Hudson's Bay Company is proud to be a strong supporter of history. If you are a casual researcher please bear in mind that the most effective way of obtaining information about us remains through your local library, as well as the internet. As a starting point we encourage you to consult our online bibliography, which includes useful websites, as well as the Frequently Asked Questions.

The Hudson's Bay Company Archives at the Archives of Manitoba, the Manitoba Museum and all the other institutions holding HBC related material should be consulted when your research is extensive or specialized and time is not a factor.

As a result of the 1994 Gift to the Nation, ownership of the Hudson's Bay Company collection is divided between several institutions that are independent from one another. The Manitoba Museum is now responsible for a very precious ethnological collection of aboriginal artefacts while the Hudson's Bay Company Archives (HBCA) is the recognized repository for the Company's famed fur trade records. In 2007 HBC made its first donation of records to HBCA since the original transfer in 1994. Regularly scheduled transfers of inactive records in the future will ensure that HBC's 20th century activities are represented in this UNESCO recognized collection. View a more exhaustive list of institutions owning Hudson's Bay Company material.

Hudson's Bay Company Heritage Services maintains four collections: fine art, reference, artifacts and images.

  • The Art collection is divided into a number of broad categories: e.g. portraits, calendar art, and Inuit art.
  • The Reference Collection includes a varied assortment of primary and secondary materials, most notably our collections of The Beaver magazine and other company newsletters, annual reports and catalogues.
  • The Artifact collection consists of all three-dimensional objects of a historical nature owned by the Company. It is mainly composed of private (or house) brand items, retail goods and other artefacts of the business - essentially the "tools" of the trade: scales, cash registers, adding machines, etc.
  • The Image Collection contains all the still photographs related to HBC in direct custody of HBC Heritage Services.

In addition to the various collections we are responsible for, HBC Heritage Services also collects oral histories from various sources: retirees having interesting or eventful careers with HBC or any of the our acquired companies; unusual or interesting customer experiences; stories from the North.

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