Herbert Geddes was a manager for G.R. Gregg and Company, importers and exporters, in Vancouver and Winnipeg. He was sent to Japan and was based in Yokohama between 1908 and 1918. Geddes was manager for Gregg and Company in Vancouver until the mid 1950s. He willed the glass slides to his nephew D. Boyce Gaddes.
The collection consists of photographic glass-plate transparencies depicting life in Japan, including scenery, street scenes, workers, farming, fishing, silk production, stone carvers, wood carvers, metal workers, potters, and artists. These "Yokohama photographs" were sold to foreign tourists between about 1868 and 1912, before cameras and postcards were generally available.