Archives Search

Search only: Library, Archives Advanced Search, Ancestors, Images, Search All

To submit a comment, contact

Search Help

Description found in Archives

National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque [graphic material]. 

Series consists of



Place of creation


ca. 440 000 photographs: various formats

Scope and content

The series consists of photographs covering different aspects of Canadian life including the economic, political, or social. The series contains a large number of photographs of city land rural landscapes, famous national and international political figures, Canadian industry, activities documenting Canadian participation in the Second World War, immigration, Robert Peary's Arctic exploration, etc.

Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Archival reference no.

Terms of use

Photographs: No restrictions on access or on use. Copyright: expired for all photographs taken before 1 January 1949. Copyright: Government of Canada for all photographs taken after 1 January 1949.

Biography / Administrative history

In 1942 the National Film Board of Canada established a photography division whose mission was to specialize in documentary photography. The division's purpose was to boost domestic confidence and increase the patriotic sentiment among the Canadian public by documenting activities of the army and the civilian population taking part in the war effort. In the 1950s, the division changed its focus to documenting everyday Canadian life, thereby promoting tourism, industry, and Canada's natural resources for the national and international audiences.

In 1970s, the section of the photo division responsible for production of documentary photography came under the jurisdiction of Information Canada. The responsibility of artistic aspects of photography remained with the Photothèque. In 1975-1976, the documentary photography section was returned to the NFB, whilst the more artistic section of the Photothèque gave rise to the establishment of the Canadian Museum of Canadian Photography in 1984. The documentary photography section of the Photothèque continued to exist, however no longer under the jurisdiction of the National Film Board but under the auspices of the Department of Supplies and Services.


Other system control no.