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Hudson's Bay Company Archives

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Hudson's Bay Company Archives - Contact Information
Hudson's Bay Company Archives

Frequently Asked Questions

What can the HBCA do for me?

Will the archives staff conduct research for people unable to visit the archives?

We will conduct limited general research and provide referrals to professional researchers as necessary. See our Reference Inquiries page for more information.

Does the HBCA charge for its services?

Limited research will be done at no cost. There are some charges associated with obtaining photocopies, microprints and photographic reproductions. For more information please refer to Copy and Reproduction Services.

What about copies?

The HBCA will provide photocopies of documents unless the originals will be harmed by the photocopying process (Ex. bound volumes, fragile and oversize material). In such cases, if microfilm copies are available, microprints can be provided. Researchers can also order photographic reproductions. Please see Copy and Reproduction Services for more information.

Can I borrow microfilmed records through inter-library loan?

Microfilm can be borrowed through a library, archives or institution which has a 35 millimetre (mm) microfilm reader and is willing to take responsibility for the reels. To find out how to borrow microfilm reels, please refer to our Microfilm Program. Microfilm copies of records (to 1904) are also held at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa and the National Archives in Kew, England.

Can I buy microfilm reels?

Unfortunately, the HBCA does not currently have a system in place which would allow researchers to purchase their own microfilm reels.

Are tours of the HBCA available?

Yes! Guided tours of the archives are arranged by appointment. See more information on Tours.

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What can I find on the Website?

Where can I search for HBCA records?

Records of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives are not available in an electronic format, which means you will not be able to view the actual documents online. However, by visiting Keystone, you can search descriptions of HBCA holdings.

Where can I find images on your website?

Records of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, including photographs and documentary art, are not available in an electronic format, which means you will not be able to view images online. You can read descriptions of some of our Still Images holdings by searching Keystone. Visit Special Media to find out more about HBCA photographs and documentary art.

I have used the search option on your website, why can't I find what I am searching for?

The HBCA webpage is part of the larger Government of Manitoba website and the search field in the upper left corner of the screen is for the entire Manitoba site. If you would like to search the HBCA website for a particular subject or topic, please proceed to our Site Map for guidance. If you would like to search for HBCA records, please visit our online descriptive database, Keystone.

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How can I find out more about my family history?

How can I get information about an ancestor who worked for Hudson's Bay Company?

Find out more about researching your family history using the records of the Archives of Manitoba, including the HBCA. The HBCA has many valuable resources which will help you navigate our holdings and locate the information that interests you. You can search Keystone, an online searchable database which houses detailed information about the records of the Archives of Manitoba, including the HBCA. You can conduct research on your own at a library near you as described in our Microfilm Program. There are also online finding aids for some HBCA textual and cartographic records, which include location codes and microfilm reel numbers. Additionally, you might consult the various information sheets and biographical sheets compiled by staff. Finally, feel free to send us an inquiry as described on our Reference Inquiries page.

Can the HBCA help provide proof of Treaty/Status rights?

No. The Department of Indian Affairs does not recognize our documentation as "proof" of Indian status. In many cases, our records are able to provide evidence of mixed or Indian ancestry. Unfortunately, the personnel documents do not always differentiate between Indian and Métis, and we are not usually able to identify tribal origin.

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What about the stuff in my attic?

Is HBCA interested in acquiring new material?

Yes. Our mandate is to acquire any archival records of all media relating to the Hudson's Bay Company, its employees or establishments. See HBCA Holdings more information on the records we hold. Please contact us for more information.

I own an artifact (a blanket, gun, token etc.) that I believe to be connected with Hudson's Bay Company. Who should I contact?

If you want to know the monetary value of the item, or if you are considering donating it to a public institution, please contact The Manitoba Museum or a reputable dealer. The HBCA can provide general information about HBC trade goods (blankets, guns, etc.) and direct you to sources for further research.

How old is my Hudson's Bay Company blanket and is it valuable?

We receive numerous inquiries about HBC point blankets, which are more common than people usually realize. They are still available for purchase today, in fact. HBCA staff are unable to assess the age and value of them. However, our HBC Point Blanket pdf image information sheet will provide you with information detailing their history, and our Bibliography on HBC Blankets information sheet contains a select bibliography of more detailed works.

I have a set of prints or a calendar that I believe was created by the Hudson's Bay Company. Can you tell me if it's valuable?

Unfortunately, the HBCA is unable to give information as to the current market value of documentary art. We would suggest contacting a local used/rare book or print dealer, or gallery. Internet auction sites might provide insight into potential market value. The HBCA can, however, give information about certain works of art created by or connected with the HBC. For example, please view the following information sheets about two art portfolios commissioned by HBC: Historical Paintings of the Hudson's Bay Company pdf image and Five Ships in Canadian History pdf image.

More questions?

Please contact us.

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