Tag Archives: photographs

Friends’ Fall Fundraiser: Vancouver—An Ever-changing City

Please join us on October 22nd at 7:00 pm at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre for “Vancouver—An Ever-changing City,” a fascinating virtual walking tour of Vancouver then and now, and a chance to support the work of the Archives.

Andy Coupland and John Atkin will explore the changing nature of the city through before-and-after images selected from the blog Changing Vancouver and the Archives’ holdings. Set against the background of selected historic panoramas, they will take you through a hundred or so years of development, displayed on the dome of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s Star Theatre.

cordova-east-from-cambie

West Cordova Street – east from Cambie. From “Changing Vancouver”

Sponsored by the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives, the event is the Friends’ annual fall fundraiser. Founded in 1993, the Friends have played a key role in promoting the Archives and raising funds for various projects. Among their most notable purchases:

  • The first web publishing software that allowed the Archives to make its database searchable on the Web
  • The dye-sublimation printer that for years produced 8×10 photo reproductions of images in the Archives’ holdings
  • A portion of the cost of the Archives’ cold storage facility (for preservation of deteriorating photographic negatives)
  • The lease of an early public-use photocopier for the Reading Room
  • Indexing of Major Matthew’s’ 7-volume Early Vancouver
  • Reproduction of damaged Vancouver City Directories

Most importantly, since 1999, the Friends have received over $98,000 in provincial gaming grants to allow the Archives to describe and digitize images in its holdings. They have contributed over $90,000 of their own funds to the program, as matches on the applications. Tens of thousands of the images you see on the Archives’ website are there due to the generosity and fundraising efforts of the Friends. These include photographs by Williams Bros. Photographers Ltd., Stuart Thomson, James Crookall, John Davidson, and over 18,000 of the images collected by Major Matthews.

Net proceeds of ticket sales and all donations will go toward the Friends’ support of the Archives. We hope to see you at the event, and we sincerely thank you for your support.

Archival Images at the 2014 Pacific National Exhibition

Archival images from our holdings will be on display in a big way at this year’s PNE!

Couple on amusement park ride in P.N.E. Gayway, 1948. Item CVA 180-1520

Couple on amusement park ride in P.N.E. Gayway, 1948. Item CVA 180-1520

Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC, we are currently digitizing thousands of archival images from the Pacific National Exhibition fonds.

Loopo plane ride in midway carnival, 1940. Item CVA 180-0798.

Loopo plane ride in midway carnival, 1940. Item CVA 180-0798.

PNE staff have curated a looping show of about 300 images that can be seen on the jumbo screens in Celebration Plaza, where the BBQ Competition is held.

Acrobatic performance in midway carnival sideshow, 1940. Item CVA 180-0799.

Acrobatic performance in midway carnival sideshow, 1940. Item CVA 180-0799.

Be sure to look up when you’re there to see the PNE as it used to be!

“Through the Lens” is back at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Last year, we told you about Through the Lens: Building Vancouver’s History, two different shows featuring huge panoramic images from our holdings projected on the dome of the Star Theatre.

view of false creek

View of the C.N.R. Station under construction and the completed G.N.R. (Union) Station, March 1918. Reference code AM54-S4-3-: PAN N178

The Space Centre is bringing back these very popular history shows in May due to popular demand.  The first show is curated and presented by John Atkin and the second by Michael Kluckner.

More information is available here.

Curated shows available on YouTube

Have you ever seen the curated shows of images and video that are on display in the Archives’ Gallery or across from the elevators in the City Hall Rotunda? We’ve been told that many people have missed their elevator so they could watch more of the show.

We have made all 5 shows available on YouTube for viewing and re-use. Feel free to download the high-resolution version if you have a screen you’d like to program with historical Vancouver content. Continue reading

Wintertime Frolicking

It’s been chilly lately. Let’s see how people in Vancouver enjoyed the cold weather of past years.

In 1929, small bodies of water froze and it was possible to skate.

Skaters with houses in the background

Couples cavorting on Trout Lake, 1929. Stuart Thomson photograph. Reference code AM1535-: CVA 99-1901.

Continue reading

Hogan’s Alley Before the Demolition

Hogan’s Alley was the colloquial name for the lane between Union and Prior Streets, roughly between Main Street and Jackson Avenue. It was home to Vancouver’s first black community. Many of its buildings were demolished as part of the Georgia Viaduct Replacement project.

Two portraits of Fielding William Spotts, age 78, at 217 1/2 Hogan's Alley, Vancouver. May 28, 1935. Reference code AM54-S4-: Port N3.2.

Two portraits of Fielding William Spotts, age 78, at 217 1/2 Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver. May 28, 1935. Reference code AM54-S4-: Port N3.2.

Continue reading

New in the Public Domain for 2014

On January 1st, while we were singing Auld Lang Syne, the copyright expired for some of our holdings: they are now in the public domain in Canada. This means that they are no longer restricted to being viewed only at the Archives, but are available online to all. Here’s a quick look at what’s become easier to view and re-use.

This is a 2-reel documentary made by CBC in 1963 to be broadcast as part of The Morning Show. Continue reading

Ghosts of Vancouver: our city’s best-known haunts

Are they really haunted? You’ll have to find out for yourself. These are the stories we’ve heard.

Evoking a medieval French castle, the Chateau-style Hotel Vancouver, complete with steep copper roof (now painted green), ornate dormers, and creepy gargoyles, is alleged to be haunted by an elegant “lady in red” who patrols the 14th floor. This fashionable apparition has reportedly been seen walking on an invisible ledge by hotel guests, employees and film crews. It is said that the hotel’s elevator often stops on the 14th floor, and as the elevator door opens on its own, the lady in red is seen gliding through the hallway . . . .

Hotel Vancouver – Archibald & Schofield, 1928-1939. Reference code AM54-S4-: Hot P70

This medieval style, fortress-like landmark is Vancouver ‘s earliest drill hall. Its notable features include two rounded towers complete with battlements, and rusticated stone trim. Three and a half foot thick walls and a parapet made from Gabriola Island limestone rest solidly on a foundation of huge granite blocks. The Hall has always housed Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s senior militia regiment, The British Columbia Regiment – Duke of Connaught’s Own. Various eerie sounds are the most commonly reported evidence of other-worldly residents: footsteps. . . . voices. . . . books falling from shelves. . . . items falling from walls. However, the image of a man has been observed in the Senior NCO’s and Officer’s messes. Little is known of the identity of those who haunt the Drill Hall, but the military personnel who trained here saw action in the Boer War, as well as the First and Second World Wars. Continue reading

“Through the Lens: Building Vancouver’s History” at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Join historians John Atkin and Michael Kluckner  in the Space Centre‘s digital Planetarium Star Theatre to look back at Vancouver as you’ve never seen it before. Two “indoor” digital walking tours allow you to experience the changes that have enveloped our city over the last 100 years.

Michael Kluckner's presentation pays special attention to the  Olympic Village and Kerrisdale areas. View of Arbutus Street at 37th Avenue, Reference code AM54-S4-3-: PAN NX

Michael Kluckner’s presentation pays special attention to the Olympic Village and Kerrisdale areas. View of Arbutus Street at 37th Avenue, Reference code AM54-S4-3-: PAN NX

The presentations use a selection of images from our W. J. Moore panorama negatives, which we’ve featured here before.  Remarkably, the Space Centre has used the same high-resolution JPG images that you can download from our online search and projected them to fill the Star Theatre. They are matched with stunning modern panoramas and other audiovisual elements to produce two unique shows.

7:00pm Wednesday November 6 (John Atkin)
7:00pm Wednesday December 4 (Michael Kluckner)
Tickets available at the door.

Boxes and More Boxes: Constructing Safer Housing for Panoramic Glass Plate Negatives

This post was written by Kathy Kinakin, one of our volunteers.

What to do when set to the task of rehousing of 335 17.8cm x 43cm panorama glass plate negatives stored in the drawers of a filing cabinet? The negatives are part of the Stuart Thomson fonds. Thomson was active as a commercial photographer in Vancouver for several decades in the first half of the 20th century. The negatives are large, very fragile and heavy, and because of their unusual size, the solution isn’t as easy as putting them in standard archival envelopes and an off-the-shelf archival glass negative storage box. In this case, a custom-made housing was necessary.

The glass negatives as they were stored in the drawers of the filing cabinet. Photograph by Kathy Kinakin.

The glass negatives as they were stored in the drawers of the filing cabinet. Photograph by Kathy Kinakin.

Glass plate negatives are normally safest when housed in envelopes and placed upright on their long edge in a storage box, as this protects the delicate surface of the negative from pressure. The size and weight of these negatives meant that only 7-10 of them could be put in a single box before it became too heavy to handle. A box like this would be quite thin and very unstable when sitting on a shelf so this was not a practical option. A larger, more stable box with spacers to securely hold the negatives could be used, though with the number of negatives needing to be housed, this wouldn’t be an efficient use of space. With all of this in mind, I decided to build a custom sink mat for each negative, and a custom clamshell box for a group of mats. Continue reading