Some account of G.H. Williams, and the collection as a whole, will be found in the Manuscript Catalogue and RCMS 53.
Album of coloured, monochrome and photographic postcards by various photographers, including a separate envelope containing nine duplicates. The period covered by the album corresponds to the 2-volume diary kept by Williams on a visit to Canada, whose general contents are described in the Manuscript Collection.
In his diaries, Williams makes various references to taking photographs, e.g. at Niagara 'I took a number of photographs as we went' (p. 89) but mostly in pessimistic terms, e.g. at Vancouver 'we did not get there until about 4pm so I don't expect my photographs will come out' (p. 163), Stanley Park 'I stalked a small squirrel for some time but did not get near enough to get a photograph' (p. 165); in the Rockies it was too cloudy (p. 178) and at New York too foggy (p. 195) for photographs. In any case there are none in this collection, but Williams was also a keen collector of postcards. At Halifax 'I cannot make out why they do not turn out a better brand of post card, they are very poor here' (p. 32). At Hamilton he 'got a few postcards' (p. 95). Calgary was the most satisfactory city from this viewpoint 'I got a very good set of postcards at a Woolworth store, photographs, the best postcards I have as yet seen in Canada' (p. 133). These were presumably the fine pictures of the Rockies by Byron Harmon of Banff. At Vancouver, however, 'I spent a good deal of time hunting for post cards, unsuccessfully. They don't seem to have many good ones here' (p.164). There are in fact some very good Vancouver views in the collection.
The postcards relate to all places visited in Canada, together with some views of Chicago, where he went on 11 October for a Commemoration Day in honour of his grandfather, Sir George Williams, and New York, whence he returned to England. It includes a few places, e.g. in Vancouver Island, which he does not appear to have visited. The collection, in summary, comprises:
1 S.S. Empress of France
15-25 St Anne de Beaupré
26-34 Halifax, Nova Scotia
35-47 Fredericton, New Brunswick
94-100 London, Ontario
101-110 Hamilton, Ontario
111-125 Niagara Falls
126-136, 138 Winnipeg, Manitoba
137 Boniface, Manitoba
139-142 Regina, Saskatchewan
143-185, 209 The Rockies
186-208 Vancouver, including Stanley Park and Capilano Canyon
210-219 Vancouver Island
220-225 New York
The catalogue entries for individual cards are, for the most part, limited to the titles on the front or back of each card, though occasionally additional information is given. Unless otherwise indicated, the cards are monochrome. Nearly 100 of the cards are reproduced from photographs, in many cases with a close approximation to actual prints. They are by varied publishers.
Given by the Museum of London in 1985.