Collection MsC-134 - Richard (Dick) Chambers alpine photograph collection

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Richard (Dick) Chambers alpine photograph collection

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  • Photographic materials
  • Textual records

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  • 1947-1968 (Creation)
    Chambers, Richard Harwood (Dick)

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Physical description

1.5 m of photographic material and 1 notebook

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Biographical history

Richard (Dick) Chambers was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, but raised in Vancouver. An active and respected member of the B.C. Mountaineering Club (BCMC) from 1946 until his death in 1999, Chambers made approximately twenty first ascents of mountains and new routes in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia between 1951 and 1967. He is most renowned for first ascents of: Mt. Matier and Joffre Peak (1957), the north summit of Mt. Fee (1958), and Ossa Mountain (1960). Other significant accomplishments include: first ascents of Siva Mountain and other summits in the Pantheon Range (1966), Camel, Rusty, and other peaks in the Niut Range (1967), and explorations in the Nahatlatch area. Chambers was an avid photographer who documented his excursions on film.

Custodial history

Records were in the custody of Richard (Dick) Chambers' niece and nephew, Barbara and Jim Diggins, prior to their acquisition by Simon Fraser University Library Special Collections and Rare Books in 2010.

Scope and content

Collection consists of photographs and an accompanying notebook documenting Chambers’ and the BCMC’s pioneering mountaineering activities and exploration during the period 1947 to 1968. Unlike the Rocky Mountains of Canada, the Coast Mountains were late in being explored by mountaineers. During the period recorded in these photographs, much of the region remained little visited, and the exploration lasted into the 1980s. As a result, the photographic record of mountain exploration in the Coast Mountain region is relatively poor and fragmentary, especially for the period from the late 1930s through the 1950s. The Chambers collection fills several gaps in this record.

Chambers was meticulous in recording the details of each image he captured with his Zeiss Ikon camera – every slide is identified with the location, names of individuals, and the date. An accompanying notebook lists the photographs taken on each roll of film and includes additional technical information. Further documentation of many of these trips is available in BCMC newsletters and issues of the Canadian Alpine Journal.

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Digitized materials are available for research in SFU Digitized Collections:

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Images from the Richard Harwood (Dick) Chambers Alpine Photographs Collection have been made available by Simon Fraser University Library under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial license. A full legal outline of the license can be viewed at: We encourage the appropriate open use of images from this collection for educational and other not-for-profit purposes. Attribution/citation should be provided as follows:

Image [insert image number here, eg. Alpine_065] courtesy of the Richard Harwood (Dick) Chambers Alpine Photographs Collection, a digital initiative of Simon Fraser University Library. [Please include the website url when images are used in an offline or print-based context].

Parties interested in using high-resolution versions of the images from the Richard Harwood (Dick) Chambers Alpine Photographs Collection for commercial purposes should contact Special Collections and Rare Books, SFU Library.

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Created January 13, 2016. SS

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