Historical Photograph Collection

The Historical Photograph Collection at Ryerson Library is largely based on a recent donation from Lorne Shields. For photographs related to the history of Kodak Canada Ltd., please see the Kodak Collection.

Lorne Shields fonds

1850-1950, predominant 1860-1900. ā€“ 40 boxes of photographs. ā€“ 99 photographic albums. ā€“ 1 box of textual material.

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Lorne Shields has been an avid collector of bicycles and bicycle ephemera since 1967, and was employed for many years as a bicycle wholesaler. His passion for bicycles led him to collect photographs on the subject as well as books, magazines, and bicycle memorabilia. He soon began collecting photography as its own pursuit, and joined the Photographic Historical Society of Canada in 1994. He has lectured widely on the history of bicycle photography, often showcasing his own collection of images. His photographic collection contains much more than bicycle imagery, however and the resulting collection represents a variety of photographic types.

In 1980 he donated much of his Cycling Collection to the Canada Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, Ontario. In 2007, Lorne Shields donated a part of his photographic collection (mainly those images not pertaining to bicycles) to Special Collections at Ryerson University Library. Many of his bicycle photographs remain in his possession and he continues to actively collect.

The fonds consists of a large number of studio portrait photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in carte-de-visite or cabinet card formats. There is a large collection of landscape and industrial imagery dating from the Victorian era to the 1950s. The collection also comprises photographic albums, good examples of glass and metal photographic processes including cased daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. The fonds is comprised of the following 8 series: Portraits (sub-series for Groups and Celebrities), Vernacular Photography (amateur snapshots), Landscapes and Industry (sub-series for Slides), Albums, the A.T. Orr collection and a Miscellaneous group of images which were generally created in mixed media.

Lorne Shields’ collection of bicycle photography was featured in the exhibition From Scorchers to Alley Cat Scrambles at The Market Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, from May 20 to October 1, 2006 and in a lecture by Donald Zaldin entitled “Getting it in Gear: The Revolutionary Impact of the Bicycle on 19th Century Culture” in the Ephemera Society of America’s March 2007 conference Ephemera/27.