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Gushul family fonds


Physical Description:
6139 photographs. -- 3.13 m of textual records. -- 2 audio cassettes

Thomas Gushul, 1889-1962, was born in Rozniw, western Ukraine, and emigrated to Canada in 1906. Between 1907 and 1909 he worked for both the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. From 1909 to 1914 he worked in various coal mines in Blairmore, Alberta before he was laid off. During the winters of 1909-1910 he taught the Ukrainian language to children in Schevchenko (Vita), Manitoba. In 1914 he married Lena Sawiek, ?-1981, and they had four children, Nadia Rose, Evan, 1916-2014, Poraska "Pearl" (Baker), 1897-1988, and Pollyanna (Snowdon), 1923-2012. That same year he took up photography and in 1917 went to Winnipeg to study. Lena, a portrait and commercial photographer, worked closely with her husband. They opened their first studio in Bush Town, Alberta in 1918, and a second studio in Blairmore in 1921. They closed the first studio in 1928. Thomas Gushul received many awards for his photography and, in particular, for the developments he made in mine photography. He was also well known for his portrait work. He later set up a photo-engraving plant which his son, Evan, operated for many years. Evan was also a photographer for the Department of Agriculture. Thomas was also interested in sports, music and the Ukrainian community. Lena continued to run the studio after his death. For further information see Brock Silversides' article "A family of Photographers : The Gushul Legacy" in A World Apart : The Crowsnest Communities of Alberta and British Columbia / Wayne Norton and Tom Langford, eds. -- Kamloops: Plateau Press, 2002, p. 14-31.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of business records: photographs (ca. 1914-1962) of Crowsnest Pass area views, events and personalities including labour unrest and the coal mining industry; correspondence (1921-1968); account ledgers (1910-1958); financial records (1917-1963); price lists, catalogues and pamphlets of photographic equipment and supplies (1915-1968); photographic industry directories and journals; and newsclippings. Includes personal records: correspondence (1915-1967); legal records (1920-1951), financial records (1920-1966), and family photographs. Also includes taped interviews with Evan and Lena Gushul regarding the Gushul family, Lena's work in the studio, Evan's work in the studio and for the Department of Agriculture, and Thomas' commercial and industrial photography.

Source of Acquisition:
Purchased from and gifts of Lena and Evan Gushul, 1981.

The material is in English.

Originals and Reproductions:
Reference prints from the original negatives are also available.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory and interview outlines available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Other Gushul photographs are held by the Mining Institute of Canada Archives and the Crowsnest Museum.
There is a recorded interview with Evan Gushul in the Larry Ewashen Oral History Project at Glenbow (RCT-565-15).

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-6163, RCT-355, RCT-356, PA-2293, PA-2311, PB-558, PC-190, NA-4279, NC-54

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