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Description found in Archives

James Vinton Stowell fonds [multiple media]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

40 cm of textual records.
654 photographs : chiefly b&w.
44 drawings : pencil, pencil and coloured pencils, pen and ink.
19 film reels (6 h).
1 wire recording (60 min).
3 maps.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of textual records including drafts of lectures, articles and newspaper clippings relating to various excavations and explorations in which he was involved; correspondence and clippings relating to the Iroquoian sites he excavated in Upper State New York and on the Trent waterway and to his numerous voyages to the Arctic; a speech of a dedication he prepared for Ross Gilmore Marvin and copies of the magazine Motor Boating in which many of his articles appeared, n.d., 1920-1969. Fonds also contains photographs taken from 1929 to 1957, including: a photo album of Commander Richard Byrd's Antarctic Expedition; an album of three voyages to the Canadian Arctic in 1952, 1955, and 1957 recording Inuit, Nascopi at Davis Inlet and Great Whale River and Inuit houses at Nain; an album of photographs, sketches, and clippings related to crusing the Labrador on the Arctic Schooner Bowdoin, during the expedition commanded by Donald B. MacMillan in the summer of 1946; mounted photographs and letters of Byrd, D.B. MacMillan, Ross Marvin, and Labrador Inuit artifacts; photos of archaelogical displays at Chemung County Historical Centre; James V. Stowell with films and paintings; and the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. In addition, fonds includes a sketchbook of drawings by Stowell showing various sites in Labrador, July 1946; and pencil drawings of native Canadian and American archeological specimen and archeological sites from the Arctic, Labrador, Ontario, New York, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, [ca. 1946-1965]. Fonds also consists of documentary films relating to Stowell's career as an archaeologist and explorer. This includes Stowell's lecture films describing the 1946 MacMillan Labrador Arctic Expedition aboard the schooner Bowdoin, Cape Breton Island; the 1952 journey of the O.M.I. supply ship Regina Polaris to Chesterfield Inlet; the 1955 journey of the Laverock with Mid Canada Line supplies to Great Whale River; and films on gliding and scenic wanderings. Also included are sound recordings inlcuding a wire recording of Stowell's lecture for his film "Ice Off Starboard" which describes the 1946 MacMillian Labrador Arctic Expedition, 1946. Fonds also consists of maps of eastern Ontario, the Atlantic provinces, and Hudson Bay, which relate to Stowell's work as an amateur archaeologist, [194-]-1957.

Textual records
90: Open
Moving images (film)
90: Open
Sound recordings
90: Open
Cartographic material
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
SC 0696
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
A183-02 Item no. assigned by LAC 1 -- 5;7 -- 8;10 -- 21;23;27 -- 29
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Photographs: No restrictions on use. Various copyright on items less than 50 years old. Copyright expired on items more than 50 years old.
Artistic material: No restrictions on use. Copyright held by the Estate of James Vinton Stowell. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Moving images: Reproduction with written permission of copyright owner and donor.
Sound recordings: Reproduction with written permission of donor. Copyright expired.
Cartographic material: No restrictions on access or reproduction. Credit Library and Archives Canada.

Moving images: Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)

Sound recordings: Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)

Photographs: Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)

Artistic material: Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)

Cartographic material Please consult lower level descriptions. Finding aid consists of an itemized list. Stowell, James Vinton 893045. 90 (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

James Vinton Stowell was born in in Elmira, New York. He studied at the Elmira Free Academy and the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, followed by studies in Paris in 1917. He served in the U.S. Navy in 1917-1918 and from 1919 to 1943 lived in New York City as art director of various advertising agencies, moving to Rochester for three years and then to Elmira in 1946 where he was vice-president and Art Director of the Mellor Advertising Agency.

He devoted a lifetime to amateur archaeology of largely Iroquoian sites and to the prehistoric Lamoka culture. Most of his relics were deposited in the Chemung County Museum. He excavated one Algonquin site on northern Manhattan Island and did some work on New Mexican Mimbres pottery. He was also active at Huron sites near Bobcagean, Ontario in the Trent river system where he excavated unusual examples of Iroquoian pipes and pottery.

He collected Inuit and Naskapi artifacts on his voyages in Labrador, Hudson Bay and Baffin Island from the 1920's to the 1950's. In 1946 he travelled to Nova Scotia and Labrador on the ship Bowdoin under Captain Donald B. MacMillan and in 1952 on the Regina Polaris in Hudson Bay. He lectured and wrote extensively, largely on his expeditions to the North and on archaeology.

Additional information

Received in 1989 from Edward J. Liefkowitz in co-operation with the Moving Images and Sound Archives and the Documentary Art and Photography Division.

Subject heading

1. Arctic regions - Description and travel, 1952 Payne River (Quebec), 1920-1967.
2. Archaeology - New York, 1920-1967 Norman Reilly Raine, 1939.
3. Archaeology - Ontario, 1920-1967 Tugboat Annie, 1939.
4. Archaeology - Quebec, 1920-1967 Bowdoin (Ship), 1946.
5. Commercial art - Canada M.V. Regina Polaris (Ship), 1952.
6. Animation (Cinematography) - Canada Ross Gilmore Marvin, 1909.
7. Nova Scotia - Description and travel, 1926-1929 Robert Peary, 1909.
8. Newfoundland and Labrador - Description and travel, 1926-1929 Motor Boating, 1946-1951.
9. Ungava Bay (Quebec), 1920-1967.


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1989/0110 MSS
2. 1989-0185 MISA
3. 1989-0186 MISA
4. 1989-141 DAP
5. 1989-441 DAP