Fonds F0139 - Richard Simmins fonds.

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Identity area

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Richard Simmins fonds.


  • 1909-1999 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3.5 m of textual records and other material.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Canadian photographer, writer, art critic and historian, and antiquarian book dealer Richard Beaufort Simmins was born on October 14, 1924 in Ottawa, Ontario. Served as a gunner in Royal Canadian Artillery in W.W. II. Received a B.A. and M.A. in art history from the University of Toronto. Worked as curator of The Norman MacKenzie Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan (1952-1957); Director of Exhibition Extension Services, National Gallery of Canada (1957-1962) where he organized the first exhibition of the Regina Five in 1961; Director of Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia (1963-1967); freelance art critic at Vancouver Province (1968-1972); director of The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia (1973-1975) where he commissioned Images of Stone : B.C. : Thirty Centuries of Northwest Coast Indian Sculpture in 1975; owner-operator of Richard Simmins Books and The Old Book Cellar in Ottawa, Ontario (1979-1992); and freelance photographer (1989-1999) specializing in photo-cards documenting his daily life. A prolific correspondent, he often wrote hundreds of letters a year. Died November 5, 1999 in Ottawa.

Archival history

Donated by R. Simmins' children Zoë Landale, Geoffrey Simmins and Marjorie Simmins in 2002 and 2007.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence; family papers; journals; manuscripts of prose, poetry and novel; published works; photographs; miscellaneous; and works by others.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some items restricted.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Text in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

File level inventory available at repository.

Allied materials area

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Notes area


Title based on contents of the fonds.


Includes ca. 50 photographs, ca. 33 contact sheets and ca. 600 photo-cards.


Further accruals expected.

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Dates of creation revision deletion




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