Western Libraries

Western Libraries - Archives and Research Collections Centre

Talman Collections

Black History Collection

The J. J. Talman Collection black history manuscript holdings include the papers of the Canadian Black Studies Project, produced by the Cross Cultural Learner Centre, London, Ont. 

The materials are based on the research notes, facsimiles and papers of Dr. Donald G. Simpson for his University of Ontario Ph.D thesis Negroes in Ontario from Early Times to 1870 (1971). 

The papers of Dr. Fred Landon also provide considerable primary source material on black history, especially relating to the Canadian abolitionist movement and the underground railway. Dr. Landon was a noted Ontario historian and UWO's first Director of Libraries (1923-1947). 

Other major collections on black history include the papers of Stanley J. Smith and Dr. Alexander Murray. 

Canadian Church History Collection

Canadian Church history remains an important focus of Canadian history, as taught at The University of Western Ontario. Church history holdings in The J.J. Talman Regional Collection are extensive particularly as relating to the southwestern Ontario region. This collection comprises: 

  • histories of various Canadian religious denominations and churches  
  • photographs of church buildings and congregational activities 
  • annual church reports and minutes of meetings 
  • archives of local churches
  • the London Women's Christian Temperance Union reports

London and Southwestern Ontario Photographic Collection

This collection contains more than 6,000 images, mainly of London Ontario and environs, not all identified, dated ca 1865 - 1920. Subjects include: 

  • buildings and streetscapes 
  • civic events, exhibitions and royal visits 
  • farm scenes, industrial scenes and railways 
  • natural and other disasters 
  • individuals (officials, academics etc.) 
  • groups (workers, school children, etc.) 
  • recreational scenes and sporting events.

London Free Press Photographs

This Collection comprises the photo archive of The London Free Press, totalling over 1.6 million photographic negatives taken by Free Press photographers during the period September 1, 1938 to December 31, 1992. Many of these photographs were published in The London Free Press, while others were never published. The collection does not include wire service photos. 

Negatives of individuals or portraits are available for the period December 1949 to 1989. 

This Collection is a significant source of visual documentation of the history and growth of London and southwestern Ontario. It is an important resource for the study of local, regional and provincial history. As a service to our patrons, copying of the negatives into photographic prints or slides is available.

The Collection is available for reference and reproduction by anyone for research, general interest, publication or exhibit purposes. 

Note: The London Free Press retains all negatives post 1992; to order prints please call 679-6666.


  • there is little or no subject access to the collection
  • chronological lists, prepared by the Photographic Department of the London Free Press, are sequential lists of photographs by date of exposure (not by published date). Available for the time period September 1, 1938 to December 31, 1992. 
  • daily photographers' assignment sheets for the time period January 1, 1959 to December 31, 1992. 
  • The London Free Press on microfilm (AN5.L8F7 DBW microfilm). Please refer to the microfilm if uncertain of the publication date of the photograph. 


Staff will undertake only minimal research to locate the photograph requested. Patrons must supply a description and publication date for the photograph. An order form must be completed when placing an order. A price list is available upon request. Orders take approximately 2-3 weeks to process. Payment may be made by cash, cheque, MC or VISA. 

It is recommended that patrons view the photographic negatives prior to ordering prints. In some instances, in order to select a negative, it may be necessary to prepare a contact sheet (additional cost involved). 

Quality of negatives is not guaranteed with the reproduction of prints. 

Copyright to The London Free Press Collection of Photographic Negatives rests with The University of Western Ontario. All publication/exhibit requests must be documented on the application form. Permission is granted for a one-time use only of a photograph. Photographs may not be used for advertising or political purposes. 

Publication fees will be applied for the first time usage and any subsequent use of a photographic print. Publication fees are charged in addition to reproduction costs as per set schedule for media requirements (newspapers, television, film/video companies), publications (monographs, journal and periodical articles) and exhibits as appropriate. 

Appropriate acknowledgement in full or abbreviated, must accompany any publication or exhibition (display) of The London Free Press Collection of Photographic Negatives. The following text appears on the back of each print: 

Please credit: 

London Free Press Collection of Photographic Negatives 
The D.B. Weldon Library 
The University of Western Ontario 
London, Ontario 
N6A 3K7 


Ontario Postcard Collection

The Ontario Postcard Collection comprises over four thousand images of Ontario places, with a particular emphasis on southwestern Ontario. It is regarded as the region's most comprehensive collection. World wide, the greatest number of postcards were issued during the Edwardian era before the First World War. Postcards performed the same function as the modern day telephone conveying the gossip, opinions and everyday trivia of the partyline. 

The messages offer an incomparable, first hand social history of the period. The postcards depict every aspect of urban and rural life: 

  • street scenes: aerial views, business districts, city squares
  • buildings : town halls, churches, residences
  • railways: trains, stations, bridges
  • harbour scenes: beaches, fishing, ships
  • sports and recreation: team pictures, action shots, motoring
  • disasters:  storms, fires, accidents
  • rural life:  farm scenes, harvesting, market day
  • industrial scenes: factories, oil gushers, maining

Merle Tingley Cartoon Collection

Merle Tingley ("TING") was editorial cartoonist for the London Free Press for almost forty years (1948-1986). He won national and international awards for his art, and is regarded as the dean of Canadian newspaper cartoonists. Ting's attention to detail and craftsmanship characterize his work. Over the years, his whimsical, down-to-earth humour attracted a loyal following among thousands of readers, not only in the Free Press but across Canada in more than 60 weeklies and dailies, which carried his syndicated material. His famous cartoon mascot, Luke Worm, is immediately recognizable. The Tingley Collection includes more than 5,000 drawings, travel assignment articles, awards, photographs and correspondence. Not only do the drawings have substantial intrinsic value as original art, but they also form a rich primary source of social comment and criticism on a local, provincial, national and international level.