Vancouver Public Library Special Collections, 350 West Georgia Street
CA V6B 6B1
Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
The collection was established by Ron D'Altroy in the early 1960s. The first major collection to be purchased was the Leonard Frank Collection, consisting of approximately 7,000 negatives capturing all elements of B.C. life from mining and forestry to ships and cities from 1910 to 1944. Over time, the number of photographs housed in the Special Collections Division has increased through the acquisition of a number of major collections, some of which have been digitized and made available through our web pages.
Holdings consist of photographs covering subjects relating to British Columbia and the Yukon. Work by amateur, commercial and artistic photographers is included. Turn-of-the-century companies, such as the Bailey Brothers and Edwards Brothers, are represented. Dominion Photo Company's photographs, spanning the 1920s-1940s, show the growth of commerce in B.C. The photographs of well-known B.C. photographers, such as Philip Timms and Madeline (Mattie) Gunterman, often contain highly personal photographs of daily life. These photographers, together with the Leonard Frank collection, constitute the cornerstone of the collection. Formats include original prints, display prints, original glass plate and acetate-based negatives, copy negatives and circuit prints and negatives. Access is by a card subject index.
<a target=newpage href="http://www.vpl.ca/historicalphotos">Website</a> provides information about the holdings, finding aids, programs and services of the Historical Photographs Collection. Site includes an <a target=newpage href="http://www3.vpl.ca/spe/histphotos/">online historical photograph database</a> with images being added on an ongoing basis. Specific Web sites also exist for photographs by Leonard Frank, Philip Timms, Mattie Gunterman, Artray Limited Photographers, as well as a selection of about 1,500 photographs documenting the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia.
Special Collections Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:00am-6:00pm and Sunday: 11 am-6:00 pm.
Revised September 2009.
Revised by BCANS Coordinator, March 25, 2011; January 21, 2015.