The Chilliwack Museum and Archives will receive one of its largest donations of photographic records to date this week. The donation consists of more than 400,000 negatives and prints archived from the long-running Chilliwack business: Norman’s Photographic Studio.
Last spring the owners of Norman’s Photographic Studio, Rick and Brenda Davis, approached the Chilliwack Museum and Archives with the offer of this large donation. The business, which has been in operation since 1948, has been archiving its images as part of a commitment to offer re-printing services to its clients. Now that the business is going mobile, Rick and Brenda were concerned about the future of the 255 banker’s boxes of negatives and prints spanning 58 years.
The donation to the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, which consists of an estimated 400,000 negatives and prints dating from 1947 to 2006, also includes antiques, props and equipment formerly used in the business. The image collection includes portraits of individuals, families, weddings, babies, businesses, graduations, community organizations, and events. In accepting the collection, the Chilliwack Museum and Archives ensures that former patrons of Norman’s Photographic Studio will have continued access to the prints and negatives, and will now be able to view and purchase copies of their portraits through the Archives.
Norman’s Photographic was founded in 1948 by Norman Williams who began the business out of high school and operated it for 40 years. In 1988 Rick and Brenda Davis took over the business, operating on Yale Road until 1993 when they relocated to Kitchen Road where they’ve operated since. The Norman’s Photographic Studio collection represents one of the largest, single donations of images to date at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, and adds to the Archives’ existing collection of more than an estimated 100,000 photographic records. This donation complements a collection of cameras originally used by Norm Williams in his business, which was previously donated to the Chilliwack Museum and Archives in 2010.