Vous consultez une page Web conservée, recueillie par Bibliothèque et Archives Canada le 2007-05-16 à 15:30:17. Il se peut que les informations sur cette page Web soient obsolètes, et que les liens hypertextes externes, les formulaires web, les boîtes de recherche et les éléments technologiques dynamiques ne fonctionnent pas. Voir toutes les versions de cette page conservée.
Chargement des informations sur les médias

You are viewing a preserved web page, collected by Library and Archives Canada on 2007-05-16 at 15:30:17. The information on this web page may be out of date and external links, forms, search boxes and dynamic technology elements may not function. See all versions of this preserved page.
Loading media information
Skip navigation links (access key: Z)Library and Archives Canada - Bibliothèque et Archives Canada Canada
Graphical element Home > Art and Photography > Framing Canada Français
Graphical element
Banner: Framing Canada: A Photographic Memory


Graphical elementSearch DatabaseGraphical element
Photograph of a woman, using headphones to listen to her husband who is down in the mine, Moose River, Nova Scotia, 1936Larger image

Mrs. D.E. Robertson using headphones to listen to her husband from underground during the Moose River Mine rescue
Moose River, ca. ca. April 22, 1936
Photographer: unknown
PA-136869 (source)

"I always know the picture is waiting for me, it's waiting, and it's up to me ...."
- Boris Spremo, Twenty Years of Photojournalism, 1983.

Today we take for granted that a photojournalist will act as our immediate witness to any major news event, capturing the images that stay in our minds longer than any text; but photojournalism emerged only in the 1920s, through the convergence of technological change and political and social upheaval. While illustrated newspapers and magazines began publishing in 1842 (1849 in Canada), these publications relied on engravings even after the invention of the photographic halftone by Quebecers William Augustus Leggo and George-Édouard Desbarats, in 1869. Leggo and Desbarats published thousands of halftones over a 14-year period in Canadian Illustrated News and L'Opinion publique. However, it was not until the development of the small and quick Leica and Ermanox cameras in Germany between 1913 and 1914 that photographers and editors could fully exploit the technology to produce "action shots" of current events. Photography's widespread adoption as a news medium was delayed by the outbreak of the First World War, during which only official photographers were allowed to produce images for distribution to the press.

After the First World War, a new generation of photographers used cameras to capture the social, cultural and political upheaval of their times. Illustrated magazines in Germany developed the photo essay, a story told through images, with minimal supporting text, and with an emphasis on human emotions and tensions. New picture magazines such as Life and Picture Post in the United States, and Liberty and The New World in Canada were introduced, and newsmagazines such as Saturday Night and Maclean's also included photo essays as a regular feature.

Supplements to newspapers, such as Weekend Magazine, Perspectives and the Star Weekly provided competition to the above magazines from the 1950s to the 1970s. However, the most prolific producer of the photo essay in Canada was the National Film Board's (NFB) Still Photography Division, which produced stories for distribution from 1943 to 1972, supplying stories to over 100 Canadian publications by the late 1950s. Along with the Department of National Defence, the NFB provided a steady source of war-related images for the press during the Second World War.

Following the war, newspapers also ran increasing numbers of photographs, with both staff and freelance photographers providing a steady flow of images that fed the public's growing desire for an "unadulterated" view of events. Much of the photo essay work highlighted in this exhibition also reveals the development of photography as a mode of social commentary and critique on issues such as multiculturalism, human rights, urban development and political conflict. In this aspect, photojournalism provides Canadians with a deeper understanding of the complexity of our history.

Almost half of the 23 million photographs in the holdings of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are contained in a broad range of photojournalistic collections. LAC serves as a national source of history and knowledge accessible to all, helping Canadians to understand how individuals, issues and events have influenced Canada's development.

Graphical element

Photography Bursts
Onto the Page

Photograph of HRH Prince Arthur, October 30, 1869

Disaster Strikes

Photograph of the burning Centre Block of Parliament, with mist reflected in the glow from the fire and lights, Ottawa, 1916

and Commemoration

Photograph of a large crowd standing on a terrace overlooking the Saint Lawrence, Québec, Quebec, 1879


Photograph of men, woman and boys, some with picket signs, in front of a building, Stratford, Ontario, 1934

The Pulse

Photograph of Ethel Catherwood clearing the high jump at the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, 1928
Graphical element

Graphical element