Leningrad ladies

photographs taken by E. Philip Collier in Leningrad, 1967


by Dan Collier (son), April 2005
revised June 2005, December 2005, October 2007

These slides were exposed during Philip Collier's journey to Leningrad to attend a conference called "International Symposium on Floods and Their Computation." The date of the conference was August 16 to 22, 1967 according to records of the proceedings brought back by Philip Collier.

The slides will be described in the most probable order of exposure. The Leningrad subjects were recorded on three rolls of film that were processed and mounted into sets stamped "Sep67T6", "Aug67T1", and "Sep67T7". Although the ordering of the date-stamps could be taken as evidence of an additional trip to the USSR, the late Marie Collier asserted there was only one.  (She also believed Moscow was included in the August itinerary. Evidence to support this belief is missing or nonexistent.) The "Sep67T7" set begins with ten subjects of Expo '67 in Montreal. A fourth set of slides stamped "Aug67T7"; and not described here depict subjects in Washington DC, Expo '67, and Ottawa, in that order. To the writer's knowledge Philip Collier made two trips to the Expo, one with the family and another with Marie Collier only. Since the Expo exposures at the beginning of the "Sept67T7"; set were still inside the camera when it was brought to Leningrad, the Expo journey of Philip and Marie probably took place during the first half of August just before the departure to Leningrad.

Therefore prima facie the first film to be exposed was the last to be processed. This anomaly may be accepted as long as it is not assumed the films were processed in the order in which they were exposed. Assuming the films were posted to Kodak in separate mailers after the return from the USSR, on or before the Labour Day weekend, a high volume of processing work or a delay in the mails could account for the anomaly.

Philip Collier's passport was originally issued in 1962 and expired on June 26, 1967 less than two months before the conference. It was renewed at an unknown date to extend its validity to June 28, 1972. At that time the Canadian government still allowed passports to be renewed, although in no case was a passport valid for more than ten years following the original date of issuance. There is no record whatsoever in the passport to document a trip to the USSR, nor any passage through transit points. Before he died, Philip Collier told his son-in-law he was given special diplomatic documents to enter the USSR, but did not say whether he also took his passport, which would ordinarily have been required to transit European airports. It could be hypothesized that he did bring his passport and expressed his wish to Soviet border officials that it not be stamped, so that he would not experience difficulties at United States border stations where officials might be aroused by his contacts with Soviet Russia; but this is insufficient explanation for the total absence of border endorsements.

Philip Collier visited London while in transit either to Paris (1965) or Leningrad (1967) and possessed an Underground map as proof; unfortunately Marie Collier lost the map and the event cannot now be dated. (The writer has a vague memory of the map's cover design and if permitted to inspect archived maps could conceivably rule out a 1965 visit.) On the other hand, a direct flight to Leningrad from, say, Montreal would obviate the transit points. Russian Aeroflot aircraft commonly used Canadian airports for technical stops. In 1965 the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) certified Pulkovo Airport for international flights and enabled commercial trade between Leningrad and Western cities. The writer speculates that direct services other than those provided by Aeroflot were not extended to Montreal for many years after 1965, and review of newspaper archives may confirm this. It is difficult to imagine the Canadian government flying its representatives over the Atlantic on Aeroflot when its own carrier, Air Canada, could take them as far as London or Paris. Philip Collier probably made at least one stopover in Western Europe.

Street names were determined from a variety of sources and reflect both Soviet and post-Soviet usages.

Leningrad slides

Leningrad Roll 1

Leningrad Roll 2

Leningrad Roll 3


Zeiss Ikon Contessa (mfd. circa 1960) with fixed wide-angle lens, rangefinder focus, and selenium light meter with exposure computer and two-position light stop


Kodachrome 35-mm transparencies in cardboard slide mounts bearing the "peelback" orange and yellow Kodak logo, speed possibly ASA 64 (ISO 64)

resources in brief

St. Petersburg Insight City Guide (Singapore: Discovery Channel / APA Publications, 2005)

Leningrad (contemporary tourist literature)

Photo albums created with Web Album Generator




www.google.ca (language tools)


Click here for Dan Collier's original file