THE CONSERVATION OF A PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA
2 THE JACOBS ALBUM
THE JACOBS ALBUM, named for the individual who sold it to the Public Archives of Canada in 1938, was assembled by Col. Alexander George Russell, son of the duke of Bedford, during his sojourn in North America as head of the First Battalion of the Prince Consort's Own Rifle Brigade. All of the photographs in the album date from 1860–69, the years Russell was in Canada. Subjects include his family, members of English nobility, the military establishment, and the various camps and cities where he was stationed. The photographs constitute some of the earliest in the Archives' collection, and many important photographic studios of the day are represented, including Disderi of Paris, Notman of Montreal, and Mayall of London. These aspects of the album, in addition to its extensive documentation, designate it as the most valuable in the collection. The decision to treat the album was based on a number of factors: the poor physical condition of the album pages, the resulting damage to the photographs, the need to make the album safely accessible for research and display, and the availability of expertise and funding.