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Description found in Archives

Andrew Audubon Merrilees fonds [multiple media]. 


ca. 1755-1980

Place of creation

Various places

11.67 m of textual records.
ca. 356,051 photographs.
2,179 prints (art).
11 drawings.
2 watercolours.
223 reproductions (art).
4 paintings.
18 maps.
4,102 technical drawings.
1 album (photo).
1 film reel.
32 reproductions : postcards
4 philatelic records

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the following series of textual records: Railways in Canada, 1852-1979; Railways in the United States, 1835-1980, microfilm, 1877-1963; Railways in other countries, 1851, 1904-1970; Railway passes, 1857-1960; Water transport, 1780, 1808-1979; Mossom Boyd Company, 1881-1914; General, 1755-1941, 1965; Personal papers including notebooks, unpublished papers, talks, manuscripts, notes, financial reports, correspondence and personal items, n.d., 1946-1979. Material related to Andrew Merrilees Ltd. Microfilmed material (44 microfilm reels) consists of production drawings of locomotive works of the H.K. Porter Company (relating to volumes 8 to 27 of the Merrilees fonds.) This material is available on microfilm reels M-7503 to M-7546. The fonds contains six series of ca. 344,051photographs related to engines, rolling stock, buildings, and operations of railroads, electrical railways, and streetcar lines throughout Canada and the United States; commercial and private horse-drawn vehicles and sleighs, automobiles, buses, trucks, and firefighting equipment in Canada; shipbuilding, ship launchings, ship repairs and drydock activity at various ports in Ontario and Quebec; various types of ships and other vessels, primarily in eastern Canada, and various types of commercial aircraft, particularly those which undertook trans-Atlantic flights from Newfoundland; exterior and interior views of buildings, street scenes, parades, fires, funerals, visits of dignitaries, in and around various cities, towns, and villages in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario; panoramic group photographs of units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the Royal Air Force in training at various camps in Ontario; views of hydro dams and power plants; various views, typically involving railways, of South America, Central America, Russia, Europe, and Australia; members of the Bruce family and Merrilees family, and members of the Ontario Legislature and the York Pioneer and Historical Society, n.d., [ca. 1865]-1940. There are photographs by Blackmore Studio, the Panoramic Camera Company, Notman Studio, Andrew E.Young, Alexander Henderson, Jules-Ernst Livernois, and Frank E. Micklethwaite. Additionally, there are photographic albums in the fonds including; "Victoria Jubilee Bridge 1897-98"; "Canadian Scraps. No. 1", 1858-1895; "Canadian Views and Studies", 1860-1870; "William Notmans Viewbook", [ca. 1870-1890], and "Standard Locomotives and Cars of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company 1876", 1870-1875. The fonds contains artistic material collected by Merrilees, including greeting cards, trade cards, posters, etc., which document North American social history, [ca. 1800-1970]; an auction sales poster; watercolours; circus posters, posters depicting Trent Valley Navigation Co. Ltd., tours of the Thousand Islands, music hall attractions, and Russian views, 1861-1945; drawings, prints, and reproductions relating to transportation history in North America, as well as landscapes, historical events, and architectural interiors, [ca. 1760-1960], predominant [ca. 1880-1930]; and an incomplete (pp. 80-110) section of vol. 3 of a publication entitled "The Ceremonies and Religious Customs of Various Nations of the Known World", [ca. 1734-1807]. The fonds also includes four paintings, one by an unknown artist, one by Albert Sheldon Pennoyer (1888-1957) artist and author of a book about the railroad, and two by Eward Melbourne Brindle (1904-after 1948) of the Pennsylvania Railroad yards. The fonds also comprises additional prints and reproductions including a group of large colour lithographs of the Famous Canadian Jubilee Singers, [ca. 1901-1902], produced by the Duncan Litho. Co. Hamilton, a group of miniature vignettes for steel engraving produced by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson [ca. 1830-1900], a large lithograph by Seth Arca Whipple (1855-1901), of a a fleet of schooners on Lake Huron, an exhibition poster for the 34th Annual Exhibition Western Fair in London [1901], and various additional postcards, calendars, travel and event advertisements, some after original artworks by American artists Walter L. Greene (1870-1956), Howard Fogg (1917-1996), and E. Teller (?). The fonds also contains technical data, maps, plans, and technical drawings related to railroads and trains, [ca. 1900-1950]; blueprints and reproductions of engineering drawings, primarily of locomotives and rolling stock, [ca. 1867-1969]; and 19 miscellaneous maps and plans pertaining primarily to Ontario and Quebec, [ca. 1884-1902]. Thirty-two postcards relating primarily to shipping and train travel in Canada were selected for retention. Of the thirty-two, five are photogravure postcards from the "Daily Mirror Canadian Official Series" with imagery from the Second World War which were printed in Great Britain.

Textual records
Textual records: microform
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Acc. No. 1971-318: Collection is closed
for conservation reasons. Researchers must speak to Photo Custodian, who can arrange for specific groups of rolled negatives to be relaxed and copied.
Graphic (art)
96: Restrictions vary
Architectural: technical drawings
90: Open
Cartographic material
90: Open
Moving images (film)
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
from 759 to 760
from 1580 to 1597
from 1608 to 1621
from 1624 to 1629
99: Closed pending processing
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.
Other accession no.
79002/5206 CA
84503/19 CA
85603/2 CA

Terms of use

Photographs: No restrictions. Various copyrights on items less than 50 years old. Copyright expired on items more than 50 years old. Credit: Name of photographer / Library and Archives Canada / Copy negative no.
Artistic material: Physcial access with the assistance of an art archivist. Various copyrights. Credit: Library and Archives Canada.
Maps and technical drawings: No restrictions on access to or reproduction of these items.

Textual records The Microfilm Shelf lists provide a detailed description of the material on microfilm. MSS2001 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Finding aid 1325, part 1, provides a description of the files in volumes 1 to 59. It also describes H.K. Porter Company microfilmed production drawings. MSS1325 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Finding aid 1325, part 2, describes the contents of volumes 60 to 73. MSS1325 90 (Electronic)

Photographs Indexes located in 326: 98 page Inventory, catalogue of Great Lakes Vessels negatives, partial list of Marine photos in series B and C, sub-series BII & BIII by locations, ship, and locomotive names, shelf lists for series B to F, box content list with collection description and research tips. FA-053 (Paper)

Photographs Box contents list by barcode listed as amerilee.wpd and collection description and research tips listed as amerintr.wpd. Both in s:/vsa/photo.a&r/findaid FA-053 (Electronic)

Photographs Original envelopes with captions B-001732 to B-010999 located in 2000814413-16, 18, 20, 22-23, 25-26, 28, 30, 32, 36-38 and C-006506 to C-02105 in 2000814442, 44-51. Original index cards with captions 2883 to 4030 located in 2000792444. FA-053 (Paper)

Art. (2002 donation). On-line on MINISIS at item-level. R5500 - 1 to R5500 - 52 (2002) 90 (Electronic)

Art.(2002 donation). Description and item-level list on accession file. R5500 - 2002. 90 (Paper)

Photographs Guide to Finding Aid FA-053, Accession 1980-149. Paper copy located in 326. Electronic on S:Drive. FA-053 (Paper)

Photographs Image indexes by Photographer, Location and Subject, and for Series B and Series C located in 326. FA-053 (Microform)

Photographs: 2 general lists of material from BAN 2007-00446-1, including albums and loose prints. FA-053 90 (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

Andrew Merrilees was born in 1919 at Hamilton Ont., and moved in 1941 to Montreal, where he worked for the Department of Research and Development of the Canadian National Railways. In 1945 he moved to Toronto where he became founder, owner and president of three firms involved in buying, selling and rebuilding locomotives, freight cars and other railway equipment.

Merrilees began his career as a collector in 1932 when he began acquiring photographs of railway equipment in Hamilton. During his employment with the CNR, he began to acquire manuscript material relating to railways, and he subsequently included production drawings, books, memorabilia, artefacts and other material in his collection. At the same time his area of interest expanded to include marine transportation and, eventually, many other aspects of Canadian history.

Among his major aquisitions were several large American collections of railway photographs and other materials, purchased because they included Canadian material; in consequence the collection came to have a substantial American component. During his years as a collector Merrilees also compiled personal notebooks on Canadian railway and marine history, detailing the results of his extensive research in these fields.

Additional information

Received in 1983 from the estate of A.A. Merrilees of Toronto, Ont., and in 1984 and 2002 from Dr. Robert J. Stewart of Toronto, Ont. Additional material received in 2006 from Ingebord Stauder of Frankford ON.

Exhibitions note
Exhibition Title: Culture and Democracy: Lord and Lady Elgin in Canada, 1847-1854. Curators: National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. (MG 24 A10 Vol.22 file 1, page 38) Further Venue: Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Ontario; 2003.04.02-2003.08.18. Further Venue: La Citadelle, Quebec City, Quebec; 2003.09.05-2004.02.16. Further Venue: Château Ramezay Museum, Vieux-Montreal, Quebec; 2004.04.16-2004.05.02.

Subject heading

1. Railroads - Canada, 1852-1979 Trent Valley Canal, [between 1808 and 1979]
2. Railroads - Canada - History, 1852-1979 Welland Canal, [between 1808 and 1979]
3. Railroads - Canada - Records and correspondence, 1852-1979 Rideau Canal (Ont.), [between 1808 and 1979]
4. Street-railroads - Canada - History, 1852-1979 H.K. Porter Company, 1877-1963.
5. Street-railroads - Canada - Records and correspondence, 1852-1979 New Haven and Hartford (Railway), 1877-1963.
6. Quebec (Quebec) - Railroads, [between 1852 and 1979] Michigan Central (Railway), 1877-1963.
7. Montreal (Quebec) - Railroads, [between 1852 and 1979] Toledo and Ohio Central (Railway), 1877-1963.
8. Railroads - United States - History, 1877-1963 New York (Railway), 1877-1963.
9. Railroads - United States - Records and correspondence, 1877-1963 New York Central System (Railway), 1877-1963.
10. H.K. Porter Company - Reocrds and correspondence, 1877-1963 Occidental (Railway), 1852-1879.
11. Railroads - Argentina, 1851, 1907-1970 Intercolonial Railway (Canada), 1852-1979.
12. Railroads - Australia, 1851, 1904-1970 Canadian Pacific Railway, 1852-1979.
13. Railroads - Ceylon, 1851, 1904-1970 Canadian National Railways, 1852-1979.
14. Railroads - France, 1851, 1904-1970 Great Western Railway Company of Canada, 1852-1979.
15. Railroads - Panama, 1851, 1907-1970 Mossom Boyd Company, [1881-1914]
16. Railroads - Spain, 1851, 1904-1970 Cowichan Lumber Company, 1881-1914.
17. Railroads - Turkey, 1851, 1904-1970 Trent Valley Navigation Company, 1881-1914.
18. Railroads - United Kingdom, 1851, 1904-1970.
19. Railroads - Canada - Passes, 1862-1920.
20. Railroads - United States - Passes, 1862-1920.
21. Railroad bridges - Canada - Passes, 1873-1921.
22. Niagara Falls (Ont.) - Rail bridges - Passes, 1873-1921.
23. Waterways - Canada - History, 1808-1929, 1961-1979.
24. Canals - Ontario, [between 1808 and 1979]
25. Canals - Canada, [between 1808 and 1979]
26. Belfast (Ireland) - Shipping - Records and correspondence, [between 1808 and 1979]
27. Andrew Audubon Merrilees - Finance, Personal, n.d., 1946-1979.
28. Shipping - Canada - Records and correspondence, [between 1808 and 1979]
29. Canada - History 19th century.
30. Shipping - Canada - History, n.d., 1946-1979.
31. Business enterprises - Canada, 1881-1914.
32. Belfast (Ireland) - Business enterprises, [between 1808 and 1979]


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1968-054 NPC
2. 1971-318 NPC
3. 1977-110 NPC
4. 1978-216 NPC
5. 1979-295 NPC
6. 1980-084 PIC
7. 1980-093 PIC
8. 1980-149 NPC
9. 1981-016 PIC
10. 1982-102 PIC
11. 1983-037 PIC
12. 1985-086 PIC
13. 1985-087 PIC
14. 1987-024 PIC
15. 79002/5206 CA
16. 84503/19 CA
17. 84503/2 CA
18. 85603/2 CA
19. 2007-00446-1
20. 2009-00553-8
21. R5500