Monday, 13 October 2014



New British immigrant to Canada having a bottle of Coca-Cola and a cigarette,
1947, Archives of Ontario (I0002997.jpg)

It's no secret that we are living in a world that is primarily visual; the things that grab our attention are often bright, colourful and loud. Photographic collections have the same impact in archives; they represent some of the most accessible parts of the collections. Archives (and museums) have a really fantastic resource at their finger-tips (in my humble opinion). So, for this Museum Monday, I thought I might post a list of some interesting photograph collections!

1. The City of Toronto Archives has a collection of their favorite photographs, but they also have the photographic collection of Ellis Wiley. This particular collection contains photographs from 1945-1993 of many different areas of Toronto like Kensington and St. Lawrence Market, Ontario Place, the CN Tower…

EDIT: the City of Toronto Archives also has a pretty awesome Flickr page, if you want to see a fair number of photographs without having to search in their database.

St. Lawrence Market, Ellis Wiley fonds (Fonds 124), File 12

Campbell House, Ellis Wiley fonds (Fonds 124), File 2

Ontario Place, Ellis Wiley fonds (Fonds 124), File 9

2. The New York City Department of Records has a collection of Police Department and Criminal Prosecution photographs. The website includes a disclaimer, and I’ll put one here too, be aware that there are photographs that include some graphic images such as homicide crime scene photographs.

Street view, gun in street, political posters in windows, 1916-20 (pde_0127)

George Marthens mugshots #67095, 1916-20 (pde_0390)

Front view of house with door open and footprints in snow, 1916-20 (pde_0187)

3. The McCord Museum has a collection of William Notman photographs. During Notman’s career he “built up the largest photographic business in North America” with 7 permanent studios in Canada at one point or another. Notman's business was held by his family until 1935 when Willam Notman’s son Charles sold the business.

Foot race, Dawson City, about 1900 (MP-0000.2360.36), McCord Museum

Ice shove, Commissioners Street, Montreal, QC about 1884
(VIEW-1498), McCord Museum

Quebec Bridge, Quebec City, QC, 1917(?) (VIEW-6191), McCord Museum

4. The Glenbow Museum has a large photographic collection as well, including photos related to my favorite subject: agricultural labour.

Children picking sugar beets in field, Raymond, Alberta, September 1953
Glenbow Archives (NA-4510-191)

Men model women's clothes in fashion show, Calgary Alberta
Glenbow Archives (NA-5600-7229a)

Threshing crew, Southern Alberta, Glenbow Archives (NA-4548-2)

5. The Toronto Reference Library was just donated a huge collection of photographs (1900-1999) from the Toronto Star. The collection is in the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana. The library has not digitized the collection yet, although I’m not sure if that will even be part of the plan for the collection. However, the Toronto Star did do an online gallery of the highlights of the collection.

Gordie Howe with sons Mark and Marty, February 27, 1976
Toronto Star, Dick Darrell

Queen Elizabeth II with Pierre Trudeau, October 15, 1977
Toronto Star, Jeff Goode

Woman on corner of Bay St. and Front St., March 4, 1985
Toronto Star, Tony Bock

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic images from some great collections! With so much information to archive, it is good to get these highlights on some exciting collections which document so much of Canadian and Toronto life.