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About this collection

John Collier Jr.This collection of 3754 black and white photographs by John Collier Jr. depicts the life of Digby County in 1950 and 1951. It includes photos from various communities in the County and shows what work, home and social life looked like in rural Nova Scotia in the mid-20th century.

John Collier Jr. was an acclaimed American photographer who came to Nova Scotia at the invitation of Dr. Alexander H. Leighton, a professor at Cornell University who was interested in using photography as an aid in the understanding of history. A Rockefeller Foundation grant enabled Collier to spend two years creating a pictorial record of life in Digby County. Collier was a pioneer in the use of photography in the social sciences and the author of Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method.

The collection was digitized and described by the Wilson Collier Committee, a volunteer group which includes representation from the Western Counties Regional Library and heritage organizations in Digby County. Financial support from the Nova Scotia Community Access Program, the Nova Scotia Archives and the Municipality of the District of Digby made the project possible.

The preparation of the Collier photographs for Novastory was undertaken by a local committee named "Wilson/Collier". It included Alexander H. Leighton until his death in 2007. Additionaly it included: Trudy Amirault, Jane Murphy Leighton  as co-chair persons Richard Beharriell, Erin Comeau, Marcelle Comeau, Robert Hersey, Gail Hersey, David Irvine, Nola Jeffrey Dorothy Outhouse, Virginia Stoddard.

If you would like a reproduction of any of the photos in this collection please contact the Nova Scotia Archives.

Photos from the John Collier Jr. Digby County Photography Collection can be searched by location and subject. For a complete list of searchable terms, please consult the John Collier Jr. Digby County Photography Collection Locations and Themes.

 
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