Kitchener-Waterloo Record Photographic Negative Collection

K-W Record Photographic Negative Collection - 1938-2001.

ca. 2 million negatives.

The collection consists of more than 2 million negatives taken between 1938 and 2001 by staff photographers at the Kitchener-Waterloo Record (KWR) and its predecessors. Providing a historical look at the Region of Waterloo, the Collection includes documentary photographs of local news events, community activities, regional development, human-interest stories, businesses, schools, and sports teams. Portraits of business and community leaders, as well as commissioned photos taken for advertising purposes, are part of the Collection. It also includes scrapbooks containing clippings and pictures that appeared in the paper from 1971 to 1995.

The bulk of the Collection, consisting of negatives from 1938 to 1981, was donated to the University of Waterloo Library in 1987. At the time of donation it was agreed that the 5 most recent years of negatives would be kept for use by KWR staff and as each year passed, another year of negatives would be deposited at the Library.

Nitrate-based negatives have been copied using safety film and replaced. The conversion of negatives from 1939 to 1951 was completed thanks to a grant received by the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation.


Only photographs taken by Kitchener-Waterloo Record staff photographers are held in the Collection - photographs taken by other photographers or photographic services that appeared in the paper are not included.


  • Title from content of the collection.
  • Negatives are arranged in cabinets by year, then by caption.
  • New accruals ended in 2001 when the KWR shifted to predominantly digital photography.
  • A series of negatives from the 1970s have been refrigerated for preservation purposes, which may cause a delay in accessing requested negatives. For more information about the refrigeration of photographic negatives, we recommend the National Park Service's Cold Storage for Photograph Collections (PDF).

Use of images

The use of material, not currently in the public domain, for commercial purposes, advertising or in association with any product or service is prohibited. Reproduction fees, payable to the University of Waterloo, may apply. Please contact us for more information.

Call Number: GA 68