Next fall, University of Manitoba Press will publish a new book of photos by Winnipeg’s most famous photographer, L.B. Foote (1873-1957), prepared and introduced by award-winning historian Esyllt Jones.
From the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike to Winnipeg Beach in its heyday, from nurses in the North End to construction workers on top of the Fort Garry Hotel, the Newfoundland-born Foote shot it all.
“Many of us have seen Foote photographs, whether or not we are aware of their origins. For at least thirty years, since the creation of the Foote archive at the Manitoba Archives in the early 1970s, these photographs have been used to tell the story of Winnipeg’s past,” says Jones, author of Influenza 1918: Disease, Death, and Struggle in Winnipeg. “They have been used to illustrate everything from academic histories to posters for rock concerts.”
There are approximately 3,000 images at the Manitoba Archives but that’s just a fraction of the photographs Foote took in the more than five decades that he documented Winnipeg and parts of Manitoba outside the perimeter.
University of Manitoba Press is looking for some of the lost Foote photos and is hoping that Winnipeggers are willing to rummage through their attics and photo albums.
“Even though Foote’s most famous work is of princes and processions, his bread and butter was shots of weddings, funerals and Winnipeg’s small businesses,” says David Carr, Director of University of Manitoba Press. “And that’s what we’d like to see and possibly share with a wider audience.”
People with photos to share can contact UMP Promotions/Editorial Assistant Ariel Gordon at (204) 474-8408 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (We’ve also launched a blog to document this process: Lost Foote Photos.)