CPR 1887


CPR 1887


This presentation album was created to commemorate a Canadian Pacific Railway investors' trip across Canada, and was published by Canadian photographic studio William Notman & Son.

The album provides an example of albumen prints created using the wet collodion process. The photographers responsible for these images would have travelled across the landscapes pictured here carrying their supply of glass plate negatives and a full darkroom, due to the necessity of preparing and developing wet plates on location. Once the photographs were printed on albumen paper, they had to be individually pasted onto each page of the album.

Photographs like these ones played a role in shaping the ways that the Canadian West was imagined, and provide a good example of what photo historian Joan Schwartz calls "imagined geographies." This album turns the spaces of Canada into an imagined placeand, for the specific purposes of this albumone that was intended to please investors in the railway. 

As you consider the kind of “imagined geographies” that these photographs both build on and contribute to, consider additional souvenir albums of the Western Canadian landscape included in this exhibition. What arguments do these photographs make and how do they encourage us to imagine and remember these places? 

This album forms part of the Prairie Roots Collection at Bruce Peel Special Collections, supported by the Prairie Roots Endowment Fund (gift of Ralph and Gay Young).


Wm. Notman & Son (photographer)


20.0 x 30.0 cm
FC 3205.2 W46 1887 folio


CPR hotel 72dpi.jpeg
CPR hotel 72dpi.jpg
hotel fire 72dpi.jpeg
hotel fire 72dpi.jpg
four portraits 72dpi.jpg
cedar 72dpi.jpg
ice grotto 72dpi.jpg
ice cave 72dpi.jpg
eagle creek bridge 72dpi.jpg
binding A 72dpi.jpg


Wm. Notman & Son (photographer), “CPR 1887,” Bruce Peel Special Collections Library Online Exhibits, accessed July 24, 2024, https://omeka.library.ualberta.ca/items/show/3056.

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