Founded by Royal Charter in 1670, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) is the oldest chartered trading company in the world. Meticulous records were kept, leaving a legacy of information of tremendous significance documenting the growth and expansion of the Hudson's Bay Company in the vast territories of Rupert's Land, through the fur trade and exploration and the later development of a retail empire.
The records of the Hudson's Bay Company were donated to the Province of Manitoba in 1994. They form part of the holdings of the Archives of Manitoba and are administered by a distinct division, the Hudson's Bay Company Archives. In addition to the records of the Hudson's Bay Company, the HBCA has a significant collection of private records which includes the records of related and/or subsidiary companies (including the North West Company) and individuals.
The HBCA's holdings include:
In addition, the HBCA Library holds an extensive and growing collection of published works related to the history of the HBC and/or based on research in the HBCA.
Hudson's Bay Company Archives records are described in the Keystone Archives Descriptive Database, in Online Finding Aids and in paper-based finding aids in the Archives Research Room. For more information, see also Arrangement and Description of Records in HBCA.