Subseries COLL-MUR - Archibald Murchie collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Archibald Murchie collection

General material designation

  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title of subseries based on provenance as annotated on albums by Doug Cox and on individual items as annotated by an unknown actor.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

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. [1893] - [1918] (Creation)
    Murchie, Archibald (1852-1930)

Physical description area

Physical description

61 photographs : b&w ; 25x20cm

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

Biographical history

Custodial history

After Murchie’s death in 1930, his wife quickly remarried and had his photography equipment destroyed. In 1948 a few glass negative plates were salvaged from a chicken house by the Gorman family children as a worker was scraping off the emulsions to use the glass. After this, the photographs were assumed into the custody of B.W. Wilson, from which point they were transferred to the Doug Cox collection.

Scope and content

Creator sketch:
Archibald Murchie (1852-1930) immigrated to Victoria, BC as an adult. His brother, [John] Murchie would go on to found Murchie’s Tea and name his own son Archibald Francis Murchie (1892-1925, and not to be confused with his namesake). Following his calling to become an evangelist minister for the Spiritualist Church (an off-shoot of the Church of England), he set off into the interior of BC to preach as a missionary.
Although Murchie had dabbled in photography prior to coming to Canada, his career began in earnest when he arrived in Williams Lake, BC, in 1893. Wherever his missionary calling took him, Murchie brought along his camera.
Marcus Smith, famed CPR engineer and previous associate of Murchie’s by function of their common membership to the Spiritualist Church, hired Murchie to photograph the creation of a bridge over the Fraser River at Sheep Creek. Work on this project was slow enough to afford Murchie to engage in side trips to Quenel, BC, and farther north. Here he made a connection with the Reverend A. H. Cameron who suggested he establish a parish in Princeton. After this failed, Murchie returned to the Cariboo and set up a photography studio in Ashcroft, BC.
In 1911 Murchie moved again to the Okanagan Valley and in 1916 at age 64 he married Amy Wood. His last accredited photograph was taken in 1918.

Photographs depicting scenes of industry and infrastructure development in the transitional years between the nineteenth and twentieth century with especial geographic coverage of the Cariboo, including Quesnel and Ashcroft, and the SImilkameen, predominantly Princeton, BC.
Scenes of bridge, railroad, and dam construction feature prominently, as well as portraits of work crews and landscape shots of developing cities.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

OSC ARC 1.1/01416 through OSC ARC 1.1/01477
Large Print

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Item list available

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Previous Location


Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Rules or conventions



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created 2015-06-26 by Paige Hohmann
Revised 2017-01-28 by Paige Hohmann

Language of description

Script of description


Wilson, B.W. (n.d.) B.C.’s Evangelist Photographer Archibald Murchie [unpublished manuscript]. Available in box 2, folder 16.

Accession area