Fonds Acc3218 - H. B. Sterling fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

H. B. Sterling fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of the fonds

Level of description


Reference code

CA PCA Acc3218

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


  • 1860-[192?], predominant 1893-1895 (Creation)
    Sterling, H. B.

Physical description area

Physical description

2 albums (241 photographs)

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

Sterling, H. B.

Biographical history

Henry Burton Sterling was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 10 October 1871. He was the son of architect David Stirling and Clara Dean Richmond Lea. [There is some inconsistency in the spelling of the family name but Sterling has been chosen as this was the name that both Clara and H.B. Sterling appear to have adopted following David's death in 1887.] David Stirling was born in Galashields, Scotland in 1822. He practiced his profession in Halifax and branched to Prince Edward Island where he and his apprentice, W. C. Harris operated a firm known as Sterling and Harris. It was in Prince Edward Island that he met and married, on 1 December 1869, Clara Lea, widow of John Lea. Their son, known as Harry, was born two years later. Clara Dean Richmond was born in Winterport, Maine in 1826 and was married first to John Lea with whom she had a daughter, Ella May Lea (!860-1958) who married Edward Sherbourne Blanchard, M.D. (1849-1917), Superintendant of Falconwood Hospital. Ella and Edward had two sons, Edward Sterling (Bone) Blanchard and Aubrey A. Blanchard. Aubrey drowned at the age of 23 in 1905 but E.S. Blanchard became a well-known architect in Charlottetown from the 1920s to 1950s.

Presumably Clara and "Harry" moved to Prince Edward Island some time following David's death as they appear in the 1891 census of Charlottetown. Harry Sterling became an electrician and is said to have worked for the P.E.I. Electric Light Company on Water Street close to his home. He was an avid amateur photographer with a keen eye for composition and concentrated produced primarily on the buildings and streetscapes of Charlottetown but also took some photographs of Summerside and other smaller communities across the Island. Some of his work appears to have been used commercially, for sale and in postcards and tourist brochures.

He disappears from Island records about the turn of the century. He appears to have moved to Ontario where he married Edna Mae Slaght and had at least one child David who was born circa 1907 and was still living at the age of 91 in 1992.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of two albums of mounted photographs by Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, photographer H.B. Sterling, taken primarily from 1893-1895 although there are some copy images from the 1860s. These images are mostly of Charlottetown and Summerside, Prince Edward Island, but contain some images of Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Quebec, as well as family portraits. These photographs fall into the following intellectual series:

Series 1: Charlottetown (including buildings, streetscapes, harbour and vessels)
Series 2: Summerside
Series 3: Other PEI communities and countryside
Series 4: Events
Series 5: Individuals and groups
Series 6: Non-PEI localities
Series 7: Sterling family photographs

Notes area


The physical arrangement of the images has been maintained to preserve the integrity of the albums

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Originals of the family portraits were returned to the owner

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access


Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication


Finding aids


Associated materials

Duplicates of these images and other Sterling images may be found in other fonds and/or collections. Some of the images are duplicates of lantern slides located in Acc2702/s23

Related materials


General note

Copy prints and photocopies of the images are located in the photograph binders in the Reading Room

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

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Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Level of detail

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

Accession area