The Moore Panorama Digitization Project

First in an occasional series on the W.J. Moore panoramic photographs.

Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, we’ve just completed a project to digitize 399 panoramic photographs by W.J. Moore.

Panoramic photographs are defined as being at least twice as wide as they are high. The format was popular for group photographs of teams and at conferences or other gatherings, and because it captured the breadth of landscape views in one unbroken image.

Stock parade at the Vancouver Exhibition at Hastings Park, 1915

Stock parade at the Vancouver Exhibition at Hastings Park, 1915. Item # PAN N80.

The Vancouver Exhibition was later renamed the Pacific National Exhibition. Click through the image above to see what it looked like before mini-donuts, the roller coaster, and the Prize Home.

The original negatives are huge. They were taken in the first half of the 1900s with a No. 8 Cirkut Outfit camera, which produced negatives 8 inches high and up to 8 feet long. It’s a demanding format, but Moore had the skill and experience necessary to produce excellent photographs. 

Providing public access to photographs this large is awkward and may result in damage to the originals. Most of these are tightly rolled negatives, which are difficult to view properly. Giving access through digital files is safer and faster.

To see all the Moore panoramic photographs we’ve digitized, you can search for Photographs on our website. To find only these images, search for the Photographer “Moore, W J” and the Subject “Panoramic photographs”, and select Digitized Photographs, like this: Searching for Moore panoramas

For an even closer look, see our first contribution to Flickr, a set devoted to Moore’s Panoramic photographs. View them in Flickr’s “original size” and it feels like walking around in the past.

The selected images include:

There’s even a 360-degree view of Vancouver from the roof of the second Hotel Vancouver in 1914.

We’ll digitize other panoramic photographs from our holdings over the coming months. Feel free to use and remix all these images in whatever way inspires you.

In future posts, we’ll highlight the photographer, some unusual features of Cirkut photographs, the Cirkut Outfit itself, and the rich images that Moore created.

See something in these images that you remember, or that surprises you? Have you used any of them to create something cool? Let us know below.

This digitization project was made possible by funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia.
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre logo

4 Responses to The Moore Panorama Digitization Project

  1. Negatives 8-feet long?!? That’s a lot of neg…
    Congrats on the blog launch!

  2. Wow! Excellent presentation – wonderful to be able to see such large size photos up close. What happened later to all those people in the 1915 stock parade, for example, I wonder. Their images are so clear. I long to know more about them.
    And thanks for the generous licensing too.

  3. These photographs are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing
    r.
    PS. Great name for the blog.

  4. Nik Palmer

    You wouldn’t believe how pleased i was to stumble upon the Moore images. Stunning. Currently i love the Roundhouse image, but they are all equally beautiful. Great work. I hope we can look forward to seeing images during the wars years, the mid 50’s and 60’s. Even early 80’s downtown would look utterly different. And also the city planning diagram are great.

    thanks

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