Fonds - Lady McKie fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Lady McKie fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Title notes

  • Variations in title: Previously known as the Lady McKie Collection 1926-1975
  • Source of title proper: Title based on content of the fonds

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Reference code

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Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1926-1975 (Creation)
    McKie, Lady Phyllis

Physical description area

Physical description

8 cm of textual records
900 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Phyllis Ross (d.1983), later Lady McKie, Canadian photographer and researcher, was the daughter of John Wardrope Ross, a Montreal businessman. In 1929 she married Gerald Walker Birks, of Henry Birks & Sons, Montreal. In 1956 she married Sir William Neil McKie (1901-1984), an internationally renowned musician who was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey from 1941. They had no children. Lady McKie died 12 January 1983.

Ross was greatly interested in many facets of the culture of other countries, particularly relating to the sea. She spent much time in England and Norway researching her interests in archives, museums and libraries, taking advantage of travel with her husband to extend this knowledge. As a photographer, she developed, edited and enlarged her own work, and had it displayed in several exhibitions. Her published work included The Seaflower Venture, the life story of Charles Robin. Following her husband's retirement, they moved to Ottawa, where Lady McKie died in 1983.

Custodial history

Records remained in the custody of Lady McKie until they were donated to the Maritime History Archive, through the National Archives of Canada, in two accessions, 1976 and 1977 respectively.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of Lady McKie's own photographic work, as well as post cards, clippings and other illustrations relating to fisheries and shipbuilding in Norway, Atlantic Canada, France, Portugal and elsewhere. It also includes published booklets and articles on similar topics, her own notes on Newfoundland material and a wooden tally stick of 1869 from Charles Robin's company in Quebec. Photographs are arranged in 41 series according to subject.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds was acquired from Lady McKie, via the National Archives of Canada, in 1976-77.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No restrictions

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright of some items remains with the National Archvies of Canada, the National Maritime Museum, and other organizations and individuals, as indicated on the individual items.

Finding aids

MHA Finding Aid 101

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Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created - May 22, 2013

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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