Collection PR3098 - J.J. O'Neill collection

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J.J. O'Neill collection

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

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    Statement of scale (cartographic)

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    • [Copied 1969] (Creation)

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    Physical description

    37 negatives. -- 30 photographs. -- 0.01 m of textual records.

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    John Johnston O'Neill was born in Port Colborne, Ontario, on 12 November 1886 to Thomas John and Mary Jane (Henderson) O' Neill. He received a Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Mining and Geology from McGill University in 1909 and 1910. In 1912, he received a Ph.D. from Yale University, and completed a Post-Doctorate in Structural and Metamorphic Geology at Wisconsin in 1912 and 1914. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from McGill in 1952.

    He married Lillian Mary Campbell (1887-1979) on 9 December 1918. They had two children, Gordon Campbell (1919-1941), killed in action in World War II, and Melville Henderson (1921-2010). From 1909 - 1913, he worked as a field assistant with the Geological Survey of Canada. He served as Geologist of the Canadian Arctic Expedition in 1913-1916 and as geological staff on the Geological Survey of Canada from 1914-1920. He worked with the Geological Survey from 1914 to 1920 exploring copper deposits in the Canadian North. He resigned in 1920 and served as geologist from 1920-1921 with Whitehall Petroleum Co. in Kashmir and British India.

    He held the following professional appointments at McGill University: Assistant Professor of Geology, 1921-1927; Associate Professor of Geology, 1927-1929; Sir William Dawson Professor of Geology and Head of the Department of Geology, 1929-1952; Dean of Science, 1935-1939; Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, 1938-1942; Dean of Engineering, 1942 -1952; and Vice-Principal, 1948-1952. He served as President of the Royal Society of Canada from 1950-1951; Founder, Governor, and Board Chairman of the Arctic Institute of North America; and Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America. He held membership with the Geological Society of America, Royal Society of Canada, and the Masons.

    J.J. O'Neill died in Ottawa, Ontario on 1 June 1966.

    Custodial history

    G.C. Cherer received the photographs from members of the exploration team.

    Scope and content

    The collection consists of copied images of photographs taken by J.J. O'Neill on a journey through the Northwest Territories in 1921. The images include notes added by G.C. Cherer including titles and identification of individuals.

    The images feature a dog team plowing in at the Hay River Mission; First Nations peoples leaving Deadman's Island on Great Slave Lake; Fort Providence; fishers at Great Slave Lake; Fort Norman; the Anglican Mission School at Hay River; a First Nations settlement at Two Islands; the Mackenzie River; a dog at Hay River; a First Nation's boat; Fort Resolution; Fort Smith; the mouth of the Nahanni River; Royal Canadian Mounted Police Barracks at Fitzgerald; Deadman's Island, Oil Creek, Imperial Oil Company's well at Fort Norman; a Hudson's Bay Company boat on the Mackenzie River; Wrigley Northwest Territories; Fort Chipewyan; and Fort Fitzgerald.

    The fonds also includes a letter from Dr. J.J. O'Neill to G.C. Cherer regarding J.J. O'Neill's journey throughout the Northwest Territories.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    In 1969, the Provincial Archives of Alberta purchased the material from G.C. Cherer.


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        The 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 not available.

        Associated materials

        For more information on J.J. O'Neill, please see the John Johnston O'Neill fonds at Library and Archives Canada.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information for the administrative history/biographical sketch sourced from Arctic 19.4 (Dec. 1966) p. 361.

        General note

        Includes accession PR1969.0332.

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