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Archives & Library, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds

Peter and Catharine Whyte, ca.1932

(Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds - V683/I.C.2.b)

Catharine and Peter Whyte, ca.1932

(Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds - V683/I.C.2.b)

     Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds. -- 1856-1980. -- 25 m of textual records. -- ca.46,000 photographs : prints, albums, postcards, cased photographs, transparencies, negatives. -- 178 sound recordings : audio tape reels, audio tape cassettes. -- 6 motion pictures (and film strips). -- Peter and Catharine Whyte were artists, photographers, outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, philanthropists and cultural workers at Banff, Alberta, Canada. -- Fonds consists of three sous-fonds:  I. Peter and Catharine Whyte, 1862-1980;  II. Robb and Morse (families), 1856-1959;  III. White and Curren (families), 1869-1958. -- Also known as the Whyte family fonds. -- Access to photographs is by appointment.

Detailed fonds description - Archives Network of Alberta provincial database

 

I. Peter and Catharine Whyte

Peter and Catharine Whyte sous-fonds. -- 1862-1980. -- ca.21 m of textual records. -- ca.39,000 photographs. -- 178 sound recordings. -- Born in Concord, Massachusetts, Catharine Robb grew up amongst the wealth and creativity of the Robb and Morse families.  Following schooling in Concord and Providence Rhode Island, she studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1925 until 1929.  There she met Peter Whyte, a fellow art student from Banff, Alberta and they married in 1930. The Whytes pursued a life of painting, photography, hiking, skiing and travelling.  Their log home and studio in Banff became a focal point for their artist friends, Stoney Indians and local pioneers.  Catharine shared Pete's involvement in skiing and hiking organizations such as the Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies and the Skyline Trail Hikers of the Canadian Rockies.  From 1932 until 1934, she and Pete managed Skoki Lodge.  During the Second World War, Catharine continued to paint, maintain her home and when possible, accompany Pete to his various military postings. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the Whytes formulated plans for a foundation to preserve the art and history of the Canadian Rockies. Plans for a building to house an archives, public library and gallery were in preparation when Pete died in 1966.  Catharine immersed herself in the development of the Peter Whyte Foundation (now the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies), in the cultural community, painting, outdoor activity, travel and work with the Stoney Indians. -- Consists of four series:  A. Catharine Robb Whyte papers and photographs;  B. Peter Whyte papers and photographs;  C. Peter and Catharine Whyte photographs;  D. Peter and Catharine Whyte sound recordings. -- Constitutes Sous-fonds I of the Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds.

Series A. Catharine Robb Whyte papers and photographs  - description        

Series B. Peter Whyte papers and photographs  - description        

Series C. Peter and Catharine Whyte photographs  - description   

Series D. Peter and Catharine Whyte sound recordings - description

 

II. Robb and Morse families 

Robb and Morse families papers and photographs. -- 1856-1959. -- ca.2 m of textual records (and 7 oversize items). -- ca.3560  photographs (2700 negatives, ca.850 prints, 14 albums of ca.2465 prints). -- The Robb and Morse families of Iowa and Massachusetts, U.S.A. were the maternal and fraternal relatives of Catharine Robb Whyte. -- Sous-fonds consists of personal papers, correspondence, financial, legal and other papers of members of the Robb and Morse families, including those of Catherine Sedgwick Newbury Robb, Patrick Robb, Marion Robb, Robb / Newbury / Bagley family, Russell Robb Sr., Edith Morse Robb, Russell Robb Jr., Edward Sylvester Morse, John Gavit and Julie Morse; and photographs pertaining to Robb and Morse family members, homes, activities and travels.  Mainly includes negatives, prints and albums produced by Russell Robb Sr. and Russell Robb Jr., father and brother of Catharine Robb Whyte; also, collected family photographs concerning Robb and Morse family members and travels. -- Title based on contents of sous-fonds. -- Constitutes Sous-fonds II of the Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds. -- Location : M36 / 1933 - 2066; V683 / II.J.1 - 4.

 

III. White and Curren families

White and Curren families papers and photographs. -- 1869-1958. -- ca.2 m and 36 oversize textual records. -- ca.3100 photographs : negatives, prints. --  5 photograph albums (ca.400 prints). -- The White and Curren families of Banff, Alberta, Canada were the maternal and fraternal relatives of Peter Whyte.  Dave McIntosh White, 1864- 1940, Peter Whyte's father, came to the Canadian Rockies in 1885 with the Canadian Pacific Railway.  In 1894 he opened a general merchandise business, the Park Store, in Banff.  The success of this business resulted in expansions in 1908-1909 and in 1912-1913.  For a short time, Whyte operated a similiar business in Bankhead.  White was a long-time friend of the Stoney Indians.  Annie (Curren) White, 1879-1955, emigrated to Canada from Scotland with her father, John Donaldson Curren, and a brother in 1886.  They settled in Anthracite, east of Banff, where J. D. Curren operated a small coal mining business.  Annie Curren married Dave White in 1901.  Their children, all born in Banff, were Clifford, 1902-1964, Lila, 1903-1961, Peter, 1905-1966, and Dave Jr. (Jackie), 1908-1961.  Clifford and Jack worked for the family business, Dave White and Sons. -- Series consists of the following sub-series: A. Dave White Sr. papers, 1887- 1942; B. Annie White papers, 1875-1955; C. Dave (Jack) White papers, 1911- 1955; D. Clifford White notebook, ca.1915; E. John D. Curren papers, 1886- 1940; F. White-Curren family photographs, 1885-1953. -- Title based on contents of series. -- Constitutes Sous-fonds III of the Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds.

File descriptions

The Peter and Catharine Whyte fonds was processed with financial support

of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1986,

and the Canadian Council of Archives, 1986-1987.

On-line finding aid funded by the Archives Society of Alberta, 2002-2003

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