Fonds PR0112 - Gladys Reeves fonds

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Gladys Reeves fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the records.

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    • 1860-1969 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    4.02 m of textual records and other material

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    Biographical history

    Gladys Reeves was born June 1890 in Somerset, England and was the youngest daughter of William Paris Reeves and Clara Ellen Gold. In 1904, William Reeves moved with his family to Edmonton, Alberta.

    In July 1905 Gladys Reeves began work as a receptionist and later as an apprentice for photographer Ernest Brown. In 1920, she established her own photographic studio called The Art League. At the time she was one of the first women west of Winnipeg to own and operate her own studio. Nine years later in 1929, fire destroyed the studio and everything in it, including many of Ernest Brown's historical negatives that were being stored for him while he worked in Vegreville. Following the fire, Gladys Reeves re-established her business in a studio over the Empress Theatre, with the help of Ernest Brown. The studio remained open until 1950, and after it closed Gladys Reeves helped Ernest Brown with his historical records. Both Reeves and Brown retained a close working and personal relationship until his death in 1951.

    In addition to her work in commercial photography and portraiture, Gladys Reeves took an interest in education. She and Ernest Brown developed a program using Brown's collection of historical photographs. The photos were divided into 31 series of “teaching pictures” and these photos were accompanied by a short lesson and questions. Others were cut into small cards and sold in subject groups to schoolchildren. These teaching pictures were available at Reeves' studio and at Brown's Pioneer Days Museum.

    Gladys Reeves was also active in the Edmonton community. An avid gardener, she won a medal in 1907 for the best garden in Edmonton. She was a member of the Edmonton Horticultural Society and served on their board for over twenty years before becoming the society's first woman president in 1928. Gladys Reeves was also instrumental in forming the Edmonton Tree Planting Committee, which was responsible for planting over 5,000 trees in boulevards throughout Edmonton in 1923. She was also a charter member of the Soroptimist Society, was the first secretary of the Friendship Club and was an Honorary Life member of the Old Timers Association. Between 1905 and 1913, she sang in a choir and took part in many early operas and in the first Alberta Musical Festivals.

    Gladys Reeves died in Edmonton on April 26, 1974 at the age of 83.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of material relating to Gladys Reeves personal life as well as material relating to her life as a photographer including, published and unpublished articles and speeches written by Gladys Reeves, personal and business correspondence, minutes and bylaws from various societies and associations, receipt books and ledgers, financial records, office diaries, personal and business photographs, the Reeves’ family bible, several unframed oil paintings, newspaper clippings, magazines, maps, pamphlets, calendars and photo cards created by Gladys Reeves and Ernest Brown to be sold as teaching aids to schools. Also included in this fonds are some of Ernest Brown’s personal and business records, including personal diaries, correspondence, articles and essays written by Brown and political writings. The fonds has been arranged into the following series: Personal records; Business records; Reeves family records; Ernest Brown records; Miscellaneous essays, publications; and Photographs. Within some of these broad series designations are sub-series.

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    Physical condition

    See Condition Survey

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The records comprising the Gladys Reeves fonds were deposited at the Provincial Archives of Alberta over the course of several years. Early accessions (1965-1970) were deposited at the Provincial Archives of Alberta by Gladys Reeves. Records deposited at the archives in 1974 were bequeathed by Gladys Reeves to the Provincial Archivist at the time, Mr. Alan Ridge, who in turn deposited these records with the archives. The most recent accession came to the archives in April 1997 and was deposited by Peter and Herta Enns, who had purchased the records in 1986 at an estate sale for Gladys Reeves conducted by Charles Cripps.


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        This material is in English.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is available.

        Associated materials

        The records of Ernest Brown are held at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Several photographs contain images of nude men or women.

        General note

        Includes the following accessions:


        General note

        Records relevant to the Indigenous Resource Guide can be found in files PR1974.0173/109 to PR1974.0173/111, comprised of series on [Inuks] Eskimos, [First Nations] Indian Portraits, and the [Red River Resistance] Riel Rebellion.

        Physical description

        Also includes ca. 800 photographs, ca. 350 negatives, 4 medical x-rays, 12 maps and reproduced maps, 20 paintings, 1 blueprint and several books, calendars and magazines.

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