Fonds paa-9225 - Alfred Blyth fonds

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Alfred Blyth fonds

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PAA paa-9225

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Physical description

[ca. 9627] negatives and other material

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Edmonton photographer Alfred Blyth was born in 1901 in Ayrshire, Scotland. He came to Edmonton, Alberta with his widowed mother and siblings in ca. 1913. In 1916 he became a darkroom technician for the commercial photographers Byron and May. After McDermid Studios bought Byron and May Co. in 1917, Blyth continued to work in the studio until 1928. Blyth then opened his own studios, Alfred Blyth Studios, and operated the studio until he retired in 1970. Alfred Blyth also worked in commercial and news photography, working for newspapers such as the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Bulletin in the 1940's. He also worked as a photographer for the Edmonton Exhibition and Calgary Stampede. In addition, Blyth shot newsreel features for Fox Movietone News and filmed the first session of the Alberta Legislature for the Aberhart administration. Blyth also served as the official photographer for the Royal visits of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1951, and Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1959. Throughout his career, Blyth received numerous awards for his photography including a Performing and Creative Arts award by the City of Edmonton in 1974 and the Alberta Achievement Award by Premier Peter Lougheed in 1976. Alfred Blyth passed away in 1980.

Custodial history

Mr. H.K. Lowe deposited accession PR1968.0027 in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1968. His relationship with Alfred Blyth is unknown. The Archives purchased accessions PR1972.0140 and PR1972.0477 from Alfred Blyth in 1972 and the records were deposited on two separate occasions in 1972. Accession PR1972.0249 was deposited in the Archives in 1972 by Mr. Karl Kaesekamp, an employee of the Provincial Archives of Alberta, on behalf of Alfred Blyth. The Archives purchased accession PR1983.0104 from Alf Cunningham, a nephew of Alfred Blyth and a beneficiary of Blyth's estate, in 1983. Accession PR1988.048 was originally part of accession PR1972.0140 but was misplaced and given its own number when found. In 1999, Anne Stevenson donated material comprising PR1999.0773 to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Anne Stevenson is featured in the material. In 2008, Hugh Campbell donated material to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. The accession, PR2008.0286, consists of one signed Alfred Blyth hand tinted photographic print, "Mt. Cheviot." Blythe sold the print to the donor's father, Colin Campbell. In 2009, Ross Denham, family friend and executor of Blyth's estate, donated thirty-five of Alfred Blyth's large format exhibition prints, of which three are hand-coloured, Accession PR2009.0605.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records relating to Alfred Blyth's personal and professional life and includes correspondence, postcards, receipts, letterhead, souvenir pamphlets, posters, catalogues from photographic exhibitions, calendars depicting the work of Alfred Blyth, certificates and awards, newspaper clippings, samples of touched up photographs, large format exhibition prints, publications using Blyth's work, films depicting various Alberta industries and events, travel films, and negatives depicting various people, views, buildings, animals, and scenes mainly in Alberta, including many portraits and some photographs of Alfred Blyth's home and studios dating from 1939 to 1974. The fonds also includes finding aids that Alfred Blyth created for the photograph collection and an oral history with Alfred Blyth recorded by Karl H. Kaesekamp in 1972.

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Physical condition

Includes [ca. 850] photographs, 23 cinefilms, 15 transparencies, 2 audio reels, and 0.66 m of textual records.

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  • The material is in English.

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Restrictions on access

Access Conditions: None. ; Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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Finding aids

Inventories are available. Some file lists are available.

Associated materials

For more photographs by Alfred Blyth, please see accession PR1980.0098 and the William Troock Furniture Limited fonds at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

Related materials


Further accruals are not expected.

General note

This fonds was donated at the same time and in the same accession (PR1972.0140) as the following discrete items: a negative by Alfred Blyth Studios which was deposited in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1980 by the Glenbow Archives in Calgary, Alberta, and a photograph taken by Alfred Blyth Studios, which was deposited in the Glenbow Archives by Mr. W.G. Hames and subsequently donated to the Archives in 1986 by Glenbow Archives. Some photographs from this fonds can be found in A file under location numbers A.9877-A.9880 and in B file under location numbers BL.0001-BL.2850. Alfred Blyth's portrait collection can be found in the BLY file.<br><br>Record No. PR1968.0027, PR1972.0140, PR1972.0249, PR1972.0477, PR1983.0104, PR1988.0048, PR1999.0773, PR2008.0286, PR2009.0605<br><br>

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