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James Headly Acland fonds
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Maritime photographs

These photographs of maritime architecture in Canada, include external and internal views of government buildings, historical sites, streetscapes, industrial buildings, churches and old homes. These were most likely taken around 1962 and were used for several publications including Building by the Sea and The Maritimes. Cities most widely represented in this series include Quebec City, St John N.B, St. Andrews N.B., Dorchester N.B., Fredericton N.B., Charlottetown P.E.I, Halifax N.S., Lunenburg N.S., St. Johns Nfld., Petty Harbour Nfld..

This series consists of b&w proofs and larger b&w and colour prints. Proofs are arranged by their original number order and are identified by town and building. Larger prints have been grouped by their geographic location of province and town.

Photographs of European trip

These photographs were taken by Acland during a trip to Europe in 1964 and document the architecture and landscape of various cities. These images would have been used for research and to illustrate several published works including a series of articles entitled “Building and Land:…” in Canadian Architect starting in 1968. Interior photographs of cathedrals and churches would have also formed the basis for his research on vaults, some of which were reproduced in his 1972 book Medieval Structure : The Gothic Vault.

Countries documented in this series include: Central European countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary; England; France; Greece; the Islamic Middle East such as Turkey, Iran and Egypt; Italy, Portugal, Spain and Yugoslavia. There are also photographs of Nigeria taken by a photographer Grant Wanzel. These are included here because they were originally filed with the European photographs.

Vault photographs

These images are those selected mainly for printing in Acland’s book, Medieval Structure : the Gothic Vault. University of Toronto Press, 1972. Some may not have actually made it into the final printing. They show architectural features of various structures throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Originally these were probably taken around the same time as European photographs described in Series 8 – possibly during the same trip since many of the places are common to both series of prints.

This series contains the following arrangement:

/004P 247 photoprints: b&w ; 8x10 or smaller
4 photoprints: colour ; 8x10 or smaller
Mainly 8x10s these prints were identified as “European Arches”. Most are identified by location and have therefore been sorted alphabetically by place name. Except for a small number, Acland was the photographer. Some are numbered and mostly likely correspond to their use in the book but the correlation is unclear since the illustrations in the book are not numbered.

/004P 31 photoprints: b&w ; 8x10
These prints were originally arranged by chapter and this arrangement has been kept. Notations made by Acland on the back often note the page number.

/005P- 197 negatives: b&w ; 8x10

/007P These are enlarged negatives likely used for printing. Each is individually foldered since adhesive from the tape used to border their edges has made them tacky. Originally, all would have been sorted by chapter but this arrangement was lost. Whatever arrangement existed was maintained and where possible folders are annotated with the page number. The original folder has also been kept since it lists all images found in that chapter. Negatives not matched to their chapters are filed in Box /007. It is possible that some of these may not have been used in the book.

/001P 57 negatives : b&w ; 4x3.5 or smaller
29 negatives : colour ; 21/4’ x 21/4”
These are mostly original negatives of vaults many of which Acland identified. Some appear to copy negatives. There is no particular arrangement although original groupings were maintained.

Slides

This series includes slides most likely used to illustrate lectures, publications and possibly CBC programs in which he was involved. Most slides are undated but or identified as to their site location. There is also one box of slides of architectural student projects.

Negatives

These are mainly 35 mm strip negatives mostly likely relating to the photos in series above although a relationship is not easily established. There are two sets:

B2001-0044/003P
515 negatives: colour
Most are European photographs but the number system does not match those found in Series 8 (Europe 1964 photos). Most were probably taken for vault research and have been cut and resorted according to location and architectural characteristics. There are also photographs of proposed plans for Toronto City Hall and other buildings in the Toronto area.

B2001-0044/010P
Approx. 1500-2000 negatives: b&w
These are rolls of black and white negatives. Approximately half are photos and drawn figures for the Gothic Vault. Others are images of various buildings and architectural drawings and models. Unlike most of the images in other series, these are completely unidentified and may have served as a preservation set.

James Headly Acland fonds

  • UTA 1002
  • Fonds
  • [195-]-1976

Records documenting Professor Acland’s research, publication and teaching activities. Includes notebooks, scripts and draft papers, photographs, slides, and negatives. The fonds is dominated by over 4000 prints and negatives documenting his research interest in and publication of his book The Gothic Vault and the book Building by the Sea written with Eric Arthur on the study of maritime architecture on Canada’s east coast. Also included are numerous prints of Toronto where Acland was active in the preservation of historic buildings such as Old City Hall.

This accession documents to a limited degree James Acland’s research, teaching and publications. It is limited because very little of his textual records survived, although there is a good number of notebooks that were mostly likely used for lectures. Records relating to his architectural conservation work especially relating to saving Old City Hall are held at the City of Toronto Archives.

This accession does however give a good representation of Acland’s photographic work that formed the basis of his research and publications. There are extensive photographs and negatives relating to The Gothic Vault as well as Building by the Sea. There is a large collection of photographs taken on a trip to Europe in 1964. These would have most certainly been used for research and teaching. All the images in this collection are well identified in terms of their location and site. However, few give specific dates. It is assumed that most of the images were taken through the 1960s and some in the early 1970s.

Sometime after his death, a collection of 25,000 slides was donated to the University of Toronto and was distributed among 15 departments. A catalogue of these slides was prepared by the Centre for Medieval Studies and published in 1984: Catalogue of the James Acland Slide Collection. Only a few slides were donated with this accession and it is possible they are duplicates of what is found in the larger collection.

Acland, James Headly