10 m textual and photographic material; approximately 4000 photographic negatives and prints
History / Biography
Charles Macnamara was born in Quebec City in 1870, a twin to his brother Dickie who died at the age of 10 of typhoid fever. In 1880, Richard Macnamara and Richard Hannah (Richianna) Parnell Macnamara moved with Charles, his two brothers Duncan and Lewis as well as their sister Marian to Arnprior, Ontario. Charles Macnamara was employed as a book keeper for McLachlin Brothers lumbering firm in Arnprior from December 1885 to 1934. Macnamara was a prolific writer and photographer who spent 14 years researching and documenting a beaver colony near Marshall’s Bay, Ontario. He is believed to be responsible for setting up the Nopiming Game Preserve in 1920 to provide a safe habitat for local and migratory wildlife. Macnamara described himself as an entomologist and a naturalist. He wrote articles for various scientific and photographic journals and corresponded in French and German with other scientists engaged in the study of the natural world. The Macnamara Field Naturalist’s Club was named after this extraordinary man who died December 23, 1944.
Charles Macnamara's niece Mrs. Franklin Cunningham (nee Jean Graham Macnamara) donated a number of photographs to the Archives of Ontario in 1959, 1961 & 1962. The remainder of the collection was donated to the Arnprior & District Archives by Mrs. Cunninghams two daughters; Mrs. Alison Stein and Mrs. Judith Hunter and son, Mr. James Cunningham in August 2002. A small number of glass plates and textual material relating to entomological research by Macnamara were transferred from the National Archives of Canada in May 2004. They were part of a donation sent to the NA in 2002 by Joyce Reddoch, editor of Trail & Landscape that were not accessioned by the Photography Division. In January 2017, the Archives of Ontario transferred the Charles Macnamara fonds C120 to the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives.
Scope and Content
The Charles Macnamara fonds consists of photographic prints, glass plate negatives, celluloid acetate negatives, photographic albums, scientific notebooks, journals, correspondence and other textual material related to scientific observations and experiments and Macnamara's personal life.
The fonds are divided into 10 series, some of which have sub-series. These are described at the series and sub-series level within this database.
SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE & ACCOUNTS; 7 boxes of textual material
This series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence & accounts from 1938 to 1942 with gaps. Two binders of correspondence with fellow entomologist Dr. Justis Watson Fulsom of Louisianna from 1922 - 1936 are also included in this series. Files of correspondence dated before 1938 were discarded prior to deposit in the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives. The arrangement of this series reflects the original order.
SERIES 2: PHOTOGRAPHIC ALBUMS, SCRAPBOOKS & BINDERS
This series consists of personal photographic albums, scrapbooks and binders that Macnamara compiled between 1894 - 1944. They are arranged into four sub-series that reflect his activities as a photographer who used photography as both a scientific and artisitic medium throughout this fifty year period.
SERIES 3: TEXTUAL DOCUMENTS
This large series contains a wide variety of paper documents and books that Macnamara created and accumulated from 1894 to 1945. It is divided into several sub-series including: Miscellaneous Textual Records, Published Articles by Macnamara, Samuel de Champlain research, Photography Journals and Exhibition Catalogues.
SERIES 4: BEAVER STUDIES
This series contains documents related to research that Charles Macnamara conducted on four beaver dams located near Marshall's Bay Ontario over a period of 14 years. The cumulation of this research can be found in "Beaver Techniques" "A Study of the Working Methods of a Beaver Colony'. The series is comprised of loose prints, pamphlets, binders and bound manuscripts.
SERIES 5: LOOSE PRINTS
Many of these prints are duplicates of prints contained in Personals and Sundries (Series 2). There is also a portrait of Charles Macnamara by William James Topley of Ottawa. (Number 81245) circa 1900
SERIES 6: GLASS PLATE IMAGES: (Permission needed to access images)
This series contains 11 boxes of 3" x 4" glass plates, one box of 5" x 7" glass plates and 3 boxes of 8" x 10" glass plates. Most are negatives but some are positives. Series CLOSED.
SERIES 7: CELLULOSE NEGATIVES
This series contains one box of 3" x 4" cellulose negatives from 1907 - 1935 and 8" x 10" negatives. It also contains 4 Kodak Miniature Negative Albums of 35 mm roll film (approx. 2124 negs) which contain detailed handwritten indexes taken between 1933 and 1944. This series also contains 18 slides taken from other negatives or prints.
SERIES 8: DUFAYCOLOUR SLIDES
This series contains 1 album and loose prints of undated Dufaycolour prints. Prints are available for viewing.
SERIES 9: ARTICLES WRITTEN ABOUT CHARLES MACNAMARA
This series contains a number of miscellaneous articles written about Charles Macnamara, as well as his obituary
SERIES 10: MATERIAL TRANSFERRED FROM THE ARCHIVES OF ONTARIO (C120)
1. Life in the Lumber Camps of McLachlin Brothers Arnprior, Ontario by Charles Macnamara (C120-1-0-1). 139 page Manuscript copied by the Ontario Archives 1959 contains text and photographs donated by Mrs. Franklyn Cunningham (Accession 2289). Originally, use of this material was subject to conditions which were later removed. K 1.7
2. (C120-2) Cellulose Acetate Negatives - approximately 144 negatives covering the period 1900-1925. K10.1-K10.12
3. (C120-3) Glass Plate Negatives - approximately 162 plates covering the period 1894-1938. K 10.1-K10.12
Albums created by C. Macnamara have been retained. Loose prints within original photographic boxes have been rehoused and placed into new acid free boxes. Information written by Macnamara on the negative envelope was transferred to new acid free storage envelopes along with the title of the box if one existed. Negatives were separated from prints so that access to the prints would be possible without possible damage to negatives.
1. "Personal and Sundries" descriptions provided by donor.