Fonds F02084 - E. Dorothy Benson fonds

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E. Dorothy Benson fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00239 F02084

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1953-1989 (Creation)
    Benson, E. Dorothy

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 800 photographs : col. negatives ; 35 mm

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in 1901, E. Dorothy Benson, a member of the family that owned the St. Lawrenece Starch Company, was educated at "The Study" in Montreal, where she was Head Girl. A Canadian champion figure skater, at the outbreak of the Second World War, she joined the 'Wrens' -- the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service -- and saw active duty. Following her honourable discharged, she pursued her photographic hobby by studying for a year at the Vermont School of Photography. Prior to coming to Kingston, Ontario, in the early 1970's, she was a member of the Montreal Camera Club and later joined the prestigious Toronto Guild of Photography. Dorothy Benson, who would photograph anything and everything, "ships, churches, people, ice skaters, birds that lit on her balcony railing, close ups of flower and table arrangements ... you name it!", travelled widely throughout North America, with Algonquin Park being a favored destination. A print maker, as well as a nature photographer par excellence, she competed both nationally and internationally, winning many awards along the way. After her arrival in Kingston, she joined the Kingston Photographic Club, and devoted much time to helping other members improve their own techniques, both personally and through her regular column in the Club's newsletter 'Camera Capers'. She was also very skilled at preparing and presenting phtoto essays. A Girl Guide Leader, Ms. Benson would take her troop, along with her favourite cameras, up the Rideau waterway each summer for a two-week camping trip. She was also an avid fisherman, who spent many summers in among the Thousand Islands. E. Dorothy Benson died, age 91, at Kingston, Ontario, in April 1996.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of 35 mm slides capturing a vast array of subject areas including landscape - oceans, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, beaches, lawns, rocky terrain, trees, gardens, marshy grasses, wheat and the like; architecture - high-rises, churches (including every parish church in the Anglican Diocese of Ontario), houses, shacks, docks, totem poles, radar towers, mechanical equipment, bridges, train tracks, art work, and more; animals - domestic or wild, aquatic, terrestial; vehicles - automobiles, trucks, trains, boats, ships, planes, bicycles; people - familiar or strangers. These images were shot as close as home in Kingston, Ontario, to as far away as Vancouver, British Columbia, St. John's Newfoundland, New York, New York, with Montreal, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in between.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Mr. Bruce Gunion, on behalf of the Kingston Photographic Club.


Language of material

  • English

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Copyright restrictions may apply.

Associated materials

Further visual material is available at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and the Kingston Photographic Club.

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Further accruals are expected

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  • Shelf: V036.3