Fonds AM640 - James Crookall fonds

"Canada Maru" at Johnson's Wharf "Cape York" [at dock] "Cheakamus" in Narrows "Cheakamus" in the Narrows "Comox" in Agamemnon Bay "Cowichan" entering Nanaimo Harbour "Cowichan" passing Prospect Point "Empress of Asia" [at Pier B-C] "Empress of Asia" [near Prospect Point] "Empress of Asia" in Narrows "Empress of Canada" [approaching] dock "Empress of Canada" [approaching] dock "Empress of Canada" [approaching] Pier B-C "Empress of Japan" entering harbour "Empress of Russia" [at Pier B-C] "Empress of Russia" [leaving Vancouver] "Empress of Russia" at dock "Empress of Russia" in Burrard Inlet "Empress of Russia" leaving Vancouver "Hiwaka Maru" Japanese passenger liner (N.Y.K. Line) [entering Vancouver Harbour] "Hiwaka Maru" Japanese passenger liner (N.Y.K. Line) [entering Vancouver Harbour] "Philippine" lumber schooner and steamer "Amur" at Hastings Mill dock "Princess Charlotte" passing Prospect Point "Princess Patricia" from waterworks house "Princess Victoria" near Brockton Point "War Dog" on trials [in Burrard Inlet] ["East Bay" No. 11 under bow of  the"Malahat"] ["Empress of Asia" from the Lions Gate Bridge] ["Empress of Asia" from the Lions Gate Bridge] ["Empress of Asia"] ["Empress of Canada" leaving harbour] ["Empress of Canada" leaving harbour] ["Empress of Japan" approaching Pier B-C] ["Empress of Japan" in harbour] ["Empress of Japan" passing Brockton Point] ["Hiye Maru" passing under the Lions Gate Bridge under construction] ["Lady Alexandra" at dock in Snug Cove] ["Lady Alexandra" at dock with passengers on a Grain Trade Picnic excursion] ["Lady Alexandra" at dock] ["Lady Alexandra" in harbour] ["Lady Cecilia" or "Lady Cynthia" passing under the Lions Gate Bridge] ["Lady Cecilia"] ["Lady Sylvia" entering First Narrows] ["Lady Cynthia"] near First Narrows ["Lady Evelyn" and "Camosun" at dry dock] ["Loch Maddy" freighter at dock] ["Miss Sweet Caporal" airplane being towed by a car] ["Niagara" at dock at Pier B-C] [A "Davis" log raft in choppy water] [A "Davis" log raft in choppy water]
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Title proper

James Crookall fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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Physical description

  • 0.21 m of textual records
  • ca. 4000 photographs
  • 1 film reel

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Name of creator

(Nov. 7, 1887 - July 27, 1960)

Biographical history

James Crookall was born November 7, 1887 in Preston, Lancashire, and came to Vancouver as a child. Throughout his life, Crookall was an avid amateur photographer and an enthusiastic outdoorsman. He was an active member of the Vancouver Photographic Society and regularly exhibited his photographs in international salons. He died on July 27, 1960.

As a young man, Crookall joined the Union Steamship Company of B.C. He served first as a Steward, then as a Clerk and was made Secretary in 1912. His photographs reflect an interest in maritime traffic and activities.

In 1907, he joined the 6th Regiment, the Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles, probably in the reserve unit, as he was still working for the Union Steamship Company. He is alleged to have known Major Matthews, the first City Archivist, and it’s possible he met him as a fellow member of the D.C.O.R.

During World War I, he served for two years with the Royal Flying Corps. Over his lifetime, he took many photographs of both military and civil aircraft at airshows.

After the war he resumed his career with Union Steamships. Crookall became Secretary Comptroller and was appointed Secretary-Treasurer in 1949. He retired in 1958 only a few months before Union Steamships ceased operations in 1959.

In addition to photography, Crookall had many recreational interests. He was an avid painter and a keen outdoorsman, regularly cycling or hiking many miles in search of subjects for his easel or his cameras. He was involved with a local group of amateur photographers called the “cycling circus”, which formed during the gas-rationing years of World War II and organized photographic trips by bicycle.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of publications relating to the Vancouver Photographic Society; issues of The British Journal Photographic Almanac (1927, 1933-1939); and James Crookall's photographs depicting Vancouver scenery, streets and buildings, fish boats and other vessels, air shows, canneries, golf matches, and the Steveston fishing community. It also contains one film. The fonds is arranged into two series: James Crookall collected publications, and James Crookall photographs.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Doris Crookall in 1979, 1982 and 1986.


Photographic images in this fonds have been assigned catalogue numbers in the ranges of CVA 11-1 to CVA 11-7 and CVA 260-1 to CVA 260-1581. Film reel has been assigned catalogue number of MI-123.

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Photographs to be credited as follows: Photograph by James Crookall, City of Vancouver Archives.

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