Rare, historic photographs of Louis Riel and Manitoba, taken in the 1860s and 1870s, were found amongst civil war memorabilia at a recent auction in Australia.

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A famous print shows Louis Riel (centre) surrounded by councillors from the Metis Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia. (University of Manitoba)

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The rare photos were shown to the Manitoba public for the first time on Friday at the University of Manitoba. (Tiar Wilson/CBC)

The photos, eight of them, are now in part of the archives and special collections at the University of Manitoba. They were shown to the Manitoba public for the first time on Friday.

One shows Louis Riel and a number of his councillors who joined him as part of the Métis Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia.

"It is likely the earliest print of this well-known image, dating somewhere around 1869 and quite possibly taken by photographer Ryder Larsen, according to the U of M.

The photos, which provide a glimpse into what the Red River settlement looked like, are known as cartes de visites — a type of small photograph patented in Paris, France, in 1854.

Among them are images of Ojibwa mourners in a graveyard near Lake of the Woods, Man., and a "traffic jam" on dirt tracks at Portage and Main in 1872.

"These eight cartes des visites are important acquisitions for the province," Shelley Sweeney, head of the U of M's archives and special collections stated in a news release.

The images and more information about them can be found on the U of M website link at the side of this page.