Sub-series F-61-1-4 - Contact sheets and negatives

UNS 73124 UNS 1973 Unnumbered 2 UNS 73126 UNS 73001 UNS 1973 Unnumbered 3 UNS 73127 UNS 1973 Unnumbered 1 UNS 73128 UNS 73125 UNS 71771 UNS 71772 UNS 72001 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 11 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 22 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 07 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 09 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 08 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 20 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 10 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 01 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 14 UNS 74002 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 21 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 06 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 19 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 15 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 18 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 02 UNS 1974 Unnumbered 03 UNS 74085
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Contact sheets and negatives

General material designation

  • Photographic materials
  • Records in electronic form (digitized)

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title supplied by the archivist based on the contents of the sub-series.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1972-1998 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

Analog originals:
ca. 3300 photographs : contact sheets
ca. 66000 photographs : negatives

Digitized copies:
ca. 630 photographs : contact sheets (ca. 200 GB, pdf, tiff)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Custodial history

Contact sheets and negatives were maintained by University News Service (UNS) / Media and Public Relations (MPR) then transferred to Archives in a series of transfers in 1994, 2002, and 2010.

Scope and content

Sub-series consists of analog photographs taken by SFU photographers working in University News Service (UNS) and Media and Public Relations (MPR) from 1972 to 1999. In 2000, photographers switched over to digital photography, discontinuing the creation of contact sheets and negatives.

Contact sheets were used to facilitate browsing and final selection of images. Photographers cut their film roll into a number of small strips that were exposed and developed as a set of thumbnail images on a single page. Contact sheets and negatives were stored in a separate series of binders, but were both organized by contact sheet number, with different numbering schemes in use at different times (see note on Arrangement below for more information on the numbering systems).

Descriptive data about the images were created by the photographers in the form of labels and annotations added to contact sheets. This data was later captured in a photo index database and appears in the Scope and content note for individual contact sheets at the file level (see the note on Finding aids below for more information on the Archives' legacy photo index).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


UNS / MPR organized the records by contact sheet number, with separate binders for contact sheets and negatives. The Archives' initial arrangement of this material in 1998 reflected this physical organization, with separate sub-series for contact sheets (F-61-1-1), negatives (F-61-1-2), and another for a duplicate set of sheets and negatives together (F-61-1-3).

With digitization of the contact sheets, the former sub-series were retired in 2022 and replaced by the current sub-series. This arrangement that brings together the contact sheets and negatives by contact sheet number, though physically they continue to be housed separately. The archivist added year-based sub-sub-series to facilitate browsing. Each year is treated as a sub-sub-series, a single contact sheet is treated as a file, and individual negatives (frames) as items (if / when they are digitized).

Three different numbering systems for the contact sheets were used by the creators at different times, but in each a departmental abbreviation (UNS or MPR) was prefixed to the sheet number by the Archives' indexing system (see note below on Finding aids).

System (i): YYNNN. The first two digits indicate the year in which the photograph was created, followed by a three-digit sequential number (e.g. UNS 75006 = 1975 contact sheet 6).

System (ii): YYSNN. The first two digits indicate year, the third represents the semester, followed by a two-digit sequential number (e.g. UN78317 = 1978 semester 3 contact sheet 17).

System (iii): YY-SS-NN. A set of six digits represents the year + semester + sequential number, with dash separators (e.g. MPR 98-01-42 = 1998 semester 1 contact sheet 42).

Unnumbered contact sheets were assigned codes by the archivist using the following convention: YYYY-Unnumbered-NN (e.g. UNS 1977 Unnumbered 01).

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

The Archives is digitizing the contact sheets (1972-1979 completed as of Feb 2022). Contact sheets are sometimes annotated on the back, and the sheets have been digitized front and back as separate tiff files (preservation copy), along with a combined pdf (access copy). For access to the tiffs, consult the reference archivist. The Archives can provide high-quality scans from the original negatives. Contact the reference archivist and indicate the contact sheet and frame number of the image(s) requested. See Appendix B for more information on requesting copies of photographs. As individual images are scanned, they may be uploaded directly to SFU AtoM as items linked to the parent contact sheet (file).

Restrictions on access

Photographs are open with no access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

SFU is the copyright owner of images created by SFU photographers, which covers the bulk of this sub-series, and the Archives makes the materials available under Creative Common license CC BY-NC. See the fonds description, note on Terms governing use for more information on the CC license.

In a very small number of cases (e.g. UNS 1976 Unnumbered 01), a non-SFU photographer created the images and SFU does not own copyright; where applicable, this is noted at the file level.

In a very small number of cases (e.g. UNS 1976 Unnumbered 01), a non-SFU photographer created the images and SFU does not own copyright; where applicable, this is noted at the file level.

Finding aids

In 1984 the Archives worked with SFU's Computing Centre to created an automated photo index on the university's mainframe computing service. Archives staff input descriptive data found on the contact sheets into a centralized database, the scope of which encompassed the photos covered by this series, as well as photos created by the Instructional Media Centre (F-18-1) and The Peak (F-17-1). It is not clear who continued data entry after 1984 (Archives staff or unit photographers or both). Around 1990, the database was discontinued and the data exported to a standalone FileMaker database transferred to Archives. Photographers, however, also received similar FileMaker databases and continued indexing their own contact sheets. This data was also eventually transferred to Archives along with the sheets and negatives.

Around 2012, the Archives consolidated all this legacy descriptive data into its internal Archives Information System (AIS) database to facilitate searches for reference inquiries. The data, however, was only accessible in the Archives' reading room. In 2022 the Archives began a project to import this data directly into the AtoM descriptive record (along with digitized images of the contact sheets), a project that remains in progress at the time of writing (Feb 2022). Legacy index data has been mapped over to the Scope and content note at the file level for individual contact sheets. The descriptions should be used with caution, as the index did not always use consistent subject terms and spelling errors may occur.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Large sets o contact sheets and negatives – maintained in a similar way, with similar numbering systems – were also created by the Instructional Media Centre / Learning and Instructional Development Centre (series F-18-1) and The Peak (series F-17-1); see links below.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected. Digitization of contact sheets, however, remains in progress; images and descriptive data will be uploaded when ready. For born-digital photographs (the successor to this series), see F-61-1-5 (materials not yet processed).

General note

Some of the original negatives and / or contact sheets may be missing (were not transferred to Archives). This is noted where applicable at the file level.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

RAD July 2008 edition



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

February 2022: sub-series created, replaces previous sub-series 1-3 (Richard Dancy)

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

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