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Gibb family fonds (P075)

1820-1928. - 210 cm of textual records. - 17 photographic images.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Born in England, Benaiah Gibb (1755-1826) came to Montréal in 1774. The next year, he started B. Gibb and Co., tailors. He retired from the business in 1815 and was succeeded by his sons, Thomas and James Duncan, who along with Joseph Kollymer, formed the firm of Gibbs and Kollymer, tailors. By the 1840s, another son, Benaiah Gibb (d.1877), had established himself as a tailor with the company name of B. Gibb and Co. By 1870 the firm was known as Gibb and Company, and operated as tailors and haberdashers. In the late 19th century the family firm was being run by Alexander, Edward Munro and Lachlan Gibb, descendants of the first Benaiah Gibb's brother. Members of the Gibb family in England continued to run the family's tailoring business, B. Gibb and Sons, in London. The firm of Ware and Gibb, grocers, operated in Montréal from at least 1819 to 1824.

(Source: Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University: Private Papers at McGill University. McGill University Archives. 1985. Vol. 2, p.170.)

The best known of Benaiah Gibb's sons, also named Benaiah, had a passion for art. He collected 90 paintings and eight bronzes, and bequeathed them, along with a lot on Sherbrooke Street and a sum to be used for building a gallery, to the Art Association of Montreal (now the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.)

(Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography.)

Scope and Content:

The Gibb family fonds provides information on business activities and on the Gibb family. The fonds is divided into the series: Ware & Gibb, Gibb family, Gibb & Co., Letterbooks, Cutter's book, Ledger books, Account books, Order books, Purchase journals, Cash books, Inventories.

The photographic archives include: nine snapshots of the Gibb & Company storefront, decorated on the occasion of the coronation of George VI Windsor, in 1936. There are four 8 x 10" copies of a view of the Gibb & Company storefront, on Saint James Street, ca. 1925, and one 5 x 7" photograph of the shop windows, decorated for an unspecified occasion at the turn of the century. In addition, there are two 8 x 10" photographs of Saint James Street in 1929. There are also two snapshots of a tailor at work in London, England, in 1928, and a 19th century (1883 or later) carte de visite of the gravestone of Gibb and Johnson family members. Finally, the photographs include two copies of an 8 x 10" photograph of an advertisement for Gibb & Co. copied from an 1857 newspaper.