Fonds PR3241 - Leslie Corness fonds

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Leslie Corness fonds

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

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    • 1944-1997 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    861 photographs. – 682 negatives. – 1,147 slides

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Leslie Corness was born to Elizabeth and Fred Corness on May 30, 1927, the first of three brothers (Norman and Dennis being the younger two). In 1944, Leslie worked as a miner in Cadomin and Luscar in the Coal Branch of Alberta and documented his life there through photography. From 1946-1947, he trained as an Air Cadet in Edmonton before studying theology in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1949.

    By 1954, Corness was ordained as an Anglican clergyman and began a liturgical career in which he worked as a military chaplain in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Ontario, France, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Channel Islands, and England before resigning in 1969. Corness documented these travels through photography, some of which was compiled into a scrapbook.

    After his retirement from the clergy, Corness began a second career as a teacher, finally retiring permanently in 1992.

    Leslie Corness married Margaret Sage in England in 1965 and had two sons, Philip and Andrew. Leslie and Margaret divorced in 1970. Leslie Corness died in St. Albert, Alberta in January 1998.

    Custodial history

    The records were maintained by Leslie Corness until his death in 1998. At that point, Corness’ brother, Norman, took possession of the material and kept some while auctioning other sections to collectors of aviation and transportation photographs. One such lot of aviation photographs was bought by Larry Milberry in Ontario, who used some of the material in books that he published on aviation history. .

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of photographs taken by Leslie Corness over the course of his work and travels from 1944 to 1997. Photographs were taken in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Northwest Territories, the US, England, Scotland, and in various countries in continental Europe. Some of the photographs are arranged into a scrapbook. Aviation is a prominent subject of many of the images, particularly those in accession PR2016.0052.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Norman Corness, Leslie’s brother, deposited the material in PR2009.0335 at the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2008. The material in accession PR2016.0052 was donated by Larry Milberry in 2015.


    Arrangement note: Transparencies of forms of urban transit were sampled from a much larger assortment. The sampling was administered mathematically based on the number of slides on each subject in the original assortment, with one slide being preserved for any part of 10 slides on one subject. There are 137 slides of urban transit in this fonds from an original estimate of ca. 500. The remainder were returned to the donor.

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        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

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

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        File list is available.

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        Associated materials

        A copy of the book The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection, which features photographs of propliner airplanes across Canada taken by Corness, was donated with the material in accession PR2016.0052 by Larry Milberry, who was also the publisher of the book. This book can be found in the PAA reference library under the call number 387.73343 M638 c. 1.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

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