Thirty Million Photographs and Counting

With access to over 30 million images, the public has an enormous and wonderfully layered collection of Canadian photographic documentation within Library and Archives Canada. The National Collection is continually growing in subject mater and volume thanks to an active acquisition and research program. The various collections showcase the life’s work of established professional photographers like Kryn Taconis, Roloff Beny, Walter Curtin and Yousef Karsh as well as collections of work from Sam Tata, Dave Heath and Lorriane Gilbert. Recent acquisitions include portfolios of work by Steve Simon, Louie Palu, Roger Lemoyne, PhotoSensitive and the career collections of photojournalist Frank Lennon. In addition to private collections, the Library and Archives holds all the government of Canada collections including Prime Ministers photographs, departmental collections such as Indian Northern Affairs and Department of Defence, the once thriving photo stills section of the National Film Board and collections from now defunct newspapers like Montreal Daily Star and Weekend Magazine. For the first time at CONTACT, photo archivists Shannon Perry and JoAnne Stober will provide a visual tour and explore the role the archives play in contemporary cultural studies. They will talk about the historical roots of the institutions collecting practices and discuss contemporary challenges of archival acquisition at Canada’s largest photographic repository and research facility.