Series S00053 - Toronto Telegram photographic prints

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Toronto Telegram photographic prints

General material designation

  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 73 m of photographs : b&w ; 27 x 37 cm or smaller.

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The 'Toronto telegram' (originally the 'Evening telegram,') was launched in 1876 by John Ross Robertson. The 'Tely' strongly supported the British connection in Canada, appealing to British and Imperial sentiments even after Canadian nationalism became fashionable. The newspaper was locked in a circulation war with its afternoon rival, the 'Toronto star', for much of the twentieth century. The battle involved giveaway contests, scoops, and even hiding personalities (like swimmer Marilyn Bell) from the competition to ensure exclusive stories. Following Robertson's death, the paper was continued by a trust he had established. In 1948 the newspaper was sold to George McCullagh, owner of the Toronto Globe & mail, who invited John Bassett to act as publisher. In 1952 Bassett bought the newspaper and attempted to best the Star with new features in his newspaper, the introduction of colour photography (which meant the demise of the famous 'pink' newsprint on which the "Tely" had been printed), and other modernizations (including a news office building). Falling circulation and lack of advertising led Bassett to close the newspaper in 1971.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series consists of approximately 466, 500 photographic prints created or accumulated by staff at the Toronto Telegram. The largest volume of prints are under the subjects "United States" (ca. 7.2 metres of prints), "Ships) (ca. 5 metres), "England" (ca. 4 metres) and "Canada" (ca. 3.6 metres). Certain subjects have been arranged outside the general subject organization of the prints such as "Personalities" (15 metres); "Personalities/politicians" (ca. 4 metres); "Armed forces personnel" (ca. 8 metres) largely of the World War II era, provably used in reports of missing/wounded/killed in action. As well, there are photographs of groups of servicemen, again largely World War II era. Finally, there is a group of photographs of personalities who were associated with the Toronto Telegram, predominantly from the period after Bassett bought the newspaper (post 1952). The series also includes many photographic images purchased from wire services for the purposes of illustrating national and international stories.

Notes area

Physical condition

Photographs are in good to poor condition, due to the fact that they are stored loosely in file folders. Prints will often be frayed on the edges, especially if they are over-sized. In addition, carbon printed captions on acidic paper used in the newspaper publication are often attached to relevant prints. Some prints have been trimmed to fit page layouts, which also leads to further damage.

Immediate source of acquisition


The prints are arranged alphabetically by subject, with subject headings that were developed by the Telegram's library staff. These headings are, for the most part very general in nature. Some of the subject headings are themselves subdivided alphabetically. In certain instances the broad subjected headings are subdivided by constituent parts ('Animals ; Dogs: Pekingese'). There are subjected headings of a topical nature ("Anti-Semitism") as well as national subject headings ("Australia"), many of these have similar subdivisions ("Miscellaneous" ; "Army"; "Navy"; "Cities" [also divided by city name where appropriate], etc.). In certain instances the topical subject headings are subdivided by nationality: thus, "Aviation : planes : large passenger planes : large passenger sea planes & flying boats : Canada [England, United States etc.]."

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

There is no systematic way to cross reference prints with Telegram negatives. A careful random sampling in the summer of 1996 revealed no matches, leaving the impression that the prints were the photos selected for publication and the negatives in the collection represent the photos not used.

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

York University holds the copyright on any photographic print or negative taken by a Toronto Telegram staff photographer taken on or after 1962.
Any photographic print or negative taken by a Toronto Telegram staff photographer prior to 1962 is now in the public domain.
For any photographic print or negative taken by an independent photographer or wire service, the copyright remains with the company, individual photographer or estate, as stipulated by Canada's Copyright Act.

Finding aids

A draft inventory of the listing is available in the Archives Reading Room, as is a pdf file of the inventory.

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created 2015-06-15 by Anna St.Onge based on previous print descriptions in finding aid.

Language of description

  • English


Print Finding Aid.

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres