Fonds whyte-134 - Norman Sanson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Norman Sanson fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds

Level of description


Reference code

WHYTE whyte-134

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1855-1949 (Creation)
    Sanson, Norman

Physical description area

Physical description

ca.55 cm and 21 v. of textual records. -- 46 photograph albums (ca.7500 prints). -- 1 postcard set (37 prints)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Norman Bethune Sanson, 1862-1949, was a naturalist, meteorologist and museum curator at Banff, Alberta, Canada. Born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of a prominent clergyman, he developed a life-long interest in natural history as a boy. Sanson came west in 1885 to fight in the Riel Rebellion as a member of the Queen's Own Rifles. In 1892, Sanson came to Banff as an accountant for the Sanitarium Hotel. He also did book-keeping for other local businesses and handled the town's weather reports. In 1896 he was appointed curator of the Park Museum and also worked as zookeeper for the Banff Zoo. From 1896 until 1931, Sanson was meteorological officer and curator of the Park Museum. In 1903 an observatory was built on Sulphur Mountain on a site chosen by Sanson. During the period 1903-1931, Sanson made one thousand ascents of Sulphur Mountain to collect weather records. In 1948, the Dominion Government acknowledged his many years of service by naming a peak on the mountain for him. As a nature enthusiast, Sanson was well-known both in Banff and beyond. He was an avid collector of flora and fauna, both privately and through his job as museum curator. Sanson was an active member of the Alpine Club of Canada, the Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies and the Banff Rotary Club. He was a warden of St. George's Anglican Church and a supporter of the Canadian Bible Society. He was active in community events such as the Banff Winter Carnival, for which he organized and led the snowshoeing events. An ardent mountain traveller, he enjoyed both hiking and snowshoeing. Following retirement, Sanson toured extensively on foot throughout Britain and Europe.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of papers and photographs resulting from Sanson's life and work. Textual records consist of: I. Correspondence, 1901-1944, 2 cm. II. Research and professional papers, 1890-1947, 45 cm., includes notebooks and notes pertaining to nature study, meteorological research, Sulphur Mountain and maps; III. Travel diary, 1900-1933, 1 cm. IV. Register books, 1931, 1941, n.d. 2 cm. IV. Scrapbooks, 1909-1931, n.d., 21 vol, many containing postcards from Great Britain and around the world; VI. Miscellaneous, 1855- 1895, n.d., 4 cm. Photographs consist of: I. Albums, 1880s-1949, 46 v., pertain to Norman Sanson's life and work; document Banff Park Museum, Sulphur Mountain and Sulphur Mountain Observatory; natural history, including mountain flora, collecting trips, weather surveys and snow surveys; Banff events, including Banff Winter Carnival, Banff Indian Days, Highland Gatherings and Banff Regatta; mountain travels and travels throughout Canada, United States, England and Europe; friends, associates and Banff personalities. Detailed identifications provided by Norman Sanson. II. Postcard set, ca.1930.

Notes area

Physical condition

Condition of notebooks, scrapbooks and photograph albums is fragile

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired by donation, 1966-1995


Language of material

  • Language is English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some restrictions on access to originals;Copyright, privacy, commercial use and other restrictions may apply

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids
Finding aids and reference tools: arrangement outline; series description and partial file description;Reference microfilm copies of photographs albums and some textual materials;On-line finding aid (click on link below)

Associated materials

Sanson photograph albums are also held by the Park Museum, Banff National Park

Related materials


General note

Record No. M3 / V246<br><br>

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Level of detail

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres