Series S01 - Photographs

Patients harvest hay with barns and the arena in the background Exterior shot of barn with sheep in foreground Laundry, Public Hospital for the Insane, New Westminster Three sets of clydesdale teams ploughing a field in front of the barns Essondale interior dormitory Essondale interior lounge Essondale interior kitchen Essondale interior recreation lounge Essondale's West Lawn - straight-on view ca. 1914 Essondale interior laboratory Essondale interior laboratory Essondale interior lounge West Lawn- straight on view from further down the hill Essondale's West Lawn- view from behind a fence Wide-angle view of Essondale's West Lawn with clear-cut grounds Exterior of unidentified building Interior Shoe Shop, Public Hospital for the Insane, New Westminster Power lines along the road Chickens in a pen Stone Gates Power lines along the road Colony Farm panorama Fence and river Stone fence and power lines along the road Flock of geese with farmer in background Pigs in outdoor pen Clydesdales with plow and farmer Two Clydesdale plow teams in field, with West Lawn building under construction in the background Men working in farmyard Barn with horse team hitched to a wagon
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  • Graphic material
  • Multiple media

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Dates of creation area


  • 1997 - 2018 (Collection)
    Riverview Hospital Historical Society
  • [191-] - 2008 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3,391 photographic negatives and prints : b&w and col. ; multiple processes ; multiple dimensions
1 scrapbook : 22 x 32 cm
1 photograph album : 12 x 16 cm

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Archival description area

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Custodial history

The material was transferred to the Riverview Hospital Historical Society through several avenues. The photographs in Subseries 01 and Subseries 04 were transferred from the Coquitlam Heritage Society in 2012, having been part of a larger series of glass negatives that were purchased by the Heritage Society some time in the early 2000's.

The photographs in Subseries 02 and Subseries 03 were part of John Davidson's collection. Much of his collection was transferred to the Archives of the UBC Botanical Gardens, however, the photographs relating to Riverview and Colony Farm were transferred to the Riverview Hospital Historical Society.

Scope and content

The series consists of photographs predominantly depicting aspects of social and administrative life at Riverview Hospital and the School of Psychiatric Nursing as well as and Colony Farm. The photographs in the series portray the everyday social life of Riverview Hospital staff and volunteers as well as events, meetings, gatherings, and kinds of work they undertook. Additionally the series depicts scenes of Riverview Hospital's many buildings in varying states of completion, portraits of prize winning livestock (Holstein cattle, Clydesdale and Belgian horses), scenes during periods of flooding at Colony Farm, and equipment, vehicles, and technology used by the Hospital.

The glass plate negatives in Subseries 01 and 04 are known to have been taken by W.J. Moore, a prominent Vancouver photographer. It is possible that the entire collection was taken by W.J. Moore, although it has not been possible to confirm. Some photographs in Subseries 02 are thought to depict the Provincial Hospital for the Insane in New Westminster. Photographs in Subseries 04 are also thought to depict the Dominion Experimental Farm in Agassiz, B.C.

Record types consists largely of silver gelatin negatives in large format cellulose acetate sheets and cellulose acetate film strips. The subseries also contains a collection of glass plate negatives, chromogenic colour negative film strips and large format sheets, silver gelatin DOP prints, a photograph album, and a scrapbook.

Notes area

Physical condition

Some glass negatives are damaged and some cellulose acetate negative sheets and cellulose acetate film strips are exhibiting signs of image silver deterioration. Consult finding aids and lower level descriptions for more details.


The series has been arranged into five Subseries by several archivists throughout its custody at the City of Coquitlam Archives. The arrangement is:

Subseries 01: Assorted photographs of Colony Farm (Glass Negatives)
Subseries 02: Essondale (Riverview Hospital) photographs
Subseries 03: Colony Farm and Assorted Locations photographs
Subseries 04: Unidentified Farm photographs
Subseries 05: Assorted photographs of Riverview Hospital

Subseries 01 and Subseries 04 have been arranged according to the numbering system imposed by the original donor or by the Coquitlam Heritage Society. This numbering system has been maintained as it corresponds to the copy prints.

The additional glass negatives had no obvious original order so the archivist divided them into two subseries: Subseries 02 (Essondale photographs) and Subseries 03 (Colony Farm and Assorted Locations photographs).

Subseries 05 consists largely of the accruals from Riverview Hospital Historical Society as well as the accruals from the British Columbia Government Records Service. Neither had a discernible order, so the archivist grouped them by subject matter apparent in the photographs and larger functional groups in their original file lists. Within these divisions the records are arranged chronologically.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Copy prints and scanned digital copies are available. Consult item level descriptions or the Finding Aid for more information.

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Some photographs in Series 05 are under copyright. Consult with the archivist for more information.

Finding aids

Finding aid is available

Associated materials

Subseries 01 relates to the glass negative collection in the Coquitlam Heritage Society collection (C4). The complete set of negatives was first purchased by the Coquitlam Heritage Society in 2003 and then later a subsection pertaining to Riverview and Colony Farm was donated to the Riverview Hospital Historical Society in 2010.


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