Hudson's Bay House Library photograph collection subject files Help




Hudson's Bay House Library photograph collection subject files


Dates of Creation 


ca. 1860-1987


Dates of Accumulation 




Physical Description 


ca. 55,000 photographs (prints, negatives, transparencies)


Scope and Content 


Series consists of approximately 100,000 photographs including both black and white and colour prints, negatives, contact sheets, slides, and transparencies. The photographs were acquired by the library at Hudson's Bay House in Winnipeg between 1920 and 1987, primarily for use in "The Beaver" magazine, a Hudson's Bay Company publication, as well as for various promotional activities. The majority of the photographs are post-1900 but there are a number from the 1880s and 1890s, as well as a few from the 1860s. Also included are modern copy photographs of illustrations and drawings dating to as early as ca. 1600.

Photographs were donated by employees and readers, submitted by writers, and also submitted by professional and amateur photographers. Many of the photographs were specifically commissioned by the magazine from some of Canada's best known photographers.

This series provides a visual record of the HBC's activities throughout North America, although primarily across Canada, during the latter half of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century. There are also a number of images depicting the HBC's operations in London. The subjects represented in the photographs include a wide range of persons, places and activities of interest to the Hudson's Bay Company, such as HBC posts and stores, communities, individuals, ships, animals and landscapes. Additionally, there are photographs of drawings, paintings, sculptures, artifacts and textual records relevant to the HBC. Particularly extensive categories include ones dedicated to Aboriginal Peoples, to HBC employees, including employees of Morgan's stores and to HBC posts and retails stores, respectively.


Restrictions on Access 


There are no restrictions on access to these records.


Terms For Use and Reproduction 


Researchers are responsible for observing copyright legislation. Permission may be required for any form of publication or exhibition where records are not in the public domain.


Custodial History 


After having closed the Hudson's Bay House library to the public in 1985, the Hudson's Bay Company transferred these and other records kept by the HBHL library to the HBCA in 1987. In 1994, the HBC donated its records to the Province of Manitoba to be maintained permanently by the Archives of Manitoba.


Related Material 


This collection of photographs is similar to the Hudson's Bay House library photograph collection series and there is some crossover and duplication. The other series was not part of the same subject-based alphanumerical classification system


Availability of Other Formats 


Some records in this series have been digitized and can be viewed through the listings database.




The Library photograph collection was mainly organized by topic/subject and filed alphanumerically in order to adequately serve the needs of "The Beaver" magazine and the promotional department of the HBC. Some photographer's bodies of work were kept together and organized by the name of the creator, while others were separated and dispersed into subject folders. Some changes appear to have been made just prior to and just after the transfer to the HBC Archives, as some photographs were removed from the subject/topic grouping and arranged and filed based on the name of the creator.


Entity or entities that created these records

These records were created by the following Hudson's Bay Company entity or entities. Click on the name of the entity for information about this entity and other records it created.

1920-1987 :

Hudson's Bay House Library


How to proceed

Consult the listings database for location codes and digitized images of some of the records in this series.

Consult listings database for location codes.

This material is not available for microfilm loan.

View an online list of these records


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