Image: Dufour-Gosselin Wedding, SS. Peter & Paul Church, Lewiston, 1957
The Victor Labrecque Photographic Collection was acquired by the Franco-American Collection in 2002, after Victor Labrecque's death, through the generosity of his daughter, Pauline Moreau. The collection consists of some 5,000 negatives spanning more than 350 distinct events, of which the majority (approximately 200) are weddings.
Victor Labrecque was born in Lewiston in 1926 to French-Canadian parents, Louis and Marie (Samson) Labrecque. The youngest of 15 children, he was the only one of his siblings to be born in the United States. He taught himself photography while at St. Dominic High School, and was the photographer for the yearbook, L'Echo in 1945.
After graduation, he began work on a part-time basis as a professional photographer, working initially out of his home - his first darkroom was in a corner of a spare bedroom. Labrecque's wife, Irene, and children all helped out with the business. This enterprise grew into "Vic's Photo Service." In an era before widespread personal photography, "Vic's" had a brisk trade in weddings, Christmas parties, baptisms, funerals, bridal showers, anniversaries, and other important life events. The vast majority of the families represented are Franco-American.
The Labrecque Collection offers an insight into the world of Lewiston-Auburn's Franco-American community between 1947-1963. The photographs are particularly valuable for assessing middle-class family life and religious traditions, especially with regard to the Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council.
View the finding aid for the Labrecque Collection.
Reprints of photographs are available upon request.
Image: Victor Labrecque, Lewiston, c.1949