If you’re looking for photographs from the 1940s to 1990s taken in Ontario, there is a wonderful collection at the Archives and Special Collections waiting for you!
The Collingwood collection was donated to the Archives & Special Collections in 2021 by a relative of the photographer. The collection consists of 35 mm and 2 ¼ negatives, prints, and textual records. The volume of the collection is high and it is being processed and it will be added to our database. A part of the collection consists of acetate based negatives suffering from vinegar syndrome. Vinegar syndrome is a term that refers to the odor of vinegar that is emitted due to hydrolysis of the acetate base of the negatives. The deteriorated negatives require special care and handling practices and due to their condition are not accessible for viewing in the reading room. The Archives and Special Collections is in the process of digitizing the deteriorated negatives before moving them to cold storage to increase accessibility to the collection.
Harold Grant Collingwood was born on August 4, 1909, in Exeter, South Huron, Huron, Ontario and died at the age of 87 in May 1996. As an avid photographer, he photographed well-known jazz musicians, street views, buildings, events and venues. He was a commissioned photographer who took photographs for numerous companies namely the Mclean Hunter newsletter and Chatelaine magazine. In his portfolio, there are photographs depicting the office culture of the 40s to 90s in Canada. You will be able to find photographs of important events like the Eaton’s main store demolition and buildings like the old City Hall and the new City Hall. As a result of the variety of subjects that Collingwood photographed, this collection can be used for researchers who are interested in Toronto street views, events and even fashion between the years 1940 and 1990. Additionally, since Collingwood was commissioned to photograph events for companies and businesses, it can also be an excellent resource for researching the existing industries and businesses in Canada during that time period.
Drop by the Archives and Special Collections Department on the 4th floor of the library to see the current exhibition of the Collingwood collection. If you are interested in learning more about this collection you can check our database.