Title and statement of responsibility area
Archibald Murchie collection
General material designation
- Graphic material
Other title information
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Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[198-?] - [1999?] (Collection)
- Cox, Doug
- British Columbia
ca. - (Creation)
- Murchie, Archibald
- British Columbia
Physical description area
69 photographs : b&w
Publisher's series area
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Archibald Murchie (1852-1930) immigrated to Victoria, BC as an adult. His brother, Thomas Murchie would go on to found Murchie’s Tea and name his own son Archibald Murchie (1892-1925, and not to be confused with his uncle). 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.
Murchie’s photographic career began when he arrived in Williams Lake, BC, in 1893. Wherever his missionary calling took him, Murchie brought along his camera. Marcus Smith, CPR engineer and previous associate of Murchie’s via the Spiritualist Church, hired him 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 Quesnel, 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 attributed photograph was taken in 1918.
After Murchie’s death in 1930, his wife 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
Landscapes showing developing infrastructure in the interior of British Columbia in the later 19th and early 20th century, with especially robust coverage of the construction of railroads and bridges, as well as some mining operations. Features group portraits of work crews.
Immediate source of acquisition
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Location of originals
Availability of other formats
These photographs have been digitized and are available on UBC’s Open Collections. https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/djcox.
These photos are expected to be copies, but the location of the originals in unknown.
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
File list available.
Item list available.
Uploaded finding aid
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Cox, Doug (Collector)
- Canadian Pacific Railway (Subject)
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Description record identifier
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Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Language of description
Script of description
Wilson, B.W. (n.d.) B.C.’s Evangelist Photographer Archibald Murchie [unpublished manuscript].