Fonds PR0883 - Melville (Mel) A. McPhee fonds

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Melville (Mel) A. McPhee fonds

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

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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    • [ca. 1915] - 2001 (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    212 photographs. - 893 photographs: slides. - 695 photographs: negatives. - 1 audio cassette. - 3 videocassettes. - 0.03 m of textual material

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    Biographical history

    Melville (Mel) A. McPhee was born to Joseph and Margaret McPhee on July 7, 1922 in Drumheller. He grew up in the Drumheller area and served in the 49th Loyal Edmonton Regiment during World War Two, suffering injuries that would plague him for life. After the war, he returned to Alberta and settled in Elk Island in 1952. He married Eva Smart (from Estevan, SK) in 1955 and the couple moved to Edmonton in 1956 where Mel began working for Alberta Transportation at the Edmonton Repair Shop, Sign Section.

    Mel worked at the Sign Section until his retirement in 1981. As part of his work, he photographed significant events (retirements, etc.) and photo-documented the work that the Sign Section did, which he felt was unknown to the general public. He created slide shows from these photographs, complete with explanatory narration.

    Mel's interest in photography extended to his personal life, as well. He took photos and slides of his vacations and hobbies and documented his experiences in prose form. Mel McPhee died on November 30, 2005.

    Custodial history

    The records were donated by Mel McPhee in several batches. The final donations of records were in the custody of Mel McPhee until his death in 2005, at which point his widow, Eva McPhee, took possession and donated them to the Provincial Archives in 2007 and 2018.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of photographs, slides, and scrapbooks that document the work of the Sign Section. There are also personal photographic images and auto-biographical narratives that document McPhee's experiences in the Great Depression, World War Two, and his activity as a sky-diving enthusiast. There are also photographs of Alberta locations such as Wayne, Drumheller, Carbon, and Lethbridge in addition to the the Wayne, Rosedale, and Drumheller floods in 1948.

    The fonds also contains three video recordings: a video made by Mel McPhee of the 49th Loyal Edmonton Regiment's visit to Ortona, Italy in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Ortona, "Where the Hell is Wayne, Alberta?" a video made by Mel McPhee of the Wayne Reunion held in 1982, and "Thunder in the Valley," a commercially-made film made for the Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Mel and Eva McPhee


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        The material is in English.

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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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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Photograph numbers have been assigned as follows: PR1982.0128: A7620-7624 PR1982.0138: A7694 PR1982.0164: A7698-A7699 PR1982.0217: A8028-A8033 PR1982.0228: A8084-A8087 PR1982.0314: A8386-A8388 PR1983.0049: A9098 PR1983.0219: A9347-A9348 PR1983.0271: A2184 PR1986.0388: A14618 PR1990.0218: A18870-A18888 PR1990.0229: A18893-A18919

        General note

        Includes the following accessions: PR1982.0128, PR1982.0138, PR1982.0164, PR1982.0217, PR1982.0228, PR1982.0314, PR1983.0049, PR1983.0219, PR1983.0271, PR1990.0218, PR1990.0229, PR1998.0911, PR1986.0388, PR2009.0655, PR2018.0122

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