Fonds C 130
896 photographs : glass negatives, nitrate negatives, glass lantern slides, and prints ; black and white
Fonds consists of black and white photographs that document Eastern Ontario communities, recreation, steamships, people and events in the early 20th century. The photographs are primarily glass plate negatives although nitrate negatives, glass lantern slides and prints are also included.
The photographs are the output of Kemp's amateur passion for photography; he was known to travel Eastern Ontario by bicycle capturing images from that era on photograph. The fonds consists of images primarily from Picton and Kingston as well as a number of portraits of Kemp, his family, and likely others with whom he associated although the nature of those associations or relationships has not been identified.
Whatever original order existed in this fonds has been lost. Sequential numbers were assigned to the negatives by George Miller, the antique dealer who found the negatives, but no rationale for this arrangement appears evident other than perhaps the order in which the photographs were found or described by Mr. Miller. Since the bulk of the photographs are undated a chronological arrangement could not be adopted. Instead, the photographs have been arranged into six series based upon subject matter.
The prints in this fonds were produced ca.1968 and have been included in the series descriptions only when they are the sole surviving images (i.e. the original negatives are not extant)
Marsden A. Kemp (d. 1943) was an amateur photographer who lived in Kingston and Picton, Ontario.
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The Marsden Kemp glass plate negatives were found in the 1960s by a Picton antique dealer, George Miller. Miller found about 4,000 to 5,000 negatives and managed to salvage almost 1,000 of them as the passage of time and the storage conditions had taken their toll on most of the negatives.
He also had prints made from many of the negatives. Mr. Miller numbered and compiled descriptions of these negatives in a notebook. The source of his information for these descriptions is unclear since relatively few of the glass plate negatives have inscriptions. Miller's notebook reveals possible contacts who knew Marsden Kemp and who, in turn, may have provided some of the identifications. Alternatively, there may have been some documentation, such as the original enclosures, which provided this information. In any case, the content of a large number of the photographs remained unidentified. In 1968 the Archives of Ontario acquired 64 copy prints of the negatives from Mr. Miller and in 1970 acquired the original glass negatives from Thomas Bouckley of Oshawa. One single copy print was donated from another source in 1967, although it was not identified as a Marsden Kemp photograph at the time of donation.
Title derived from the creator of the fonds.
Accessions: 4963, 6358, 6899.
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Click on a reference code for more information about a series of records.
|Reference Code||Series Title|
|C 130-1||Photographs of eastern Ontario communities|
|C 130-2||Photographs of recreation|
|C 130-3||Photographs of ships|
|C 130-4||Kemp family photographs|
|C 130-5||Photographs of people in eastern Ontario|
|C 130-6||Photographs of eastern Ontario|