The London Free Press Collection of Photographic Negatives

Billboard in field says A Good Place to Live London, Ontario The Forest City. A man and woman look at the sign.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 majority 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.

Musicians playing at the York Hotel.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 chronological 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 to 1979 are available below as PDF documents. Listings from 1980 to 1992 are only available in hard copy in the reading room.

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.

Four clergymen speaking to Dr. Martin Luther King jr and two unidentified men.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. To provide feedback, email or fill out our Harmful, Outdated, or Inaccurate Language form.

Viewing and Scanning Negatives

Use these listings or our online holdings database to identify images you’re interested in. Virtual service will be provided where possible — contact us. Reproduction and service charges apply to all orders for copies.

Portrait Listing

Chronological Listings

List of photographic negatives from the London Free Press Collection
Year Year
1956 1968
1957 1969
1958 1970
1959 1971
1960 1972
1961 1973
1962 1974
1963 1975
1964 1976
1965 1977
1966 1978
1967 1979


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-F155

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