Fonds whyte-1105 - Bill Gibbons fonds

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Bill Gibbons fonds

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WHYTE whyte-1105

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  • [ca.1945-ca.1990] (Creation)
    Gibbons, Bill

Physical description area

Physical description

ca.13,404 photographs: negatives, prints, transparencies, albums, postcards. -- 2.5 cm textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

W. J. L. "Bill" Gibbons, 1914-1994 , was a professional photographer at Banff, Alberta, Canada from 1945 until 1959. Gibbons came to Canada in 1941 and settled in Banff after the war with his wife, Ella Mae (Becker), a Banff native. He established British Photographic Laboratories, with partners Lou Crosby and Jack Anderson, in the basement of the Mount Royal Hotel, moving later to street-level. Bill and Ella Mae Gibbons travelled throughout the mountain parks photographing views for sale in the Banff shop. These were offered as hand-coloured prints, with much of the colouring done or supervised by Ella Mae. Later the business expanded to include colour postcards and slide sets. Gibbons employed other photographers, such as Bruno Engler, for specialty work, such as ski photography, and the Banff studio also did portraiture. Gibbons himself did most of the 4 x 5 format landscape work and made extensive use of models, many of who were young women employed by his Banff store. In 1959, Gibbons sold his business to a group of Banff businessmen and moved to Vancouver. In subsequent years, he continued to be active as a photographer and in publishing, working in different areas of the world. He made several photographic trips through the mountain parks, ca.1966-1972.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of photographic business records of professional photographer Bill Gibbons in three series: I. Commercial black and white series, ca.1945-ca.1958, ca.5400 photographs; II. Canadian Rockies colour series, ca.1945-ca.1990, predominant ca.1966-ca.1972, ca.8000 photographs; III. Other black and white series, ca. 1947, 4 photographs. I. Commercial black and white series consists of six sub-series: A. Portraits and documentary views, 1945-1950, 2437 negatives (individual and group portraits, weddings, conferences, events, buildings, facilities and places; Banff and area); B. Banff School of Fine Arts, ca.1949, 277 negatives (privately produced views of classes, group portraits, activities, buildings and facilities); C. "S" sub-series, ca.1950, 1220 negatives (scenic views in the vicinity of Banff, Lake Louise, Banff-Jasper Highway, Jasper National Park, Radium and Columbia Valley, British Columbia and Pacific Coast, First Nations views); D. "T" sub-series, ca.1950, 482 negatives (scenic and commercial views, mainly Jasper, Banff-Jasper Highway and Lake Louise areas); E. Rolliflex and panorama negatives, 1949-1958, 584 negatives (Banff Winter Carnival, Banff School of Fine Arts, and Banff and area); F. Other, ca.1945-1951, 364 items (material similar to that in other series, some unidentified). Accompanied by small number of prints and postcards; also, publication: "Photographing the Canadian Rockies" by Bill J. L. Gibbons, 1948. II. Canadian Rockies colour series consists of four sub-series: A. CR1 to CR84, ca.1966-ca.1972, ca.260 prints; B. CR1 to CR443, ca.1966-ca.1972, ca.5130 photographs; C. CR35-2 to CR35-81, ca.1966-ca.1972, ca.2310 photographs; D. Other photographs, ca.1945-ca.1990. Series consists primarily of commercial colour negatives and corresponding proof prints pertaining to Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks, also some transparencies and oversize display prints. III. Other black and white series. Series consists of 2 black and white prints of crash landing at Sunshine with Al Gaetz and Dick Pike, 1947 and two copy negatives with prints of Bruno Engler and Ella Mae Gibbons, ca.1947. Textual records are record book, 1945-1953, 62 p; and book layout.

Notes area

Physical condition

Photographs include oversize items

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired by donation, 1967-1999;Series I was gift of Cascade Cameras Ltd., via Ron Duke, 1967-1974. Series II was donated by Ella Mae Gibbons, 1995. Some prints and postcards were donated by Bill and Ella Mae Gibbons, 1990, and Joe Volk, 1990.


Language of material

  • Language is English

Script of material

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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;selected modern reference prints

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General note

Record No. M532 / V227<br><br>

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