Title and statement of responsibility area
W.J. James fonds
General material designation
- Graphic material
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
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
ca. 1890 to 1940s (Creation)
- James, William John, 1870-1944
Physical description area
ca. 3600 photographs
Publisher's series area
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
William John (W.J.) James was born on December 23, 1870 to William, Sr. and Maria James of the Fordwich area, Howick Township, Huron County, Ontario. His father was a blacksmith and carriage maker in Ontario, and first travelled west with the Wolseley Red River Expedition in 1870.
W.J. James came to Prince Albert, Northwest Territories ca.1890. His family followed around 1893. Both James and his father were employed by the James Sanderson sawmill as labourers. W.J. James became a barber while also establishing a photograph business briefly with W.J. Jackson in 1894. James continued in barbering while also working as an itinerant photographer in the 1890s. He hired Theodore Charmbury as a photographer in his studio between 1901 and 1903, and operated a branch studio at Indian Head in 1904-1906. James operated the City Art Studio (1909-1919) and W.J. James & Co. (est.1927) in Prince Albert until his retirement in the mid-1930s.
James' professional career as an itinerant, commercial and portrait photographer spanned over forty years during which he travelled extensively in the Prince Albert district and northern parkland regions of Saskatchewan documenting settlement, local industry and everyday life. William John James died on September 9, 1944 in Prince Albert and is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Prince Albert.
W.J. James married Maude Rebecca Courtney on April 27, 1904 in Prince Albert. They had four children: Mossie; "Eva" Eunice; Norma; and Murl.
The majority of photographs were purchased from William John James' daughter in September, 1958 (accession number 483) and from the Prince Albert Historical Society in 1962 (accession number 696).
The Provincial Archives of Manitoba donated one photograph to the Regina office in 1989: R89-005 (January 4, 1989).
Scope and content
This fonds consists of approximately 3,200 to 3,600 prints, glass plate negatives, nitrate negatives and negatives including panoramic views and commercial images of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and district taken by William James, photographer. The black and white images, which date from ca.1890 to the 1930s, include 550 panoramic views taken by Cirkut camera.
No series has been applied to the photographs.
Photographs are in good physical condition.
Immediate source of acquisition
No arrangement applied to the photographs.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Location for retrieval: Regina-Hillsdale.
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Records are open for research use.
Glass plate negatives and nitrate negatives are not available for research use.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act.
To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina office.
SAFA 360 consists of a fonds description.
Uploaded finding aid
Associated material: The Prince Albert Historical Society has photographic records of the W.J. James fonds in its permanent collection.
Related material: The William John James family fonds (F 500) contains 33 photographs of William James, his family and City Art Studio at Prince Albert.
R-E2303: Catalogue and other material relating to a 1986 exhibition of James' photographs at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon.
No further accruals are expected.
Some electronic copies of photographs are available in Archival Digital Storage.
Photographs were placed in mylar sleeves. Reference prints of glass plate negatives and nitrate negatives were made for research use.
Photographs: R-A1952, R-A4330 to R-A4347; R-A4364 to R-A4631; R-A4666 to R-A4680; R-A4912; R-A6662 to R-A6663; R-A6666 to R-A6670; R-A10981; R-A12535 to R-A12536, R-A12800; R-A14498; R-A16462 to R-A16570;
R-B378; R-B1198; R-B1564 to R-B1725; R-B1729 to R-B1766; R-B3285 to R-B3325; R-B3328 to R-B3343; R-B3642; R-B3859 to R-B3861; R-B3912; R-B3913; R-B10112; R-B14465;
R-D464 to R-D633; R-D950 to R-D1280; R-D1811.
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Saskatchewan Archives. Archival Description Manual 2004.
Level of detail
Language of description
Script of description
Content of fonds.