Accession Number
Photograph of people gathered around several tables piled with food. In the background is a low wooden building with a covered porch and several other buildings farther off. Mounted to a cardboard page with one linen taped edge for attaching to a photo album with "Chinese Funeral (food offerings)" hand written in ink below the image.

This late 19th Century photograph album contains 50 mounted photographs taken around Victoria, BC during the 1890s. Images include streetscapes where the Dunsmuir houses Craigdarroch and Fairview are visible. Another shows the Dunsmuir steamship, “Joan”. The images generally depict urban settings, including various streets, funeral processions, views from the tower of Metropolitan Church at Pandora and Quadra Streets, Beacon Hill Park, etc. One image of the Esquimalt Graving Dock shows the HMS Warspite in drydock. The locations of the two loose land/seascape photographs are undetermined, but are believed to be taken in the area of southern Vancouver Island, B.C.

The mounted photographs are of professional quality, clear, well-focused, properly exposed, well-composed, and printed on high quality paper mounted on cardstock. They are titled by hand. This may be a souvenir album assembled by a person who selected them from a professional photographer’s studio offerings. At least two of the photographs are duplicates of examples held by the Royal BC Museum, BC Archives.

The photographs were collected by Dunsmuir family members in the 1890s. The album is useful in recreating Craigdarroch’s period interiors. The album and the individual photographs are useful in presenting the story of early Victoria in exhibits, publications, and on social media. It was collected for these reasons.

History of Use

This album was once owned by Joan Olive Bryden (1887-1959) and prior to that, by her mother Elizabeth Hamilton Bryden (nee Dunsmuir – 1848-1901) or her grandmother Joan Olive Dunsmuir (1828-1908).  It is known to have been kept at the Bryden house in Esquimalt named Dalzellowlie, and next at the Macdonald farm in North Saanich called Duntulm. At the time of of its donation to Craigdarroch, it was house in the Oak Bay residence of Joan Dunsmuir’s great great granddaughter.

circa 1895
Paper, cardstock; Fabric, linen
funeral; food offerings; gathering; streetscape
Paper, Photographic paper
Chinese Funeral (food offerings)
Country of Origin

Related person/business/organization
Joan Olive Bryden (owner)
Related Associations
Dalzellowlie (house) (was used in)
Duntulm (farm with house) (was used in)
Related Objects

album, photograph, 2018.005.001.001 (is contained in)

photograph, 2018.005.001.012 (is part of)