F-294 - Alison Kirkley fonds

Faculty show Faculty show Faculty show Faculty show One Sailing Wait - faculty show Ecology of Souls - MFA performance piece/show Faculty show Some of Them Student show Student show Student show Student show Student show Turn Blue - student show Turn Blue - student show Twist Simple - student show Rites, Release, Reunion - student show Ecology of Souls - MFA performance piece/show Ecology of Souls - MFA performance piece/show Taruna Jaya - MFA performance piece/show Taruna Jaya - MFA performance piece/show Dancing Thru Time

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alison Kirkley fonds

General material designation

  • Photographic materials
  • Graphic materials
  • Textual records

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Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Fonds title based on the name of the records creator at the date of the latest records transferred.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1982-2008 (Creation)
    Kirkley, Alison

Physical description area

Physical description

Paper and analog originals:
21 photographs (prints)
1 poster

Digitized copies:
5.4 GB of photographs and graphic material : tiff (preservation copies) ; jpeg (access copies).

Dimensions for each photograph and the poster are provided at the item level.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(26 February 1953 - 24 July 2020)

Biographical history

Alison Kirkley was a photographer and Special Education teacher based in the Metro Vancouver area.

Kirkley was born on February 26, 1953 in Ayr, Scotland. She completed high school in Victoria, British Columbia in 1969, and went on to study at Simon Fraser University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Education degree. From there, she went on to become a teacher of Special Education for the Surrey School District for thirty-three years, retiring in 2009. She passed away on July 24, 2020 in New Westminster, British Columbia, and is survived by her husband, Rick Carswell.

Kirkley was a lifelong student of photographic methods and techniques. She took classes at the Focal Point Photography School in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was an avid reader of new developments in black and white processes. Her artistic influences include the American photographers Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham; the dancers and choreographers Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham; and the New York based dance photographer Barbara Morgan.

Custodial history

The records were in the custody and control of the creator prior to their transfer to Archives in 2020.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of 21 mounted black and white photographic prints and 1 poster for an an exhibition of Kirkley's photos at the New Westminster Arts Council. The photographs feature dancers from the SFU dance program performing in student and faculty shows. One of the main subjects of the photographs is Lorraine Thomson, Alison Kirkley's sister and a graduate of the SFU dance program.

The project to create the photos was suggested to Alison Kirkley by Judith Garay, an SFU dance professor, as a way to document the newly credited dance program at SFU. The photos were taken in a minimalist style using analog camera equipment and natural light, and then developed and enhanced using dark room techniques.

Kirkley's equipment for taking the photographs consisted of a Hasselblad 500CM large format camera; Canon F-1 and Canon TX with a Canon FD series lens; Gossen Lunasix F exposure metres; and Canon Speedlite 199A. Her darkroom was equipped with a Berkey Omega C760 Modular 11 x 14 inch black and white enlarger. The paper used for the prints was Fujicolour and Infospeed MG44M.

Item formats include the analog originals and digitized surrogates.

Items arranged chronologically.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Items arranged in chronological order.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

The fonds includes photographs and graphic material that has been digitized (21 prints and 1 poster). The analog originals have been retained, but the Archives will typically provide access only to the digital surrogates.

Restrictions on access

Items are open with no restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

The donor Alison Kirkley retained copyright in records she authored, but her estate has agreed to make these materials available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC BY-NC).

For more information about CC licenses see this page

Finding aids

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No further accruals are expected.

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Description record identifier

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Rules or conventions

RAD July 2008 edition.


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

April 2022: first arrangement and description completed (Matthew Lively).

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Accession area

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