Collection consists of an automatic photobooth, and material related to its original function. Designed by David McCowan and patented on May 21, 1929. The collection includes vintage articles and advertisements, photographs of the booth and members of the McCowan family, the booth itself, along with related accessories.
The collection consists of a large number of studio portrait photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in carte-de-visite or cabinet card formats. There is a large collection of landscape and industrial imagery dating from the Victorian era to the 1960s. The collection also comprises many vernacular photographic albums, good examples of glass and metal photographic processes including cased daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. The fonds is comprised of the following 8 series: Portraits (sub-series for Groups and Celebrities), Vernacular Photography (amateur snapshots), Landscapes and Industry (sub-series for Slides), Albums, the A.T. Orr collection and a Miscellaneous group of images which were generally created in mixed media.