Fonds 4 - John S. Archibald and Associates Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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John S. Archibald and Associates Collection

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on content.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1908-1912, 1917-1930, 1941, 1948-1957 (Creation)
    Archibald, John S., 1872-1934

Physical description area

Physical description

292 architectural drawings
cm of graphic materials and textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Smith Archibald (1872-1934) received his early architectural training in the office of William Maclntosh in his native town of Inverness, Scotland. In 1893 he emigrated to Canada and found employment at the firm of Edward Maxwell (1867-1923) in Montreal, working as a draughtsman and assistant to Maxwell. Archibald stayed at the firm until 1897 when he formed a partnership with another former Maxwell draughtsman, Charles Jewett Saxe (1870-1943). This partnership continued until 1915 at which time Archibald began to practise alone. He designed a variety of structures including a number of stations and hotels for the Canadian National Railway; he designed several sports buildings including the Montreal Forum, a number of schools, churches, commercial buildings, and hospitals, as well as residential buildings in Montreal and Kingston. Noteworthy among his many projects is the Masonic Memorial Temple in Montreal (1928). Upon his death in 1934, Archibald's practice was continued by his son Ian T. Archibald (1903-71) and Hugh Percival Illsley (b.1896). They were later joined by Francis Orr Templeton (1904-72) to form the firm of Archibald, Illsley and Templeton which practised architecture in Montreal until 1950.

John Smith Archibald (1872-1934) reçut ses premiers rudiments de formation en architecture au cabinet de William MacIntosh, dans sa ville natale d'Inverness (Ecosse). En 1893, il émigre au Canada et trouve de l'emploi dans le cabinet d'Edward Maxwell (1867-1923) à Montréal où il est dessinateur et adjoint de Maxwell. Archibald quitte ce cabinet en 1897 et s'associe à un autre dessinateur de Maxwell, Charles Jewett Saxe (1870-1943), association qui se maintient jusqu'en 1915. Par la suite, Archibald poursuivit sa carrière seul. Archibald a dessiné un grand nombre de structures et notamment des gares et des hôtels pour la société Canadien National; il a également dessiné plusieurs immeubles à vocation sportive dont le Forum de Montréal, bon nombre d'écoles, des églises, des immeubles commerciaux et des hôpitaux, de même que des immeubles résidentiels à Montréal et à Kingston. Signalons, parmi ses multiples projets, le Temple maçonnique de Montréal (1928). À son décès en 1934, le cabinet d'Archibald fut repris par son fils lan T. Archibald (1903-1971) et par Hugh Percival Illsley (né en 1896). Quelque temps plus tard, Francis Orr Templeton (1904-1972) se joignit à eux pour former le cabinet d'Archibald, Illsley et Templeton qui a pratiqué l'architecture à Montréal jusqu'en 1950.

Custodial history

Hugh Percival Illsley gave the collection to the CAC circa 1976.

Le matériel a été remis à la CAC par Hugh Percival Illsley en 1976.

Scope and content

The fonds contains architectural drawings and textual records documenting Montreal projects by the architect John Smith Archibald as well as the various firms with which he was associated, including Saxe & Archibald, Archibald & Illsley, and Archibald, Illsley & Templeton. The architectural projects documented in the fonds include hotels, clubs, office and commercial buildings, homes, railway stations, churches, and schools.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Following the arrangement in the CAC Guide, the architectural drawings and papers have been described separately. The architectural drawings are arranged according to the architectural firm. The papers (including project and operational records) are arranged into four series.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

For conservation reasons, drawings in the CAC are grouped and stored separately. An artificial system has been imposed on these items; however, for the remaining material the objective has been to keep the original order intact whenever possible. Series are analysed and identified or, if necessary, created artificially. Each container has a call number representing this intellectual structure. For example:
CAC = Canadian Architecture Collection
4 = John S. Archibald
B = B Series: Postcards
3 =Box #3
. 3 = 3rd item in the box

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Associated materials


General note

For further information, see the CAC's publication, John S. Archibald and His Associates: A Guide to the Archive=John S. Archibald et ses associés: Guide du fonds. Montreal: Canadian Architecture Collection, Blackader-Lauterman Library of Architecture and Art, McGill University, 1990. Also see Irene Puchalski. An Analysis of Four Building Types by John S. Archibald, Architect (1872-1934). M.A. Thesis. Montreal: Concordia University, 1991.

Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez consulter la publication de la CAC intitulée John S. Archibald and His Associates: A Guide to the Archive = John S. Archibald et ses associés: Guide du fonds. Montréal : Collection d'architecture canadienne, Bibliothèque Blackader-Lauterman d'architecture et d'art, Université McGill, 1990. Voir aussi Irene Puchalski. An Analysis of Four Building Types by John S. Archibald, Architect (1872-1934). Thèse de maîtrise. Montréal: Université Concordia, 1991.

General note

A list of works by John S. Archibald and his associates, furnished by H. P. Illsley, is available in the Guide referenced above.

Alpha-numeric designations

The CAC number assigned to the architect John S. Archibald is CAC 4. His associations with other
architects are represented by a decimal number:
CAC4.01 = Saxe & Archibald
CAC4.02 = Archibald, Illsley & Templeton
CAC4.03 = Archibald & Illsley
Supplementary numbers are then added, giving the researcher additional information about the original contained in the archive, the order of the file in the container and the order of the item in the file.
CAC4.01/002003/ 1 would stand for:
CAC = Canadian Architecture Collection
4 = John S. Archibald
.01 = & Saxe
002 = 2nd original container
003 = 3rd file in the container
1 = 1st item in the file

The identifier found here on each file record of the fonds is the unique reference number that identifies each architectural projcet.

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