The London Free Press Collection of Photographic Negatives

The London Free Press Collection of Photographic Negatives consists of approximately 1.6 million images dating primarily from 1936 to 1992, although some content dates as far back as the late nineteenth century. The majoriBillboard in field says A Good Place to Live London, Ontario The Forest City. A man and woman look at the sign. ty of the collection consists of chronologically arranged negatives. These negatives were created and accumulated by staff photographers as they undertook their duties. These photographers worked out of London as well as several regional offices in Chatham, St. Thomas, Sarnia, Simcoe, Stratford, Wingham, and Woodstock. As a result, their work depicts events in both the city of London, and many nearby towns, villages, and rural communities. Occasionally, the photographers travelled beyond Southwestern Ontario to document regional, national or international stories of local interest.

The chronological negatives are filed in envelopes that correspond to different events, both planned and unplanned, that were covered by the photographers over the course of a given year. Approximately one fifth of these photographs were published in daily issues of the London Free Press. There are listings of negative envelopes available for each year between 1936 and 1992. Listings, as well as some digital scans of individual negatives, dating from 1936 to 1955 are in the process of being made available via our online holdings database. Listings for the years 1956-1964 are available below. Listings for the years after 1964 will be added in the near future.

 Musicians playing at the York Hotel.Apart from the chronological series, another major component of the Collection is a series of portrait negatives, which is arranged alphabetically by last name. This series covers roughly the same time period as the chronological negatives. This listing of negatives is also available below.

 Please note the chronological listings were originally created by staff of the London Free Press at the time the images were created. The language used in some descriptions reflects the standards and attitudes of the time in which it was written. Despite this dated language, Western Archives is making the listings available in order to improve access to this important collection.Four clergymen speaking to Dr. Martin Luther King jr and two unidentified men.

 VIEWING AND SCANNING NEGATIVES: Please use these listings or our online holdings database to identify images in which you are interested. Original negatives must be viewed onsite in the Reading Room of the Archives and Research Collections Centre. Contact to request that negatives be retrieved for you to view in the Reading Room, and/or to request that negatives be scanned by our staff and sent to you via electronic file transfer. Please note that reproduction and service charges apply to all orders for copies.


Portrait Listing

Chronological Listings












Top: London Chamber of Commerce Billboard  "Mr. and Mrs. A.G. Caring of Jackson, Michigan inspect the latest signboard unveiled by the Chamber of Commerce at the Highbury avenue entrance to the city." July 8, 1948. AFC 177-S3-SS13-F1550 

Middle: Nihilist Spasm Band at York Hotel, December 19, 1966. AFC 177-S1-SS14-F6899

Bottom: Four London, Ontario clergymen (Revs. McKibbon, Darling, Berryman and Passmore) give $2000 gift to Martin Luther King, on march near Selma, Alabama. March 21, 1965, AFC 177-S1-SS1-F1700