Collection LA.SC032 - M.O. Hammond collection

Identity area

Reference code



M.O. Hammond collection


  • 1905-[192-] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

31 photographs
1 picture

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Melvin Ormond Hammond (1876–1934) was a Canadian journalist, editor, photographer and author. He was born in Clarkson, Ont. to Alvin and Catharine (Nauman) Hammond, and attended local public schools. In 1895 he became a reporter in Toronto with The Globe newspaper, where he continued in various positions for his entire career. In 1900 he married Clara Williams (b. 1875), with whom he had two children, Harold James (b. 1901) and Helen Isabel (b. 1909).
Melvin Hammond joined the Toronto Camera Club in 1906 and took up photography, the pursuit for which he is today best known, exhibiting his amateur photos at the Canadian National Exhibition and elsewhere in Toronto. His journalistic interest in Canada resulted in photographs of Canadian monuments and memorials and in portrait photographs of prominent figures of the day. As an author, he wrote three books, the last of which was Painting and Sculpture in Canada (Toronto : Ryerson Press, 1930).
M.O. Hammond was also a member of the Canadian Literary Club, the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, the Ontario Historical Society, and the Canadian Historical Society. He died in Toronto in 1934.

Archival history

The photographs in the M.O. Hammond collection were assembled probably between the First World War and 1934. The collection was afterwards acquired by marine-history writer Edwin Barry “Skip” Gillham (1941–2016) of Vineland, Ont. at an undetermined date, and retained until donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in 1984.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

AGO credit line: Gift of Skip Gillham, 1984

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of early-20th-century photographs of Canadian historical figures and Canadian public monuments taken by M.O. Hammond and others. Portrait photograph subjects include Canadian poets Bliss Carman and Charles G.D. Roberts and artists Walter S. Allward, E.J. Dinsmore and Charles Eduard Huot. The collection also includes a copy print of a drawing of the first director of the National Gallery of Canada and studio portraits from 1905 of Canadan prime minister Robert Laird Borden and his wife Laura Borden. The memorials photographed are chiefly by British-Canadian sculptor Alfred Howell, with a photo of a statue of a soldier by Emanuel Hahn. Some photographs in the collection are by M.O. Hammond and the studio portraits are credited to Pittaway Studio (Ottawa).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open. Access to Special Collections by appointment. Please contact the reference desk for more information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Material in this collection is in the public domain. Permission of the Art Gallery of Ontario is required for publication.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The Archives of Ontario holds archival records of M.O. Hammond, including over 13,000 photographs, in its M.O. Hammond fonds (F-1075).

Related descriptions

Notes area


Arrangement: The original order of materials in the collection is not known. Photographs have been arranged by the archives. Series-level description is omitted.

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Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

Description and finding aid created 2016.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description and finding aid by Gary Fitzgibbon.

Archivist's note

Prepared by Gary Fitzgibbon, 2016.
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019.

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