Yukon Archives Images Database H.C. Barley Fonds



Physical Description

929 photographs : glass plate negatives.

Biographical Sketch

Harrie C. Barley was hired as company photographer for the White Pass and Yukon Route in the spring of 1898. For two years he documented the construction and early operation of the 110-mile narrow gauge railway which ran from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon. Barley was originally from Denver, Colorado but after coming north, he made Skagway his home. Barley was known for his daring, often risking his life to get the perfect photograph of the construction of the railway. His first photograph studio in Skagway was maintained on Fourth Avenue between Broadway and Spring Street. Later it was moved to the corner of Broadway and Fourth Avenue. A log cabin on the outskirts of Skagway may have been his primary residence. He served for a brief period on the Skagway City Council and was a member of the Skagway Elks Lodge. Harrie C. Barley died at his home in San Francisco on November 22, 1909. He was survived by his wife and a daughter.

Custodial History

The fonds was originally in the custody of the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR). The WP&YR retained ownership of the fonds until it was donated to the Yukon Archives through arrangements made by the company president Mr. A.P. Friesen and Vice-president, Roy Minter, in 1972.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of 929 glass plate negatives, primarily the work of H. C. Barley, official photographer for the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) during the period 1898-1902, and as such mainly document the construction and early operation of the WP&YR railway. The work of F. A. Callarman, a photographer based in Skagway, is also represented. Callarman's photographs date from c. 1899 - 1912 and consist of images of Skagway and other communities along the Yukon River system and scenic views both near Skagway and along the WP&YR railway. Besides extensive coverage of the actual construction of the WP&YR narrow-gauge railway, Barley's photographs also depict the activities of related organizations: the Red Line Transportation Company; the Canadian Development Company (views of roadhouses which were taken over by White Pass in April 1901) and the British Yukon Navigation Co. (views of sternwheelers and their construction). Subjects include early operation of the WP&YR, railway repairs, snow removal, construction crews and camps, accidents, blasting, surveying, excursion groups on the railway, officials and ceremonies, stations and trains. A large group of photographs relate to Skagway and include street scenes, fires, houses, businesses, schools, churches, the wharf area and steamships near the Skagway harbour. The fonds also includes images of Atlin, boat building at Bennett, Canyon City, Carcross, Dalton Trail (including Porcupine City), Five Finger Rapids, glaciers, leisure activities, mines and mining, North West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.) roadhouses, Selkirk, sternwheelers, White Pass City, White Pass Summit, Whitehorse, and the Alaskan communities Chilkat, Douglas, Fort Yukon, Haines, Juneau, New Metlakatla, Petersburg, Ramport, Sitka and Wrangell. Other locations include Green River, Wyoming; Port Townsend, Washington; San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

Variation in Title Note

Previously titled H.C. Barley photographs

Source of Supplied Title Note

Title based on provenance of fonds.

Attributions and Conjectures

Some of the images are attributed to F.A. Callarman.

Physical Description Note

Earlier descriptions of this fonds have included the reference prints and copy negatives as well as the original glass plate negatives in the extent.

Availability of Reproductions Note

11 x 13 cm copy negatives and 21 x 26 cm reference prints are available.


There are no donor-imposed restrictions on this material. General copyright or institutional or legal restrictions may apply.

Finding Aid

All images in this fonds have been digitized and are available online for research and viewing. Inventory of the photographs is available (Inventory 33A, 33B, 33C).

Related Records

H.C. Barley photographs are also found in the White Pass and Yukon Route fonds; Roy S. Minter fonds, series 1: White Pass and Yukon Route Photograph albums contain prints from 227 of Barley's glass plate negatives. Copy negatives and b&w prints are also in the Paul Sincic fonds (79/102).

Accession Number(s)



4640-5569 (82/298): Catalogued photographs

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