David Courtney Milne was a fine art photographer and author of regional, national, and international significance. Born on 3 October 1943 in Saskatoon, he earned his BA in psychology from the University of Saskatchewan, and went on to study at the Brooks Institute of Photography, Pepperdine College, and the University of Minnesota. Milne had a dual appointment at the University of Guelph, where he was both a lecturer in the department of psychology and head of the Film Unit, from 1968-1970. He then returned to Saskatchewan, where he worked at the University of Saskatchewan’s Division of Audio-Visual Services and served as the director of the Saskatoon Cablevision Co-op. He made the decision to devote himself full-time to photography in 1975. Milne remained based in Saskatchewan, but photographed in all the provinces and territories of Canada, as well as in thirty-five other countries and on all seven continents.


Milne was a prolific author and his work has been widely disseminated through numerous publications and exhibitions. In addition to these (listed below), he contributed images to the several books (as well as numerous others through his stock agency representatives). His work has been in five solo and three group calendars, and used for the covers of at least 18 books (not including his own), 31 magazines/brochures/published reports, 20 CD covers and included in 14 CD-ROM/video productions. In addition, his individual prints, series, or mural images are represented in the permanent collections of 30 notable public and corporate galleries and educational institutions.

The Collection

The Milne fonds consists of over 486,000 original images in slide format, 52,000 in digital format, various prints including limited edition sets and exhibition prints, 2.9 metres of textual records, as well as audio, film and video, Milne’s reference library, his slide presentations, and a selection of equipment including a variety of cameras and lenses. A substantial portion of Milne’s work documents sacred spaces, specifically indigenous sites, throughout the world. The natural environment and society’s relationship to it was also a focus of Milne’s work, and the collection documents flora, fauna, and landscapes over a thirty-year period. Milne was the first photographer to have considerable success with books documenting the beauty of the prairie, and he remains well-known as the pre-eminent photographer of Saskatchewan. His work varies from the documentary to experimental, abstract, and fine art.