Fonds consists of over 4,600 photographic prints, negatives, glass lantern slides, and postcards, the majority of which were either taken or collected by Robinson. Many of the photographs relate to Robinson’s work as an Anglican missionary in Japan in the 1890’s through the 1920’s. These photographs document a unique time in the Japan’s history: the Meiji-Taisho period when the country was transitioning away from being a feudal society and beginning to open up to the West. This collection is one of the few comprehensive records of this time period. Subject matter of the photographs includes everyday life, work, and scenery in Japan, as well as the lives and works of missionaries.
Also included in the collection are photographs from Canada and the Robinson family’s travels around the world, as well as reproductions of missionary and religious texts or graphics.
While many of the photographs were taken by Robinson, others were taken by his children, professional photographers, or unidentified individuals.
The fonds also includes 10 maps of Japan used during Robinson’s missionary work, some with annotations of proposed Canadian jurisdictions in Japan.