Title and statement of responsibility area
MacInnis AudioVisual Collection
General material designation
- Moving images
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Attributions and conjectures: Supplied by cataloguer.
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[ca. 1934-2004] (Creation)
- MacInnis, Joseph B.
[ca. 1934-2004] (Creation)
Physical description area
144 sound recordings
11 film reels
3 video reels
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Dr. Joe MacInnis, C.M. MD. FRCP. (Hon) LLD. (Hon), earned a medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1962 and was awarded a research position at the University of Pennsylvania to begin what would become his pursuit for the following three decades: the study of the physiology and psychology of men and women in undersea conditions. Between 1964 and 1970 he worked as the medical director of Ocean Systems Inc., the world's largest diving and underwater engineering company. In 1970, Dr. MacInnis participated in the research and writing of Canada's first national ocean policy. During this time, he initiated the first of eleven diving expeditions to study the systems and techniques needed to work safely under the ice in the near-freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean. In the next decade, his team would make more than 1,000 dives and construct the world's first undersea polar station, the Sub-Igloo.
In 1978 Dr. MacInnis led the team that discovered, explored, and filmed the HMS Breadalbane, a three-masted British barque crushed by the ice in the Northwest Passage in 1853. Located in 340 feet of water 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the HMS Breadalbane is the world's northernmost known shipwreck. Shortly after the discovery of the Breadalbane, Dr. MacInnis turned his attention to the most infamous shipwreck of all - the Titanic. He made two dives to the bow and stern of the Titanic between 1985 and 1991, and was co-leader of the two million dollar project to film the ship in IMAX format. In 2005, he joined James Cameron on a dive that produced a 90 minute live broadcast from some of the last unseen rooms of the ship.
Dr. MacInnis is involved in a number of community service projects that reflect the wide range of his interests, supporting both scientific and artistic ingenuity and the protection of the environment. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, the Queen's Anniversary Medal, the Admiral's Medal and the country's highest honour, the Order of Canada. He regularly lectures on topics of leadership and teamwork, and continues to publish on his underwater discoveries.
For additional biographical information, see www.drjoemacinnis.com
Scope and content
The collection consists of audio, video and film recordings made by Dr. Joe MacInnis and his team during his underwater dives from the 1970s to 2004. The bulk of the collection concerns the shipwrecks of the Titanic, the Breadalbane and the Edmund Fitzgerald. There are also many films that highlight deep sea ecology and oceanography, particularly hydrothermal vents and deep sea sharks. Most recordings in the collection consist of rough or unedited footage. The collection also includes television and radio programs on which Dr. MacInnis appeared and some video and audio recordings by MacInnis' friends and colleagues. There is a small selection of footage collected by MacInnis for research purposes, including footage of William Beebe and Otis Barton's deep sea dives in their revolutionary 'bathysphere' in 1934.
Immediate source of acquisition
The collection was donated to Ryerson University Library Special Collections in April 2005 by Dr. Joe MacInnis.
Due to the fact that most tapes in the collection have not been published, they are catalogued only after digitization. Tapes that have not been digitized are available in an inventory list.
Language of material
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Restrictions on access
Original material is currently not accessible in Special Collections. Digital copies are available for consultation.
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Copyright held by the donor.
A spreadsheet is available.
Generated finding aid
Further accruals may be expected.
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