Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Vance, Jonathan F.


Over the course of the First World War 4, 507 photographs were produced by the Canadian War Records Office. These photographs were used as propaganda to promote victory overseas and were popularized in exhibitions, magazines, books, and other wartime ephemera. Produced simultaneously to this official record was private soldiers’ photography which is comprised of albums, scrapbooks, personal snapshots, and soldiers’ portraits and communicate a narrative that is both similar and disparate from the official record. This thesis examines the ways in which private and official photographs were formed and how they were used to communicate soldiers’ wartime experience. It argues that the official photographs are not just a piece of propaganda, but rather that of the photographer’s and the private photographs are an extension of soldiers’ culture and art, as well as an extension of twentieth century photographic culture.

Summary for Lay Audience

This thesis studies the production and distribution of First World War Canadian photography. It understands the photographs as products of soldiers’ wartime experience and how they reflect wartime culture.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License