In 1895 the government of Nova Scotia amended the law respecting coroners to provide for the appointment of a licensed medical practitioner as the medical examiner for the City of Halifax and the Town of Dartmouth.
The medical examiner was empowered to determine the deceased's identity and the time and method of death and to file a report with the Halifax County clerk of the crown and the appropriate stipendiary magistrate. The magistrate could then convene an inquiry and hear testimony if it was deemed necessary. In 1896 the act was amended to extend jurisdiction to include deaths occurring on the grounds of the Nova Scotia Hospital which at that time was beyond the Dartmouth municipal boundary.
The reports generally identify the deceased and the circumstances of death and may include testimony and evidence of police officers. The reports are arranged by the number assigned to each report by the clerk of the crown.