Fonds PR-2318 - Destrubé Photography Ltd. fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Destrubé Photography Ltd. fonds

General material designation

  • graphic material
  • moving images
  • sound recording
  • textual record
  • multiple media
  • electronic

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1971-2014 (Creation)
    Destrubé Photography Ltd.

Physical description area

Physical description

140,700 photographs and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Destrubé Photography Ltd. was a Victoria-based commercial photography studio founded by Rob d'Estrubé in July 1972.

During parts of its lifespan, the studio also did business under different names, including: Destrubé Industrial Photography (1972-1979?); Western Illustrators Ltd. (ca. 1977-1981) [with partners Colin Fudge, Merle Sommerville and Sterling Ward]; and Western Illustrators (1981) Ltd. (1981-1984?) [with partner Colin Fudge]. Cheryl d'Estrubé joined the company in 1989 as office manager and eventually became a formal partner in the business.

From 1979 to 2014, the studio was located at 604 Yates Street in downtown Victoria. Previous locations included 1322-A Government Street (1974-1979?) and Wharf Street at Bastion Square (1979?). Somerville and Ward operated a Western Illustrators Ltd. branch studio in Vancouver at #102 - 970 Homer Street (1980-1981).

Western Illustrators Ltd. also operated an in-house professional photo lab. In 1981, the photo lab (located adjacent to Destrubé’s Yates Street studio) was sold to the lab manager, Jake Veskoja, who ran it until he retired. His former employee, Gloria Treigys continued to run it until her death in 2004.

After 42 years in business, Rob and Cheryl d'Estrubé wound down the studio and retired in the summer of 2014.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of selected records created by Destrubé Photography Ltd., including client photographic job files, stock shot files, enlarged photographic prints and posters, photographic portfolios, examples of advertisements and publications containing the company's work, business records, and promotional materials.

The fonds contains a selection of photographic material intended to represent the nature and breadth of the activities of Destrubé Photography, including industrial photography, studio portraiture, commercial photography for end use in large- and small-format advertising, and self-promotion. Reflecting these activities, and considering the final format of the product, the fonds has been divided into the following 7 series:
• Business records
• Client photographic job files
• Howard Roloff collection images
• Stock shot files
• Photographic portfolios
• Publications file
• Display prints and posters

It should be noted that, as Destrubé Photography was a Victoria-based studio, the represented client base and photographic subjects are largely from the Greater Victoria area and southern Vancouver Island.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Destrubé Photography Ltd. (Victoria, B.C.) in 2014.


In acquiring a selection of the work of Destrubé Photography Ltd., the archives selected those files and images thought to best represent the scope of work produced by the studio. However, the company also shot weddings, family and individual portraits, boudoir photographs, and nude "bodyscapes". Due to the personal nature of this material, it was not included in the acquisition. A selection of architectural photographs, originally acquired by the BC Archives, has since been transferred to Special Collections at the University of Victoria.

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Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

The customer lists in MS-3148, box 2 (container 907976-0779), files 4 and 5, are restricted from access until 31 December 2020.
Conservation restriction: material in cool or cold storage is not accessible.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

The Howard Roloff collection images (MS-3150) may not be published or reproduced without the permission of Howard Roloff. This restriction will expire on 31 December 2034.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Other Destrubé photographic job files (related to B.C. architects and architecture) are held by Special Collections at the University of Victoria Libraries.

RBCM Human History holds a selection of cameras, photographic equipment and accessories acquired from Destrubé Photography Ltd. This acquisition is registered as R1934.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Accession number(s): 2014.103

Physical description

Includes 36295 negatives, 2342 slides, 27 transparencies, 3339 proofs, 1599 prints, 87 Polaroids, 5303 contact sheet images (on 446 contact sheets), 91,708 digital images (on 210 computer discs), 25 digital video files (on one computer disc) and ca. 85 cm of textual material, as well as 2 videotapes and 1 sound recording.


Negatives, slides and transparencies are in cold storage.

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