J.A. Irvine fonds

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J.A. Irvine fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • [ca. 1895]-[ca. 1905] (Creation)
    Irvine, J.A., 1868-1928

Physical description area

Physical description

53 cm of graphic material (6 albums)

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Biographical history

John Alfred Irvine was born at Granville Ferry, N.S., 20 September 1868, son of Hugh and Martha (Mills). He was bank manager at Annapolis Royal and then moved to Halifax where he was employed by Nova Scotia Building Society, 1887-1906, first as clerk and later as accountant. In 1906 he moved to Calgary, Alta., where he established a successful real estate and insurance business. He was an avid amateur photographer, one of the founders of the Canadian Navy League, active in the YMCA and established a camp at Sylvan Lake, Alta., which was used by several boys' and girls' clubs. He married Mina Buckley of Halifax in 1901 and they had three children. He died at Red Deer on 18 July 1928.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of six albums, mainly consisting of photographs taken by Irvine on an amateur basis. Three of the albums depict scenes of Halifax and vicinity and other Nova Scotian communities and locations, including Bear River, Clementsport, Granville Ferry, Smiths Cove, Fall River, Purcell Cove, and Waverley. Subjects include boating, regattas, Halifax Natal Day road races, Provincial Exhibition building and exhibits, polo field at Halifax, Halifax Citadel garrison, buildings, street scenes, picnics and other outdoor activities, shipping, railways, farm scenes, informal portraits, and scenic views. A fourth album contains photographs, also taken by Irvine, of the YMCA Maritime Boys' Camp on Goat Island, Annapolis River, 1898. Fonds also includes an album of postcards, some of them with published versions of Irvine's photographs, and an album of unidentified portraits.

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Physical condition

Binding on albums has deteriorated.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Glenbow Foundation, March 1966.


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Copy prints available for first three albums.

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Item list available. Website exhibit available.

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General note

Two albums depicting a fishing and canoeing expedition, 1899, accompanied by Micmac guides from Bear River, including scenes of Bear River, Corberrie, Church Point, Pubnico and Weymouth, may also be part of the fonds.

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