Sub-series 2005.001.08.08 - Kodak Canada Heritage Collection and Museum records

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Kodak Canada Heritage Collection and Museum records

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  • Textual record

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  • [1977-2000?] (Creation)
    Kodak Canada Inc.

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Physical description

25.5 cm of textual records

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Administrative history

Canadian Kodak Ltd., which became Kodak Canada Inc. in 1979, manufactured photographic films, papers and equipment for over a century in Toronto, Ontario. The company formed the Canadian branch of the successful Eastman Kodak Company, and officially opened its doors in 1900 at 41 Colborne Street under the direction of John G. Palmer. The company expanded and moved to 588 King Street West in 1908, but already plans were underway for an expansive complex to the north of the city. In 1912, Canadian Kodak purchased 25 acres of farmland near Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue to build a major manufacturing facility known as Kodak Heights. By 1925, there were over 900 employees working in seven buildings at Kodak Heights. Over the years, the company earned a reputation for having a cooperative and supportive relationship with its employees, adopting many of the successful practices in place at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York. In 1940, an Employee's Building was constructed to accommodate the activities of the flourishing Recreation Club, the Department Mangers' Club, and the Kodak Heights Camera Club. During the 1990s, the rise of digital media began to have a serious impact on manufacturing programs at Kodak facilities around the world, causing the Eastman Kodak Company to reduce its production of traditional print photography by one third globally. The company chose to focus on digital products, which did not require the extensive facilities used in the production of traditional photographic materials. On December 9, 2004, Kodak Canada Ltd. informed its employees that manufacturing operations in traditional film products would cease entirely at Kodak Heights. The company's facility faced the same fate as many of its foreign counterparts in England, Australia and France, being completely abandoned and demolished shortly after closure in 2005. Kodak Canada still maintains a sales and support office in downtown Toronto, while the manufacture of traditional photographic chemistry has returned to Rochester.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Sub-series consists of records pertaining to the operation of the Kodak Canada Heritage Collection and Museum. The Kodak Canada Heritage Collection was instigated in the early 1990s as a continuation of the Kodak Canada Archives, intended to document and display Kodak Canada's corporate history. The archival was never formally absorbed by the museum and was housed in a room adjacent to the museum exhibition space in building 9 of Kodak Heights, in a series of 5 filing cabinets. The Heritage Collection operated under the curatorship of Bonnie Chapman, an employee in Kodak's Corporate Communications department. A request was made in 1996 to establish a permanent exhibition space for the collection in building 9 of Kodak Heights. In 1998, Kodak Canada collaborated with consultants from the Royal Ontario Museum to conceptualize and install the exhibition that was housed in this permanent space. The Museum officially opened in 1999 and was closed as part of the dissolution of Kodak Canada's manufacturing operations in the early 2000s. Many of the records and objects contained in the overall Kodak Canada Corporate Archives and Heritage Collection housed at Ryerson University were originally part of this Museum collection. Records in this sub-series include: display labels and captions; notes and correspondence related to museum events; records pertaining to Kodak's partnership with the ROM; loan agreements and calls for donations; reference material; records and inventories of artifacts; and other ephemera. There was significant crossover between the activities of the Kodak Heritage Collection and Museum and those of the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs department, particularly surrounding Kodak Canada's centennial celebrations in 1999.

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Open. Records are available for consultation without restriction.

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Associated materials

For corporate communications, public relations and marketing records, see: 2005.001.08.05.

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