This fonds contains photographs, moving images (as yet unprocessed) and textual material documenting Rosemary Gilliat's early years (pre WWII), and her private life and professional career in Canada. Included is her 1960 trip to the Eastern Arctic - primarily to Frobisher Bay and Cape Dorset - during the summer months which include; colour transparencies and films (silent) documenting: unloading of supply barge; James Houston and the Eskimo Art Co-op and artists; modern Inuit life; whaling, seal hunting and char fishing activities. Also of note are the trips Rosemary made across Canada along the Trans Canada Highway and St. Lawrence Seaway (1954); Notre Dame Convent, Sherbrooke Quebec (1957); commercial work for Seagrams, in Scotland and Norway House; Aklavik (R.C. and Anglican Mission Hospitals) and Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton; Ceylon (Sri Lanka); Neuchatel, a junior college for Canadian students in Switzerland (1956). Also of note is a scrapbook created by Gilliat which contains tear sheets from the publications her work appeared in, as well as several larger format (larger then 8x10) b&w photographic prints of her work (1957-1963). The photographs from her childhood are primarily in the form of photo albums, which document her life at boarding school and family vacations. There is a 1947 map of Canada which Gilliat used to trace her various trips across Canada on, which is a very useful tool in helping to date her photographs.
Gilliat Eaton, Rosemary, 1919-2004: Rosemary Eaton was born Rosemary Cassandra Gilliat in England August 20, 1919 and spent her early childhood on her father¿s tea estate in Ceylon, what is today known as Sri Lanka. At the age of 6 she was sent to Geneva, Switzerland to live with her grandmother and attend a French primary school, and then an English language boarding school for ¿expat¿ children. At age 16, she was sent to Germany to learn German by staying with a Herr Professor biologist in Freiburg on the Rheine River, during which time she was able to get work as a photographer for book illustrations. Her father had arranged her schooling in hopes of preparing her for the role of ambassador¿s wife. After completing school, she moved to London and lived with her brother Peter (confirm). According to Rosemary, she had had an interest in photography since the age of 8 when she received a Brownie Box camera for her birthday, and was able to learn some darkroom skill privately. She apprenticed to a London commercial and portrait photographer not long after arriving. She was sent out of London when the bombing started in September 1940, but was able to still photograph, getting a few jobs with press agencies. Rosemary¿s German language skills came in handy when after hearing a radio call for German speakers to join the W.R.N.S. (Women¿s Royal Naval Service); she volunteered for the Royal Navy. After receiving training to be a WT and RT operator, she was posted to listen in on the E-boats attacking costal convoys and served time at the hot-spot at Dover as well as Bone, near Tunis. When the war ended, Rosemary began a commercial photography course in London. After a job in a fashion and commercial studio, she got a job working with Bill Brandt, where she was able to work on magazine photography and darkroom skills. She accompanied Brandt on many projects during the late 1940¿s and early 1950¿s - including the East End of London and the Thames river patrol. She also began freelancing for the Sunday Observer newspaper, with her first job being completed by bicycle in Dover and Cornwall. She also provided illustrations for history and architecture books. During 1949 and 1951, Rosemary spent time in Sri Lanka visiting her brother who was working there at the time, and photographed extensively for her own interest as well as for a UK agency and ¿The Times¿ educational supplement. Hearing from family friends from Switzerland about Canada, Rosemary emigrated in 1952, arriving in Quebec City on the SS Arosa Kulm. She went to stay with her friends in Ottawa, and her first job was at a department store, Murphy Gambles on Sparks Street, but her first photographic assignment was with ¿Capital Press¿ in Ottawa. She worked as a freelance photographer from 1953-1964. Her first big assignment was for HBC¿s The Beaver, photographing Dawson City. During her freelance career she not only worked for ¿The Beaver¿, but also put photo stories together for Weekend magazine, Star Weekly and Macleans, and had photographs accepted by the Department of Northern Affairs and the National Film Board. She favored Rolleiflex, Exakta and Pentax cameras. She did her own processing and enlarging of b&w photographs. Most of her work was for reproduction in magazines or books, so bright prints were essential and straight prints from her negatives reflect the difference in the initial shot and the finished product. Aside from photography, Rosemary was a passionate outdoors woman. She was an avid cross-country skier and maintained at small cottage in Gatineau Park called ¿Shilly Shally¿ which was a hub of activity for visitors to the park. A large portion of the Gilliat-Eaton fond contains photographs of activities at the Shilly Shally. It was in Gatineau Park that she met Mike Eaton, a noted arctic oceanographer, and they married in 1963. In 1965 the Eaton¿s moved to Cole Harbour N.S. when Mike got a job at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Rosemary continued to work as a freelance photographer, working for the NFB and the Canadian Geographic magazine. Rosemary¿s photographic activity was curtailed by ill health (she fell while sick with the flu in 1963, which lead to damage of her inner-ear, and caused her problems thereafter). She was an ardent environmentalist and formed a committee to protect the Salt marsh which stopped plans to dump sewage into it. This committee later developed into the Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Society (for which she became the president), which in turn founded the local Farm Museum. Rosemary also used her photographic skills to document Cole Harbours history. By the time of her death in 2004, she was known locally as a nature photographer, and a portion of the Salt Marsh Trail is named Rosemary¿s Way in her honour.