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Description found in Archives

Individual portrait sittings [graphic material] : Formerly Group 1.

Sub-series consists of



Place of creation


c. 267,410 photographs.

Scope and content

This subseries is comprised of over 266,000 images including black and white and colour negatives and prints, black and white proofs, red proofs, and colour transparencies. The material forms the principal photographic records of the Karsh fonds: approximately 15,000 sitting and project files, consisting of all of the extant original negatives, (except for the so-called Famous Five Hundred negatives), as well as some proofs and basic prints. The records are organized chronologically from 1933 to 1993, and numbered sequentially. An alphabetical card index provides access to the list of sittings and projects. From the negatives in this subseries, Karsh selected images for exhibition or publication, often creating special groups for this material (see Special Projects Series). In 1973 Karsh moved from his Sparks Street studio to the Chateau Laurier, and as part of the move culled and destroyed 2,522 `dormant` negatives from the collection. A list is available from the Photography Acquisition and Research files. The list also reveals that numbers 1-20 were absent and files 1,099-2000 and 3099-4000 were blank. Karsh also appears to have rationalized his collection in the early 1980s when he designated certain negatives as `Selected 1982` and placed them into separate envelopes in the file.

Graphic (photo)
90: Open
from RV2 061 to RV2 063
from RV2 065 to RV2 069
from RV2 071 to RV2 074
RV2 076
RV2 078
from RV2 081 to RV2 082
RV2 084
from RV2 087 to RV2 088
RV2 090
RV2 092
from RV2 094 to RV2 098
from RV2 100 to RV2 101
RV2 106
from RV2 110 to RV2 111
from RV2 119 to RV2 123
from RV2 125 to RV2 126
from RV2 129 to RV2 131
RV2 141
90: Open
Archival reference no.

Terms of use

Access: No restrictions on access for purposes of private study.
Restrictions on use: For items in copyright: for private study and research purposes, Library and Archives Canada will provide only colour or black and white photographs up to an 8x10 in. format. The photographs will be blindstamped or embossed. For exhibition loans, contact: Director General, Preservation Branch, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N4. For public, commercial, or other for profit uses contact: in Canada and the United States: Julie Grahame,, 917-361-9791. International: Camera Press, 21 Queen Elizabeth St., London, England, SE1 2PD, tel: 44 (0)20 7378 1300.

Finding aid 197 covers the photographic material from the accession 1987-054 only. FA-197 (Paper)