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Adrian Paton Photo Collection

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Adrian Paton began to collect photographs in the late 1980s, when his grandmother’s photograph album was passed down to him. Since then, he has built an enormous photograph collection, totaling about 8,000 pieces. Many of the photos relate to the Arcola region.

In 2011, the SHFS learned that Adrian was interested in donating the collection of historical photographs. While Adrian was not a professional photographer himself, he appreciated the beauty of old photographs and valued the glimpses they provided into a world gone by. More than anything, Adrian wanted to find a way to share his photo collection so everyone would be able to access it.


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In 2012 and 2013, the Saskatchewan History & Folklore Society (SHFS) and the University of Saskatchewan sponsored students who worked with Mr. Paton to digitize over 1000 of the photos and record his knowledge about them.

Women and children working, sports, Indigenous peoples, farming and agriculture, and animals are a few major themes that run through the collection. The time period of the collection is from the 1870s to the 1950s, although the bulk of the photos take place in the 1910s and 1920s. As for the locations, photographs taken in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario can be found, but most are in the southeastern region of Saskatchewan.

To see a starting collection of photos that relate to Indigenous peoples in the Paton Collection, visit our Indigenous Photos page.

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