Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Manitoba Museum
Website URL
polio, disability, gender, family, childhood, nursing, social history, Winnipeg,
Additional Contact Information
Can comment on historical contexts of polio in Canada. Not interested in/will not comment on the anti-vaccination position.

Personal Info

About Me

I am currently  the curatorial assistant (history) at the Manitoba Museum. My job focuses on researching the histories of Winnipeg and Manitoba in anticipation of a new Winnipeg gallery and some updates in the existing galleries. I also write exhibit text and consult with community groups.

Prior to that I worked as a sessional instructor at the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba. I taught a number of introductory Canadian history classes as well as classes on the history of women and the history of education.

I have a BA (spec. hons.) and an MA from York University, Toronto Ontario. My PhD from the University of Manitoba (2013) is “It has impacted our lives in great measure’: Families, patients, and health care during Manitoba’s polio era, 1928 – 1953.”

My dissertation examines the broad social impacts of the multiple polio epidemics that occurred in Manitoba between 1928 and 1953, a period I refer to as the epidemic era. It argues that examining the six major polio epidemics as an era, and the disabilities it engendered are useful windows into twentieth-century social, nursing, disability, and family histories. It also examines the development of post-war rehabilitation programs, which worked to discursively transform people with an illness into people with a disability.

Recent Publications

Adele Perry, Esyllt Jones, and Leah Morton, eds., Place and Replace: Essays on Western Canadian History. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2013.

Leah Morton, “From Nose Sprays to Nursing Shortages: Managing Epidemic Polio in Manitoba, 1928-1953,” Manitoba History 66 (Spring 2011): 14-22.

Leah Morton, “Polio and the City of Winnipeg Archives,” A new home for the City of Winnipeg archives, October 2018, Archives,”

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
North America
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Disability, Family, Local & Regional, Museums, Public History, Women