Series MS-3384 - Studio portraits

Hannah Maynard self portrait Samuel Brethour Sr. of Saanich. Lady Douglas and grandchild Mrs. Carlo Bossi Mrs. Carlo Bossi Archbishop Seghers. Portrait of Florence and John Hebden Gillespie Portrait of unidentified children Portrait of Mary Lydia (Penketh) Jones Shaw Studio portrait of three boys in sailor suits Portrait of Richard Maynard with a field camera on a tripod Teenie John Stevens, saloon-keeper on Government Street Thomas Storey Teenie William Henry Ladner Joseph L. Loewen John Kurtz Christopher King Mrs. William Jackson. Henry F. Heisterman Thomas Napier Hibben Amor De Cosmos Hannah Maynard and a small girl in front of Siwash Rock background Donald and Harriet Mackay and family Douglas family Pioneer group (men) Mrs. Maynard David Spencer and family Mr. [Richard] Maynard
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Studio portraits

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  • graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series

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Dates of creation area


  • 1874-1916 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

487 photographs : b&w

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Archival description area

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Custodial history

Found in BC Archives in 2008. Records in this series appear to have been part of a large purchase of Maynard glass plate negatives by the Provincial Government and the Provincial Library and Archives from Albert H. Maynard in the early 1930s. Albert H. Maynard is the son of photographers Hannah and Richard Maynard of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery.

Some photographs in this series appear to have been previously housed in the Legislative Library before being transferred to the Visual Records Department, BC Archives in 1974 (see J-04729, J-04730, J-04731, J-04732).

Scope and content

Series consists of 483 photographs of individuals and groups taken between the 1874 and 1916. The bulk of the photographs are attributed to Hannah Maynard, although some photographers are also identified on the plates. The photographs were taken for the purpose of fulfilling photographic orders of individual, group and family photography for studio clientele at the last two studio locations of the Maynard Studio business.

The majority of the portrait styles reflected in this series are group portraits documenting babies, youth, young adults and adults in full-length likenesses, a portion of a larger portfolio of individual and group portraits representing the Maynard Studio clientele (likely Maynard’s clientele of child and family portraiture). To a lesser extent, there are portraits of individuals, mostly adult sitters. There are photographs of Victorian families including what appears to be the Maynard family, the Redfern family (J-04731), the Harris family (J-04736) and others, as well as several unidentified non-family groups (J-04773) depicted in a range of plain and scenic Maynard Studio settings. Amongst the latter, there are several unidentified groups including a group of youth and adult men (J-04742) and a group of women and girls (J-04739).

The photographs consist of collodion and gelatin dry glass plate negatives in 5.5x7, 6.5x4.5, 6.5x8.5, 8x10 and 10x12 inch sized plates. Virtually no negatives contain image captions or photographers name, signature or imprint. There does not appear to be dates and nor photograph numbers for the original negatives identified on plates or in the emulsion of the negative. There are no captions noting the identity of an individual or groups of people in the image or adhered to the glass plates.

The photographs showcase uncropped studio portraits, which contain additional information about Maynard clientele or Maynard Studio portrait facilities than represented in cropped photographic prints. This is particularly the case in portraits depicting wider views (see J-04730, J-04732, J-04736, J-04737, J-04741, J-04742, J-04771, J-04772, J-04786 and J-04805). In these instances, multiple flooring treatments (such as floor tiling, carpets or fur rugs), multiple scenic backdrops (visible in the foreground or background), Mrs. R. Maynard’s devices used for lighting techniques (such as studio windows, large lighting panels or tents) (see J-04736, J-04742, J-04743, J-04770, J-04772) or other photographic apparatus, such as standing head rests featured in many portraits in this series (J-04743), are visible. Some of the studio backgrounds used in portraits in this series were also used in other works in the Maynard portfolio including child and baby portraiture, Maynard experimental works (tableau vivants) or Provincial Museum natural history collection dioramas (exhibits).

Many of the photographs (both collodion and gelatin dry negatives) have been manipulated, with retouching visible on the facial features (e.g. cheeks, temples, pupils of the eyes, hair, neck and hands) of the sitters, affecting the visibility of a sitter’s appearance or age (e.g. wrinkles on face and hands, blemishes in the skin, fullness of hair, etc.). In rare instances, retouching is visible outlining props or other studio accessories (J-04808). Some works contain a layer of paper on the surface of the negative (J-04745, J-04806) or around the corners of the plate.

Notes area

Physical condition

Some of the photographs in this series are damaged. There are broken negatives, negatives with partial missing emulsion and negatives with missing sections. In many cases, some visual information for those items is missing. In addition, several negatives have paper adhered to the surface of the photograph. Most negatives have friable media (pencil) located on the surface of the plates

Immediate source of acquisition


The series arrangement is based on subject type and previous arrangement structures. This series includes boxes previously identified as portraits and pioneers. The box titles and numbers included within this series are:

  • Box 10?; four groups of portraits; #6
  • Box 10; Pioneers; #18
  • Box 10; Pioneers; #19
  • Box 10; Pioneers; #20
  • Box 10; Pioneers; #21
  • Box 10; Pioneers; #23
  • Box 10.2; #24 (note: “may not be correct contents for 10.2”)
  • Box 10a.5; Pioneer groups; #25
  • Box 10a-6; Pioneer groups; #12
  • Box 10a No. 7; Pioneer groups; #13
  • Box 10a No. 8; Pioneer groups; #10
  • Box 10a.9; Pioneer groups; #11
  • Box 10a.10; Pioneer groups; #8
  • Box 10a.11; Pioneer groups; #9
  • Box ?; Misc. groups outside and indoors; #22
  • Box ?; Pioneers; #26
  • Box ?; Pioneers; #30
  • Box ?; Misc. Portraits; #34
  • Box 14d; Various views; #5
  • Box 14e; Portraits, places, people unknown; #2

Some negatives within this series are not portraits or pioneers. There are 15 negatives of firearms (2 glass plate negatives; 13 nitrate negatives), 17 glass plate negatives of views and/or landscapes, 1 glass plate negative of a ship, and 4 miscellaneous photographs (3 glass negatives, 1 print). Additionally, other Maynard photographs are studio portraits, but are not included in this series.

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Availability of other formats

Some items have been digitized. Various copy prints are likely to exist across different Archives holdings, including the "Gen File" and private fonds. Descriptions will be updated as they are identified by staff.

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions, however digital copies or modern copy prints should be consulted prior to accessing original glass plates.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

All items are in the public domain

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General note

Accession number: 95-7328

Physical description

Includes 466 glass plate negatives, 9 flexible negatives and 12 prints

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