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Description found in Archives
Series consists of
Series part of
Place of creation
ca. 190,000 photographs: b&w and col. prints; b&w negatives (nitrate, glass, diacetate, triacetate, polyester); col. negatives; col. slides.
Language of material
Scope and content
Series consists of records created and/or maintained by the RCMP Photo Library. There are more than 190,000 photographs arranged in files both by subject and in chronological order, with files containing both textual information and original photographs. The Photo Library includes the following: - Black and white prints. Prints are arranged by subject headings in a file formerly used as a finding aid/image index; also, prints are physically located in the same envelopes as the black and white negatives. The photographs in the RCMP collection include images from the beginnings of the force in the 1870s to the 1990s. Because of the force's original mandate to police in the North West, and because of its continuing function as a provincial police force in the western provinces, much of the photography deals with the west, and with the north. The contents cover many of the activities of the force (although some areas, such as surveillance, forensic photography, pornography, clandestine operations, and so forth are not included). The subject headings include: animals, air services (including photographs of many different types of aircraft, aircraft maintenance, aircrew, etc.); bands (arranged on virtually a year-by-year basis for many years); marine and boats (by name of the craft involved) including some specific areas such as rum-runners; cartoons about force activities; churches; ceremonial and church parades; portraits of Commissioners; views concerning different criminal cases; views concerning detachments (arrangements are ly and alphabetically arranged by province and locality within each province), including old forts; disasters; documents; dogs and their equipment; Inuit (under "Eskimo"); weapons and firearms; funerals; graves and memorials, plaques, and memorial services; historical events; horses; First Nations (under "Indians"); insignia; inspections; Japanese re-location centres; jubilee; letters; maps; meetings and conferences; ministers of justice; miscellaneous; training and classes; movies and poetry; museums; musical rides (arranged chronologically); photographs of individuals and groups; parties and picnics; patrols and expeditions; penetentiaries; police department; presentations; provost corps; public relations; radio; RCMP reserves; Royal Easter Show; Scenes - general; teams and sports; training; transportation (and accidents); uniforms; youth and police; veterans; visits (arranged chronologically); and weapons. - Colour prints. Prints are arranged alphabetically by subject in the same fashion as the black and white prints. These have the same general subject headings as do the black and white prints, although there are considerably fewer colour prints. These prints cover the period from the 1950s to the 1970s. - Black and white negatives. These include many copy negatives of photographs acquired from third-party sources, as well as original negatives from internal and external sources. They are directly related to the black and white print file by negative number. The black and white negatives include a number of images which are not found in the print file, as the file effectively was closed in the mid-1970s. There are some black and white negatives in the accession file material (see below), but they are widely scattered. They cover the same subject areas as already discussed. - Colour negatives. The colour negatives are found in several different file units. From about 1957, 4 x 5 in and 2 1/4 in negatives were collected by the Photo Library, covering a wide variety of RCMP activities. This negative series continued until the mid-1970s, and petered out in the mid-1980s. It was effectively replaced by the series of accession-numbered files, which include many items from detachments around the country, single subjects such as royal tours and the visit of Pope John Paul, and some public relations material. A final series of colour negatives are arranged alphabetically by the name of the individual photographed. - Colour slides. These slides, taken from the early 1960s to the 1980s, cover many aspects of force activities across the country. A log book provides item-level description of this series for much of the 1960s.
Conditions of access
Copyright belongs to the Crown or in the case of photographs submitted by private individuals, to those individuals or other copyright holders.
Graphic (photo) Original registers and accession reports located in 2000842303-2000842304. Original alphabetical index by subjects located inn 2000842305 and 2000842306. Original alphabetical index to RCMP members located in 2000842307 to 2000843316. FA-297 90 (Paper)
Biography / Administrative history
The RCMP Photo Library, in its present form, was begun in the late 1950s or early 1960s. During the following thirty-five years it was the apparent responsibility of several different operations within the RCMP; ultimately it came to rest in the office of the RCMP historian. It functioned as a public information source, as a source of images for authors, historians, illustrators, film-makers and others. In the spring of 1996 personnel reductions at the RCMP led to the closing of the Photo Library.
Source of title
Related control no.
1. 1996-400 DAP
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