The Shawn Lamb Archives of Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History houses thousands of photographs that document the early history of Nelson and area, its peoples, places and events from the late 1800s to the late 1900s.
In 2011, Touchstones Nelson completed the first phase of an image digitization project that, for the first time, provided online access to hundreds of photos from Society’s archival collection. The photos from this first phase are available for viewing through the Touchstones Nelson Flickr® Photostream site. Touchstones has now completed the second phase of this significant project with an online gallery, which provides access to an additional 1000 photographs. The gallery is organized by various collections within the Society’s holdings.
This digitization project was completed in order to preserve the deteriorating negatives and to make the collection more accessible to the public. It was proudly supported in part by the Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and the Hamber Foundation.
For more archival photographs, you may also visit our Virtual Exhibitions.
Written permission to publish or otherwise use these images must be obtained from Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History. Contact Jean-Philippe Stienne, Archivist and Collections Manager at 250-352-8268 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please supply the File Name of the photograph located in the right hand side bar (eg. 57.037.005).
JD Spurway Collection
John “Dick” Dicken Spurway (d. April 24, 1983), an avid photographer and Nelson native, worked at the Post Office for 40 years. He lived on the North Shore and co-owned the cabin cruiser the SS Kokanee. He had a home theatre, which grew out of his love for photography; and he would regularly entertain youngsters with shows and boat cruises.
JH Allen Collection
James “Jimmy” Hamilton Allen (August 17, 1878 – December 25, 1969), a local photographer arrived in Nelson in 1899 and worked as a deckhand on the SS Moyie. He also worked on construction at the Hall Mines Smelter and as a machinist in Burns wood-mill plant. He opened a photofinishing business in 1919, which he later developed into Allen’s Art Shoppe located at 505 Baker Street in Nelson, BC.
Ross Fleming Collection
Ross Walter George Macdonald Fleming (d. August 27, 1969) an avid photographer was significant in the development of Nelson serving on the city council for 12 years and as a school trustee for three. He was a member of the Nelson’s Old Timers Association having moved to Nelson in 1897 as a young boy. He owned and operated the Fairview Grocery store, was the conductor of the Nelson Symphony Orchestra, and founded the Kootenay Music Festival. His son Gordon continues to donate Nelson historical materials, including some of his father’s photographs to Touchstones Nelson.
Nelson Daily News Collection
The Nelson Daily News ran under different names and owners from 1890 to 2010. Visual images were added gradually to the daily papers through the years. Professional photographers were contracted or employed to document community events and add a visual aspect to the newspaper. Files of many of these images were kept and used for special editions and these files were then donated to Touchstones Nelson Archives in various stages in order to better preserve the history of Nelson and its paper.
Notre Dame University Collection
Ron Welwood, former librarian of the Notre Dame University, saw the importance of collecting and preserving photographs of the Kootenay region. He acquired many images from public and private collections for the library. After the closure of the University the Kootenaiana photographs were eventually transferred to Touchstones Nelson.
JSD Smith Collection
This collection of photographs was taken by John Stephen “Derry” Derward Smith (d. March 28, 1967) while he worked as a land inspector for the BC Government. Derry also volunteered at the Nelson Museum as a historian. These photographs depict the wider Kootenay region in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and more significantly the remnants of the Dewdney Trail.
Business Ephemera Collection
These images are of ephemera used by local Nelson and area businesses, which include items such as labels, receipts, letterheads, and cards. Valued by collectors, many of these items are visually appealing on their own.
These photographs depict a wide selection of images from the Touchstones Nelson Shawn Lamb Archives. These photographs have been donated to the archives over the years and are from a broad spectrum of photographers and subjects.