombe, W. (1921). Diet in relation to oral hygiene. Dominion Dental Journal, Vol. 33: 208-218.

University of Toronto Dentistry Library. (n.d.). Dean Wallace Seccombe. Unpublished manuscript, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

University of Toronto Dentistry Library. (n.d.). The Late Dean Wallace Seccombe, D.D.S., F.A.C.D. Unpublished manuscript, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. 

University of Toronto Dentistry Library. (n.d.). Wallace Seccombe, LDS DDS. Unpublished manuscript, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Wallace Seccombe 1915-1917