David L. Gibson collection Help

Fonds F 4592

David L. Gibson collection

About these records

David L. Gibson collection
Dates of Creation
ca. 1822-2010
Physical Description

3195 photographs : 1818 prints, 1377 negatives

13 files of textual records

13 items of textual records

7 photographic mattes

2 pictures

2 maps : photomechanical reproductions

Scope and Content

Collection consists of photographs and other records, chiefly documenting the Ingersoll, Muskoka, Aylmer and St. Marys areas, collected by or given to amateur historian David L. Gibson. It includes photographs in several formats including cartes de visite, cabinet cards, tintypes, contemporary prints, and glass plate negatives and is comprised of two studio collections: the Hugill studios and the H.F. Robinson Studio. It also includes photographs and other records related to the Gibson and the Foulds families as well as records concerning David's personal research and family history.

As a child in the late 1920s, Gibson first befriended Edgar H. ("Ed") Hugill on Keewaydin Island in Muskoka where Hugill worked as the summer postmaster. Hugill operated a photo studio in Ingersoll, Ontario, initially in conjunction with his father, John, and later on his own. After Ed Hugill's death in 1955, the collection of negatives and photographs from the studio came into Gibson's possession. Gibson used the photos in writing books about Keewaydin Island and the Hugill studio.

Photographs in this collection consist of negatives and prints of family members and studio customers as well as interiors and exteriors of homes and businesses in the Ingersoll area, boats and cottages on Keewaydin and surrounding islands, and events in the Ingersoll and Muskoka areas.

Gibson also obtained the collection of another photographer, Harold Franklin ("Frank") Robinson, possibly through the estate of a Wilford Smith. The photographs included in this collection consist of individual and group portraits often taken at weddings, reunions, social events, and YWCA camps in Aylmer and St. Marys, Ontario.

Gibson was an avid genealogist. He gathered photographs documenting the Gibson as well as the Foulds families. The Foulds, David's maternal grandparents, were early settlers in the Brantford area and contemporaries and neighbours of Alexander Graham Bell. The photographs in this collection consist of family portraits, some of which were used to illustrate David L. Gibson's book on the Foulds family.

Please see notes for information on the arrangement of the collection.

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Administrative History or Biographical Sketch

David Leslie Gibson (1921-2010), historian, collected photographs pertaining to the J. Hugill studio, Ingersoll and the E. H. Hugill studio, Ingersoll. He did extensive research regarding Keewaydin Island, Muskoka and family history on his Gibson family and on his maternal grandparent's family, the Foulds. His work resulted in three books: The Hugill Chronicles, a Mosaic : Father and Son Photographers 1860-1900; The Foulds Chronicles; and Chronicles of Keewaydin Island : Muskoka Lake with the Seven Sisters Islands 1880-1910.

John Hugill, Jr., (1829-1911) owned and operated the J. Hugill photography studio, Ingersoll, between 1866 and 1880. After retiring from photography, he purchased and operated a stationery business.

Edgar Herbert Hugill (1859-1955) operated the E.H. Hugill photography studio, Ingersoll between 1880 and 1896. His post-photography business consisted of working as a general insurance agent and as a postmaster on Keewaydin Island.

Harold Franklin ("Frank") Robinson (1888-1958), a photographer specializing in portraits, worked mostly in southwestern Ontario communities through his Robinson Studio.

Click on the link(s) below for more information.

Gibson, David L., 1921-2010

Hugill, John, 1829-1911

Hugill, Edgar H. (Edgar Herbert), 1859-1955

Robinson, H.F. (Harold Franklin), 1888-1958

Restrictions on Access
Some access restrictions apply for the photographic portion of collection. Consult series descriptions for details.
Terms For Use and Reproduction
Consult series descriptions for details.
Custodial History

David L. Gibson was given photographs from the studios of Edgar Herbert Hugill (1859-1955) and Hugill's father John (1829-1911). Gibson also obtained the collection of another photographer, Harold Franklin Robinson, possibly through the estate of a Wilford Smith. Gibson retained photographs which belonged to his maternal grandparents, the Foulds, and from other family members. Gibson's collection of photographs was given to his granddaughter Allison Boyd, who donated them to the Archives of Ontario in 2009.

Associated Material

Aylmer, St. Marys, and Port Carling museums have records similar to those found in this collection. As well, the Ingersoll history website has images that are associated with the Ingersoll series from this collection.

Related Material

Three publications written by David L. Gibson, including The Hugill Chronicles, a Mosaic : Father and Son Photographers 1860-1900; The Foulds Chronicles; and Chronicles of Keewaydin Island : Muskoka Lake with the Seven Sisters Islands 1880-1910, can be found in the Archives of Ontario Library.

Availability of Other Formats

Many of the photographs have both prints and negatives. However, some have only one or the other. Damaged glass plate negatives have been digitized. Consult series descriptions for details.

Title based on contents of the fonds.

On the item lists, dates for a majority of the black and white prints represent the dates of the original negatives rather than the prints.

Prints for the Hugill collections were originally housed in 22 index binders. Gibson's associate, Graham Garrett, created contemporary prints of the original glass plate negatives between 1980 and 1990, and Gibson used these prints as an index, which he sorted into binders by subject. The original physical order of these binders has been preserved. Negative numbers, where available, are identified on or near the prints in an alpha numeric code, beginning with the letter H, followed by the negative number.

Gibson pulled some of the Hugill prints from their original binders and obtained images from sources other than the Hugill records for possible inclusion in his books. Every effort has been made to return the prints to their original locations within the existing series. Prints that were similar to images from existing series but not identical were put at the bottom of the item lists for each series. Loose photographs have been arranged by the archivist.

Duplicate photographs were culled.


No accruals are expected.

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Records series that make up this fonds

Click on a reference code for more information about a series of records.

Reference Code Series Title
F 4592-1 Hugill studio positive photographs
F 4592-2 Non-Hugill studio photographs
F 4592-3 Hugill family photographs
F 4592-4 Ingersoll, Ontario photographs
F 4592-5 Photographs of Keewaydin Island and Seven Sister Islands in Muskoka, Ontario
F 4592-6 Hugill studio negative photographs
F 4592-7 Robinson Studio photographs
F 4592-8 Foulds and Gibson family photographs and text
F 4592-9 David L. Gibson's family research and reference materials