Fonds PR-2397 - Alfred Dresser fonds

A trail through the woods Indian canoe races at the Gorge Regatta, Victoria. The Gorge Regatta, Victoria. The Gorge Regatta, Victoria. Beacon Hill beach Part of the E & N Railway. Victoria's waterfront Sailing near Victoria Fence made of poles Edgar Crow Baker's boathouse on the Gorge, Victoria. Wharf A boathouse on the Gorge, Victoria A float in a parade The Gorge Regatta, Victoria. Sailing ships at the outer docks, Victoria. Unidentified river Indian canoes at the base of the Gorge Bridge, Victoira. [View of Esquimalt?] View across Victoria's harbour. A young woman standing on a fallen log Victoria's inner harbour Victoria harbour, showing Legislature Victoria harbour and Legislative buildings Sailing Rowers in Victoria harbour Craigflower school [Margaret Dresser?] Rossland A military parade at Beacon Hill Park, Victoria. A military parade on Esquimalt Road, Victoria.
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alfred Dresser fonds

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  • graphic material

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1888-1912 (Creation)
    Dresser, Alfred Woodruff

Physical description area

Physical description

272 photographs : b&w glass plate negatives

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Archival description area

Name of creator

([ca. 1831]-1912)

Biographical history

Alfred Woodruff Dresser was born in England around 1831. In the 1880s, he arrived in California, where he remained for two or three years, before coming to Victoria in 1888. He was married to Eliza (also spelled Elisa) Adey (ca. 1841-1912). They were married in England and had three children: Stanley (d. 1893 or 1900); John (Jack) Adey (1870-1957, m. Hilda Maria Young); and Frank Dresser. Olive Pomeroy is daughter of John Adey Dresser.

Dresser’s death registration lists his last occupation as an architect.

Alfred Dresser died on February 5, 1912.

Custodial history

The photographs appear to have been donated to the BC Archives in three batches by Olive Pomeroy, the granddaughter of Alfred Dresser. The first group of photographs ("Group A") were donated in or before 1979, and may have only consisted of 6 photographs (catalogued as: HP093565; HP094201; HP094202; HP095146; HP095970; and HP095971). The second group ("Group B") were donated by Pomeroy in Fall 1979, and the final group ("Group C") was donated on March 14, 1980. An exhibit of prints was displayed in the BC Archives between February-May 1980.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of photographs taken by Alfred Dresser, and perhaps also by his sons, Jack and Frank. The photographs consist of common activities (such as going to the beach, picnics, rowing, cycling), local events (regatta at the Gorge, Royal Engineers sport days), family life, and local landmarks and views (street scenes, harbour scenes, Goldstream power station). The fonds also includes a series of photographs taken at the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition world fair hosted in Seattle, 1909.

The photographs contain several shots of unidentified individuals. Recurring individuals are likely family members: children are most likely Olive and Bertram Dresser, and adults may be Jack or Frank Dresser, their wives Hilda or Margaret, or family friends. Only a few of the photographs depict Alfred or Eliza Dresser.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The photographs appear to have had an original order which has since been lost. Original negatives were transferred to the BC Archives in boxes containing identifications of the photographs. Alpha-numeric codes were also applied to the photographs, either by the creator/custodian or by BC Archives staff. Most of this information has been lost. When alpha-numeric codes are known, they are included at the item level. Photocopies of some of the box inventories are included in the accession documentation.

It is unclear how or why BC Archives staff applied reference codes to these photographs, as several photographs clearly identifying the same event are out of order. Efforts have been made to link these photographs in the Associated Materials field when possible.

000486-0001: contains I-63046 to I-63151
000486-0002: contains I-63152 to I-63231; I-63404; HP094201 (F-07905); HP094202 (F-07906); HP-95146 (F-09716); HP096106 (B-06095); J-01354 to J-01358
000486-0003: contains I-63232 to I-63250; I-63351 to I-63406; ZZ95385; ZZ95384; ZZ95386; ZZ95382; I-50521
000486-0004: contains copy prints of above arranged by subject.

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

The photographs are glass plate negatives and are restricted for conservation reasons. Please consult the digital images or copy prints in 000486-0004.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

All photographs in this fonds are in the public domain.

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General note

Accession number: 197906-014

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Physical storage

  • Box: 000486-0001
  • Box: 000486-0002
  • Box: 000486-0003
  • Box: 000486-0004