This thesis presents the results of an applied project in Collections Management, comprising the intellectual arrangement of the Fairlie Family fonds at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and the creation of a finding aid to facilitate future access and research. This project analyzes twelve Canadian family albums from the AGO’s collection of photography that were compiled by the Fairlie family between the years of 1880 and 1950. This project is comprised of three major parts: (1) an analytical paper, (2) extensive inventories and object-level cataloguing records, and (3) the creation of a finding aid for the family documents and related ephemera.
The first part of this thesis consists of an analytical paper discussing the historical context of the albums and what they can tell us about the Fairlie family and the time and place in which they were created. The albums document the family’s exploits in photography, from mining in northern Ontario, various travel destinations, summer camping in Temagami, and life in upper-middle-class Toronto during the first half of the twentieth century. The practical component of this project includes genealogical research; detailed inventories for each of the twelve albums; the intellectual arrangement, rehousing, and creation of a finding aid for the textual records and related ephemera; and updated cataloguing records linking the albums with the Fairlie Family fonds in The Museum System database (TMS) so that both the photographic collection and contextual information are more accessible.