Fonds whyte-798 - Andy Russell fonds

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Andy Russell fonds

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WHYTE whyte-798

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  • [1867]-1993, predominant 1908-1993 (Creation)
    Russell, Andy

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Physical description

6 m of textual records and printed material. -- ca.6100 photographs : prints, negatives, transparencies. -- 1 photograph album (49 prints). -- 29 motion pictures. -- 5 sound recordings

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Andy Russell, 1915-2005, was a trapper, guide and outfitter, writer, photographer, cinematographer, lecturer and environmental advocate in the Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada region. Russell was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and spent his childhood on a ranch in the foothills near Pincher Creek. He became a skilled horseman, hunter, fisherman and trapper, and, in 1936, was employed by Bert Riggall, a pioneer guide and outfitter of wilderness pack trips in the southern Rockies since 1907. He became Riggall's partner in 1939 and took over the business when Riggall retired in 1946. Andy Russell and Kathleen (Kay) Riggall married in 1938 and raised five children at their ranch bordering Waterton Lakes National Park, where family businesses included guiding, saddlehorses and ranching. Children are: Richard "Dick" H. (b.1938); Andrew Charles "Charlie" (b.1941); Harold John "John" (b.1944); Hugh Gordon Riggall "Gordon" (b.1947); Lorenda Anne "Anne" (b.1952). Russell continued as a renowned guide and outfitter with a wealthy repeat clientele until he was forced out of guiding by 1960 with the advance of the oil industry concerns upon wilderness areas in southern Alberta and British Columbia. Russell began to write nature articles in 1945 and after 1960 concentrated upon writing, photography, film making, lecturing and ranching. He wrote for numerous magazines and newspapers, produced radio broadcasts, and, using colour motion picture photography, developed programs on wildlife and wilderness habitat research for live public performances. Russell's films launched his career as an author of popular wildlife and mountain culture books, which included Grizzly Country. In later years, he was an active writer, consultant and advocate of wilderness and environmental management and received numerous awards and honours, including Member of the Order of Canada.

Custodial history

Original footage of "Grizzly Country" was in possession of Filmtronics Labs Inc., New York, and later retained by Evan J. Anton in California

Scope and content

Fonds consists of seven series: I. Personal and professional series, 1937-1993 (diaries, correspondence, filing systems and papers pertaining to awards, memberships, biography and other); II. Business series, 1948-1982 (pertaining to guiding, outfitting, trail riding, ranching, Andy Russell and Sons, royalties and lecturing); III. Writing, broadcasting and public appearances series, 1908-1990 (papers and photographs pertaining to writing, book projects, columns, broadcasts, reviews, advertising, promotion and other); IV. Photography and cinematography series, 1909-1990 (details below); V. Wildlife study and conservation activities series, 1945-[198-]; VI. Other activities series, 1931-[199-] (politics, interviews, information files); VII. Russell family series, [1867]-1983. Photography and cinematography series consists of: Riggall/Russell guiding activity photographs, 1909-1962, ca.280 items; Andy Russell and Sons Production Ltd / Andy Russell professional photographs and films, ca.1940- ca.1990, ca.4200 photographs (mainly transparencies), 28 motion pictures, accompanied by some textual and printed items; personal and family photographs, 1916-1989, ca.1550 items; collected photographs, ca.1940-197-, ca.75 items. Professional photography and cinematography primarily arose from field work by Andy, Dick and Charlie Russell and pertains mainly to flora, fauna and landscape of the Canadian Rockies in continental divide region, British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska. Motion pictures, ca.1950-1974, include original film "Grizzly Country" by Dick, Charlie and Andy Russell, produced by Evan J. Anton, ca.1969, copy print of same; also unedited wildlife and landscape footage of Waterton area, Yukon and British Columbia. Sound recordings are interviews with Andy Russell, [ca.1970]-1988.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired by donation, 1990-1994


Language of material

  • Language is English

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Some restriction/s on access;Copyright, privacy, commercial use and other restrictions may apply

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Finding aids
Finding aids and reference tools: arrangement outline; series and file description; electronic finding aid; video reference copy for "Grizzly Country"; reference copy recordings;On-line finding aid (click on link below)

Associated materials

Andy Russell motion pictures may also be found at Glenbow Archives, Calgary, Alberta;Related to the Kay Russell family fonds (M36/V36) and the Bert Riggall fonds (M376/V26)

Related materials


General note

Record No. M153 / S43 / V555<br><br>

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