The fonds consists of photographs from the late 1930s to the early 1950s, taken by Duncan Macphail, a portrait and commercial photographer. Most of the photographs were taken in the Victoria area, a smaller number in other south Vancouver Island locations and in Vancouver. They cover a vast range of subjects, including: Victoria street scenes, interiors and exteriors of buildings and business operations, industrial infrastructure, portraits, community and school events, and special events such as the visit of Princess Elizabeth to Victoria in 1951. It appears that Macphail did commercial photography for the B.C. Department of Highways (possibly in the early 1960s) but it is not known if these photographs are in the fonds. In addition to Macphail's commercial and portrait photography, the fonds consists of a small number of “art” photographic prints, matted for display in exhibitions. These cover various subjects, including totem poles. One is tagged with "Exhibited - First Annual Exhibition of Photography, Canada Pacific Exhibition. Vancouver, 1938." Macphail's original indexes are in container 000358-0037.