A Present from the Past - Images


Black and White Picture of Hockey Team

If you're looking for images of historic Kingston or Frontenac County, an excellent place to start is the Images database at Queen's University Archives. Online images can also be found in the collections of other libraries and archives, such as the following examples from Toronto Public Library:

1828 approx. Aquatint of Kingston from Fort Henry, by James Gray.

1841 View of Kingston from Barriefield, by Frederick H. Holloway

1848 H.M. Steamer Cherokee Lying between the Dockyard and Fort Henry – Kingston July 14th 1848, by an unknown artist.

1848 The Admiralty House, Kingston, Canada West, late residence of Captain Fowell of HMS Cherokee, by John Gillespie.

1848 Kingston Bridge from the Drill Ground [Lasalle Causeway, Cataraqui Bridge, Penny Bridge], by an unknown artist.

1851 Kingston on Kingsriver [1848 view of Kingston from Fort Henry], by Isidore-Laurent Deroy. There are two versions of this on the Toronto Public Library website: Version 1 and Version 2.

1876 August Kingston(Ontario) from the Harbour, [apparently from Cedar Island?, two martello towers visible] by George Harlow White: a small black-and-white reproduction from the picture file at Toronto Public Library;  See also this sketch.

1876 Kingston (Ontario)[view of City Hall and church tower from the water] by George Harlow White.

1880 Kingston, Ont., from Martello Tower, by Lucius Richard O’Brien, [view from Fort Henry of RMC with Kingston in background] .

1880 Kingston, Ont., from Barriefield, by Lucius Richard O’Brien.

1890 [photograph] Cataraqui Bridge, by unknown photographer.

1890 [photograph] Sir John A. Macdonald’s boyhood house, by H. Henderson.

1896 Kingston, Upper Canada, 1819, attributed to Sir Edmund Wyly Grier. See also the card from TPL’s picture file.

1898 [five photos-exterior] Royal Military College, by unknown photographer(s): photo #1, photo #2, photo #3, photo #4, photo #5.

1898 [two photos -interior] Royal Military College, by unknown photographer(s): [group in gymnasium, one identified as Arthur Benson Wilkie], and [two cadets informal pose, one identified as Kaulback Rathbun]

190?  Cataraqui Bridge and Toll House, by Ella Isabel Fraser.  [Note: KFPL holds a collection of watercolours by this artist–contact Kingston Frontenac Public Library for more info]

1902 [postcard of Shoal Tower] Martello Tower, Kingston, Canada, by Detroit Photographic Co.

1910a selection of postcards about Kingston, from the Toronto Public Library collection.

1910 [photograph] Royal Military College, [winter scene], by an unknown photographer.

1911 [black-and-white photo of a painting] The Fairfield Mill at Mill Creek (Millhaven?, Ontario), 189?, attributed to Owen Staples.

1911 Watercolour Painting of The Fairfield House near Kingston(Collin’s Bay, Ontario), 189? , attributed to Owen Staples; [painted from a photograph then in the possession of Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke.]

1911 Painting of One of Kingston’s Old Houses, 189? [McLean House; Allan McLean],attributed to Owen Staples.

1911 Painting of The Stables at “Rockwood” (Kingston, Ontario), 189?, attributed to Owen Staples.

1916 [watercolour view of waterfront] Kingston, C.W. [Canada West]([as it was in] 1848), attributed to Owen Staples.

1923 [photograph; gelatin-silver print] Simcoe House, painting attributed to Melvin Ormond Hammond.

1929 Watercolour Painting of Governor Simcoe’s House at Kingston, Ontario [Simcoe House], by Owen Staples.

1929 Etching of the House at Kingston, Ontario, where Sir John Alexander Macdonald Spent his Boyhood Days, by Owen Staples.

Other Sources for Historical Images

  • Wikipedia provides its contributers with a huge list of sources for public domain images.  Check it out!  Note: not every item in those lists is copyright-free, so be sure to look at the terms of use for the specific image you wish to use.
  • 1869 – 1883  Canadian Illustrated News  Images from this Library and Archives Canada collection “are in the public domain and may be reproduced without asking for permission or paying a copyright royalty.”
  • City of Toronto Archives  Type your search term into the box, click the Scanned Photographs Only box, and choose an image.  Scroll down to the Copyright Conditions box to see whether the picture is in the public domain.
  • McCord Museum – Our People Our Stories Choose an image, click it, and look for the “CC” icon  (Creative Commons Licence.)  Click the icon to read a nice, clear, jargon-free description of what you’re allowed to do with the image.  The rules change from image to image, so be sure to click before using.
  • Video Newsreels – British Pathé  Did your ancestor work in an Ontario salt mine?  Did he or she emigrate to Canada after World War II?  Among the 90,000 news reels in the British Pathé database you will find fascinating glimpses of life and events from 1890 to the present.  Browse for fun, or click Advanced Search to search by subject and/or date range. While some of the footage is for sale, many clips can be viewed (or previewed) for free. Prepare to spend lots of time browsing this interesting site.

Closer to Home

  • Vintage Kingston  If you haven’t yet discovered this new phenomenon, you’ll want to check it out: irresistible vintage photos and memorabilia from Kingston and Frontenac County. The pictures are contributed by members of the public, many of them from their personal photo albums and collections. As a result, you will find many pictures that can’t be seen anywhere else.  The copyright and terms of use will vary from picture to picture, so be sure to follow the Rules of Thumb listed above. Try the  Vintage Kingston Facebook Page  and/or the Vintage Kingston Website.


A Few Rules of Thumb

If you want to share a link to an image, you don’t have to ask permission.  You may email a URL to someone, or publish it in a blog, website or document. Others can look up the link on their own computers to see the image. However, if you want to copy an image into your own document, blog or webpage, you must make sure you have the right to share it.  There are a few ways to do this.

  • You can look for a public domain or copyright free image (see the links, below).
  • You can look for an image with a Creative Commons licence attached to it. This usually takes the form of a small icon that features the letters CC. Click the icon to read the terms of use. Don’t worry!  The terms are short and easy to understand. To see an example, click here.
  • In many cases, you can share an image from a library, archive or other institution, as long as you follow their rules. Sometimes this means that you must use a specially-worded credit line, or abide by other conditions. Look for a phrase like copyright statement, conditions of use, terms of use, etc., and click to read the rules.
  • If you can’t find such a statement, contact the owner of the website or the person who posted the photo, and ask three questions:
    • May I use your photo in my blog/website/document?
    • If so, what credit line would you like me to use?
    • Can you tell me where you got the photo?
  • Most people are happy to grant permission, especially if you offer to link back to their blog or website from your own.  However, unless the person says, “I took the photo myself,” you must keep searching for the original source. Even if the person assures you that it’s fine to reproduce the image, keep going until you find the library, archive, creator or publisher from which the picture originated, and ask the three questions again.
  • Still stuck?  Try this neat trick.  Drag a picture into the Google Image search box.  Google will show you a list of blogs and websites in which that picture appears. This may help you to find the library, archive or database from which an image originated.  (Keep in mind that this tool can work both ways: copyright owners can also use it to find blogs or websites that are using their images without permission!)


Image: [Group hockey team portrait, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario], 1917;  by C. Whitton, Library and Archives Canada,  PA-127274; (http://collectionscanada.gc.ca : accessed 17 May 2013).