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Bureau of Mines photograph albums
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Bureau of Mines photograph albums

  • GR-3264
  • Series
  • [188-?]-1936, 1966

The series consists of photographs taken by or collected by the Bureau of Mines, where they were compiled into 30 photograph albums. Some of the albums, or parts of the albums, were compiled at the end of the year's work and were intended by the Provincial Mineralogist to document his annual summer field work throughout the province.

Many of the photographs were published each year in Department bulletins and in the Annual Report of the Minister of Mines. There is a coding in the albums which indicates that a photograph was used in the Annual Report. For example, “R1925 - A182” signifies that the photograph was used in the 1925 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines on page A182. Each Annual Report of the Minister contains narrative descriptions of the field trips taken by the Provincial Mineralogist and other Bureau of Mines staff, so it is possible to trace the relationship each year between these field trip narratives and the photographs.

W. Fleet Robertson (Provincial Mineralogist from 1898 to 1925) took some of the photographs. Beginning ca. 1906, Harold T. Nation was an assistant to the Provincial Mineralogist, and travelled with him on his summer field trips, taking photographs, compiling many of the photo albums and indexing them. Exceptions were the years 1914-1917, when Nation served in the military in Europe, after which he returned to his former position. Others from the Bureau of Mines who contributed to the creation of the albums include: W.A. Carlyle, (W. Fleet Robertson's predecessor as Provincial Mineralogist); J.D. Galloway (Robertson's successor); Herbert Carmichael (an Assistant Mineralogist); and Newton W. Emmens. They took photographs or directed that photos be taken to document their work in the field. Many photographs are labeled “B.C. Bureau of Mines” but the photographer is not identified.

Some of the albums, or parts of albums, appear to have been compiled, not an annual basis, but at a later date, and were labeled “miscellaneous.” They relate to the mining industry, geology, mineralogy, and local culture, but are not related to the annual field trips. The Provincial Mineralogist's office collected some of these from private sources including mining companies and miners. Professional photographers whose work is found in the albums include: R.J. Hughes (Trail, BC), Hughes Bros. (Trail, BC), Joseph F. Spalding (Fernie, BC), Carpenter & Co. (Rossland, BC), Carpenter & Millar (Rossland, BC), The Dominion Photo Company (Vancouver), Richard H. Trueman (R.H. Trueman & Co., Vancouver), E.F. Tucker, and Leonard Frank. There are a small number of photos taken by Charles Camsell of the Geological Survey of Canada, 1911, so it is possible others were taken by federal government employees.

Subjects include a very wide range of industrial and cultural activities and geographic features. These include: mines and mining operations and equipment; mining camps, prospectors, miners' houses, powder magazines, first aid teams, fire brigades, mine rescue squads and stations; immigrant workers; refineries, smelters, coke ovens, concentrators, brickyards, slag dumps and tailings; railways and rail trestles; boats, scows, ships, and dredging; landscape and terrain features including rivers and mountain ranges; mining industry towns, schools, hospitals, hotels, churches, government offices and wireless offices; First Nations activities and culture, including totem poles, grave sites, and villages; whaling and whaling stations; horse pack trains, Hudson's Bay Company posts; and conferences and congresses attended by Bureau of Mines staff.

Many of the photos are annotated with directions for the printing/publication process. Many are pieced together to create panoramas. Some albums have accompanying individual indexes and some have been indexed in the master alphabetical index.

Container No. Photograph Album
001302-0001 -- Bureau of Mines photographs miscellaneous album, H.T. Nation [album misc. B] ca. 188-?-1919
001302-0002 -- Bureau of Mines D : photographs ca. 189-?-1917
001302-0003 -- B.C. Bureau of Mines [E] miscellaneous photographs compiled from October 1927
001302-0004 -- 1895 Bureau of Mines
001302-0005 -- 1896 Bureau of Mines
001302-0006 -- Bureau of Mines, 1897-1898
001302-0007 -- Bureau of Mines photos 1898, 1899, 1900
001302-0008 -- Dept. of Mines, 1901, 1899-1901
001302-0009 -- Bureau of Mines 1902
001302-0010 -- Bureau of Mines, 1903, Victoria, B.C., 1903-1904
001302-0011 -- Photographs : 1905
001302-0012 -- Peace River and other trips in 1906 by W.F. Robertson and H. Carmichael, 1906
001302-0013 -- 1907 Bureau of Mines, Victoria B.C., 1906-1907
001302-0014 -- 1908 photos by Bureau of Mines, Victoria B.C., 1908-1909
001205-0001 -- Bureau of Mines photos collected during 1909
001302-0015 -- Odd photos collected in the Provincial Mineralogist's office, entered Nov. 1910
001302-0016 -- Summer trip of the Provincial Mineralogist to the Bulkley and Telkwa Rivers and the Slocan Mining Division, 1911; 1934
001302-0017 -- Provincial Mineralogist trip to Cassiar, 1912, 1911-1912
001302-0018 -- Photos for 1913 report, taken by W.F. Robertson, B.G. Forbes, W.M. Brewer, J.D. Galloway
001302-0019 -- Photographs taken in 1914
001302-0020 -- Dept. of Mines album 1915
001302-0021 -- Photographs : Dept. of Mines album 1916
001302-0022 -- Photographs : Bureau of Mines 1917-1918-1919
001302-0023 -- Photographs : Bureau of Mines 1920-21
001302-0024 -- Photos received at the Bureau of Mines during 1921 & 1922, compiled by Harold T. Nation
001302-0025 -- 1923 current photos, Bureau of Mines, 1920-1925
001302-0026 -- Dept. of Mines album : photos 1925 continued, 1926, 1925-1926
001302-0027 -- Bureau of Mines photographs 1926 (continued), 1927, 1922-1928
001302-0028 -- Bureau of Mines, Victoria, B.C. misc. photos, compiled by Harold T. Nation, 1927 [misc. album C], 1895-1927
001302-0029 -- Bureau of Mines photographs, 1926-1930, 1966
001302-0030 -- Dept. of Mines album 1930, [ca. 1930-1936]

British Columbia. Dept. of Mines

Photographs : 1905

The file is a photograph album, compiled in 1905 by gluing photographs into an album. It contains 285 photographs showing mines, mining equipment and workers as well as mining landscapes including towns and valleys. Most of the photographs have captions and other information. Many of the photographs have been glued together to form panoramic prints.

From pages 1 to 44 each photograph has been numbered from 286 to 477, following directly on from the previous album. Photographs used in Dept. of Mines annual reports are indicated with the report date and page number. The photographs from pages 47 to 58 do not follow this numbering sequence and are on different cardboard. It looks like they may have been inserted later. These photographs, mostly without any caption information, appear to be photographs taken on the Provincial Mineralogist's inspection trip through the Northern interior of the province between July and October 1905, along the route of the proposed Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.

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