Fonds RBSC-ARC-1698 - Alan Haig-Brown fonds

House On.JPG House On (1).JPG House On (2).JPG House On (3).JPG House On (4).JPG House On (5).JPG MVCapt Bill English.JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (10).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (13).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (3).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (4).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (5).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (6).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (7).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (8).JPG MV Michele Grounsoulin (9).JPG NewOrlean-Charleston.JPG NewOrlean-Charleston (2).JPG Post Katrina.JPG Post Katrina (1).JPG V Capt (1) Bill English.JPG V Capt (2) Bill English.JPG ThaiTug142.NEF ThaiTug143.NEF ThaiTug144.NEF ThaiTug145.NEF ThaiTug146.NEF ThaiTug147.NEF Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB002.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB004.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB006.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB008.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB010.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB012.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB014.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB016.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB018.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB020.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB022.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB024.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB026.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB028.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB030.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB032.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB034.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB036.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB038.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB040.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB042.nef Tug,ChaoPhryaRiver2005Feb_AHB044.nef
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alan Haig-Brown fonds

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  • Multiple media

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

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Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 18,800 photographs (predominantly nef)
10 cm of textual records
15 audio cassettes
10 video recordings (avi)

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Alan Haig-Brown was born in Campbell River, British Columbia. In his teens, he worked as a deck-hand and was later taught to seine fish by his father-in-law Herb Assu of Quadra Island. As a young man, he worked on commercial fishing boats and coastal freighters. He seined salmon and herring until 1973, and then served for eleven years as coordinator of First Nations education in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. He also taught in the Chilcotin and Shuswap First Nations.

Haig-Brown photographs and writes about commercial boats and their crews, from tugs to fishing boats, in British Columbia and internationally. He has published several books, including the award-winning Fishing for a Living (1993) and The Fraser River (1996). He became editor of the West Coast Fisherman in 1986 and later founded The West Coast Mariner and The West Coast Logger. He continues to contribute to a number of commercial marine and commercial fishing magazines, such as Professional Mariner and Maritime Life and Traditions. He also writes a regular column for Cummins, a marine engine manufacturer.

Alan Haig-Brown is the son of writer and conservationist Roderick Haig-Brown, brother of Valerie Haig-Brown and father of filmmaker Helen Haig-Brown. He lives in New Westminster, British Columbia and Bangkok, Thailand.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists primarily of Alan Haig-Brown's written and photographic works on the marine industry in Canada and internationally. Photographs document ships and boats, maritime scenes and personalities in fishing and ship-building. The geographical scope of the photographs includes British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii; Southern Coastal US (Texas and Louisiana); Thailand, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines; Netherlands; Brazil.

Textual records include annotated drafts for several of Haig-Brown's books, hand-written notes, newspaper clippings, design schematics and correspondence.

The fonds also contains audio recordings of interviews and oral histories with figures in the maritime trades.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Alan Haig-Brown donated his collection to UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections in 2012. Digital files were copied from Haig-Brown's computer hard drive to a dedicated server managed by UBC Library IT.


The arrangement of the fonds is based on the file system hierarchy of the digital files as they appeared on the server after being transferred from Alan Haig-Brown's hard drive. Haig-Brown's existing folder structure was used for the file-level arrangement; however, most folders were nested in a folder named "VERBATIM HD" which has not been preserved in the intellectual order of the fonds.

Series and sub-series levels have been added to enhance the usability of the fonds. The archival arrangement of the fonds otherwise reflects the order in which it was received.

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Restrictions on access

Online access to some photographs is restricted to protect the privacy of the individuals depicted within them. Restricted files can be viewed onsite in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

All works in the Alan Haig-Brown fonds are protected under copyright; the copyright owner for nearly all of the works is Alan Haig-Brown. Images are provided for research and reference use only.

Permission to publish, copy, or otherwise use these images must be obtained; permission requests can be directed to Rare Books and Special Collections.

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General note

With the aim of providing timely access to the fonds, digital objects are being uploaded on a rolling basis. As such, not all file level descriptions will be complete and/or contain digital objects. They may be available for viewing within the reading room.

Physical description

Digital images were received in nef, jpeg and tiff formats. Some printed black and white photographs were included with the textual records.

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Finding aid created by Devon Mordell in April 2018.

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