Fonds whyte-1094 - Vaux family fonds

27.jpg 28.jpg 29.jpg 30.jpg 31.jpg 32.jpg Untitled : [Illecillewaet Glacier] wmcr-vaux-1a-v653-na-07.jpg wmcr-vaux-1a-v653-na-08.jpg wmcr-vaux-1a-v653-na-09.jpg
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Vaux family fonds

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WHYTE whyte-1094

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Physical description

2924 photographs: 2632 negatives, 167 transparencies, 125 prints. -- 1 photograph album (50 prints). -- ca.2.6 m textual records

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Biographical history

The Vaux family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were photographers, mountaineers and scientists. Mary M. Vaux, 1860-1940, George Vaux Jr., 1863-1927, and William S. Vaux Jr., 1872-1908, were the children of George Vaux (VIII) of Philadelphia. They were all involved in photography in the early 1880s and were members of the Photographic Society of Philadelphia. All three were taking photographs when the family made its first trip west in 1885. The first Vaux family photographs of the Canadian mountain west were made in 1887 during a summer trip along the Canadian Pacific Railway to Glacier House in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia in 1887. The family made frequent visits to the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains over the next two decades to study the Illecillewaet and other glaciers, photograph, paint and climb. George's and Mary's photographic work centred on the mountain landscape, while William's concentrated upon the movement and physical features of glaciers. Due to the size of their large format cameras, the two brothers took most of the photographs during these trips and Mary was responsible for all of the printing. William Vaux died in 1908 and George did not return to the Canadian mountains after 1911; however, Mary Vaux Walcott returned to the region virtually every summer for over forty years. A detailed discussion of their activities is contained in "Legacy In Ice: The Vaux Family and the Canadian Alps," Whyte Foundation, Banff, 1983

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of two or more series. Series I. Photography, 1893-1913, is processed. Series II. Textual records are unprocessed and will consist of two or more sub-series. Photography series consists of twenty-four sub-series: A. to O. Travel 1893 to Travel 1907; P. to S. Travel 1909 to Travel 1913; T. Travel general, 1894?-1912?; U. Prints, 1899-1907; V. Lantern slides, 1900-1909; W. Photograph album, before 1907; X. Textual records, 1893-1910. Photographic negatives, arranged chronologically, are prominent in the series. Images pertain to landscape studies and scenic views of the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains, especially the Glacier, Yoho and Lake Louise areas; glaciers in the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains, especially Illecillewaet, Asulkan, Yoho and Bow Glaciers; mountain scenes and panorama views in the Selkirks and Rockies; Canadian Pacific Railway in the Selkirks and CPR hotels; Glacier and Field, B.C. and Banff, Alberta and areas; climbing and other mountain activities; United States and Canadian views on trips to the mountains. Negatives include both glass (962 items) and film negatives (1660 items). Textual records are exposure records, original negative envelopes and publications. Textual records pertain to glacier study, including research papers and publications; William S. Vaux Jr. papers re travels, engineering and architecture, other; George Vaux Jr. writing and other papers; Mary Vaux correspondence and papers re writing and presentations; and other records, 1877, 1912-1913. Textual records also include family travel papers, 1881-1911; George Vaux, Jr. "Glacier" files; correspondence between George Vaux and the Schäffers, 1899-1926; papers of Dr. Charles Schäffer, Mary Schäffer and Schäffer estate, 1855-1927. Textual records are not processed.

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Physical condition

Negatives are 16.5 x 21.5 cm or smaller

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired by donations, 1969-1999, 2004, 2007;Gift of George Vaux X, 1969-1985, and Trina and Molly Vaux, 1999, 2004, 2007


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  • 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 and reference tools: arrangement outline;series description;file description for Series I;electronic finding aid for Series I;selected modern reference prints;digital images in Images database and in Alberta InSight database

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General note

Record No. M107 / V653<br><br>

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