Fonds RBSC-ARC-1714 - Dorse McTaggart fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Dorse McTaggart fonds

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

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  • [1961] – [197-] (Creation)
    McTaggart, Dorse

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 1700 photographs and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(ca. 1930-ca. 1970)

Biographical history

Dorse McTaggart was a professional photographer best known for his images of British Columbia and his postcard business, active in the 1960s and 1970s. His photographs were also published in magazines, calendars, and similar publications. He won several awards for his photography and was the first accredited “scenic” photographer in North America. As a tribute to his contributions the Professional Photographers of British Columbia established the Dorse McTaggart Memorial Trophy. This trophy is awarded each year to the photographer who takes the best scenic photograph.

McTaggart was born in Saskatchewan and moved to B.C. in 1949. He established his postcard business, Scenes by Dorse, in 1963. Dorse printed the cards on his own printing press.

Custodial history

Materials were previously held by Walter Lanz, a professional photographer who purchased Dorse’s postcard business and other photographic material after Dorse passed away. Walter printed postcards under the name Oak House Publishing.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records relating to the landscape and postcard photography of Dorse McTaggart. McTaggart owned and operated his own postcard business. His photographs and postcards feature scenes from throughout British Columbia, including mountains and other nature scenes, parks, towns, historic sights and landmarks, recreation, bridges, museums, and industrial sites. Dorse’s photography went beyond this subject matter, including portraits and weddings, but this material is not included in the fonds.

Materials in the fonds include negatives, transparencies, photographic prints, and published postcards, which represent the various stages of postcard production. It appears that Dorse produced many of his postcards by shooting on 4x5 film, then creating a 4x5 film positive from which to print the postcard on his own printing press. The fonds also includes a journal kept by Dorse in which he wrote down brief descriptions of photographs that he took, marketing books that he used to show his postcards to potential buyers, and a small amount of correspondence and other textual records.

Items have been arranged into five series that maintain the organization they had when received by Rare Books and Special Collections. It is not clear if this organization was that of Dorse, Walter, or a combination of both.

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Associated materials

Whistler Museum and Sechelt Community Archives also hold copies of his postcards and photographs.

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General note

Photograph identifier: BC-2169

Physical description

Includes 769 postcards. - 2.7 cm of textual records. - 12 prints. - 5 booklets

Physical description

Photographs includes negatives, slides, transparencies, and prints.

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