Yukon Archives Images Database Claude and Mary Tidd Fonds


1913-1947, 1973

Physical Description

ca. 1,700 photographs and other material

Biographical Sketch

Claude Britiff Tidd was born in England on May 21, 1886. In 1910 he left his family to come to Canada, working as a farmhand, storekeeper, surveyor, piano player in a movie house, and locomotive repairman until 1914. He joined the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) in September 1914. After a year in Regina he was sent north. Tidd was posted in a variety of Yukon communities, including Teslin, Dawson City, Ross River, Rampart House, Mayo and Old Crow. Tidd served with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for 21 years, retiring September 10, 1935. Tidd then worked in Mayo, Forty Mile, Twelve Mile, and the Rock Creek intake on the Klondike River. In 1945-46, he was Northern Commercial Company (NCCo.) storekeeper at Old Crow. Tidd met and married Mary Ester Ryder in Fort Yukon in 1925. He was an avid photographer, filmmaker, writer and musician. He played the piano with several bands and the saxophone with the Dawson City Orchestra. He wrote and published a few articles on northern photography, but most of his writing and photography was intended to record the lifestyle he experienced in the Yukon. Mary and Claude Tidd left the Yukon in 1945 for Dersingham, England, where Claude died on June 12, 1949. Claude Tidd was a member of the Mounted Police in the Yukon from 1915 to 1935. He was an amateur photographer, filmmaker, musician and writer. He and his wife, Mary, lived in several communities in the Yukon until they retired to England in 1946.

Custodial History

Mark H. Ryder, a brother of Mary Tidd, donated these records in 1977.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of four series: Photographs, Textual Records, Films and Sound Recordings. contains original b&w photographs taken by Claude Tidd between 1916 and 1946, depicting communities in the Yukon, Alaska and British Columbia; films, also taken by Claude Tidd, showing native lifestyles and the communities of Mayo, Ross River, Whitehorse, Old Crow, Dawson City and Fort Selkirk between 1925 and 1935; letters; 2 phonograph recordings of homemade interviews (1945) and sounds, including water from the river, Christmas in Old Crow, and recordings about fur trading and elders names; many clippings of articles written by and about Claude Tidd; and a map of the Yukon. The letters include one by Tidd to his family, three by V. Stefansson to C. Tidd, 1918 (one was found inside Stefansson's book "My Life with the Eskimo", which was donated with this material), and several by Mary Tidd to her family, 1927-1947. Among the unpublished articles written by Tidd are notes from "A Yukoner's Diary", "A Day with a Dog Team", "The Ice Break-up in the Spring", "The First Cold Snap", "A Year with a Fur Trader", "Winter Photography in the Yukon", "Forty-six Years in the Klondike", "Description of Accompanying Six Prints showing Salmon Fishing with Wheel in the Yukon", Fishing through Four Feet of Ice in the Yukon", "Glimpses of Life in the Yukon","100,000 Miles with a Dog Team". There is also an article written by Mary Tidd about Ross River and a graph of daily thermometer readings at Rampart House, 1917-1918.

Source of Supplied Title Note

Title based on provenance of the fonds.

Physical Description Note

Photographs include: ca. 1,200 b&w prints in 5 albums (most have captions in the albums); 119 loose prints, many of which are duplicates of those in the albums; and 393 nitrate negatives. Other material: 3 films (duplicates, b&w, silent, 16 mm); 2 phonograph recordings (78 rpm); .02 m of textual records; and 1 map.

Location of Originals

The National Archives has the master/negative used to make a copy of the films, and the Yukon Archives has the original films.

Availability of Reproductions Note

Videocassette copies and 16 mm film copies are available for viewing. Circulating videocassette copies of the films are available at the Whitehorse Public Library. Some 8x10 reference prints from the albums are available. Copy prints of negs not yet printed will be made available. The Yukon Archives copied the phonograph recordings onto a reel-to-reel and audio tape cassette.


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

Finding Aid

There are detailed shot lists for the films, and an inventory of the Claude Tidd photographs is available (Inventory #54). Photocopies of the photographs are in the Visual Finding Aid.

Associated Material

The Yukon Archives and the Whitehorse Public Library have copies of a publication of some of Claude and Mary Tidd's letters.

Accession Number(s)

77/19, 91/112, 93/2


7008-8555 (77/19) : Catalogued Photographs
16-23 and V-89-1 (77/19) : Film/video
16-24 and V-89-2 (77/19) : Film/video
16-25 and V-89-3 (77/19) : Film/video
MSS 61 (77/19) : Textual records
H-1231 (77/19) : Map
SR 132 (91/112) : Sound recordings
PHO 604 to PHO 607 (91/112) : Photographs
3/4/4 (93/2) : In-process material

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