Visit this blog for regular posts about Your Archives: The Histories We Share throughout 2020. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

July 2020:

July 31, 2020

Manitoba and Climate Change: Investing in our Future, Report of the Manitoba Climate Change Task Force, September 2001 — Submission by Juliane Schaible, Senior Economic Development Consultant in the Department of Conservation and Climate

cover of report. The image of a closeup of a person's eye is overlayed over the geographic shape of the province of Manitoba. Clouds and sky are in the background.
Cover of Report of the Manitoba Climate Change Task Force
Archives of Manitoba, C 0004 Deputy Minister of Conservation office files,
GR9216, 260-3 Climate Change, S-10-8-15.

“The Government of Manitoba received advice from an eight person task force it charged with identifying local challenges and opportunities related to climate change.

“In 2001, Manitoba was amongst the first provinces in Canada and the first sub-national jurisdictions globally to reach out to citizens to explain climate change and to seek their input to address it.  This was important work in this province and in Canada that provided practical advice based on the experience of people throughout Manitoba and international expertise.”


Want to know more? The full Report of the Manitoba Climate Change Task Force (PDF) is available on the Clean Environment Commission’s website. Search Keystone for other records related to Department of Conservation and Climate, climate change, and the environment.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.


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July 24, 2020

Red River Settlement census, 1846 — Submission by Jackie Corrigan, amateur genealogist, blogger

“[I chose the] 1846 census entry for McMillan, William living with wife. 3 daughters under 15. 1 house, 1 stable, 3 horses, 3 mares, 3 oxen, 2 cows, 1 calf, 4 pigs, 1 plough, 1 harrow, 6 carts, 1 canoe, 8 acres.  Note that he is ‘to the plains’ meaning he is on the buffalo hunt.

handwritten ledger with list of names and census information for 1846
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second page of entry
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Entry for William McMillan, Red River Settlement census, 1846
Archives of Manitoba, Council of Assiniboia fonds, Red River census 1846-1847, P7537/4.

“Although I had discovered a lot of information about my great-great grandfather, seeing the words ‘to the plains’ was thrilling, and made his life more real to me.”

Want to know more? Search Keystone for other records related to the Red River Settlement, censuses, and family history.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.


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July 16, 2020

Legislative Building architect’s files — Submission by Rachel Mills, Acting Senior Archivist / Analyst, Government Records Office

“My selection for Your Archives has to be a record related to the construction of the current Manitoba Legislative Building. The story has everything: an international design competition at the height of Winnipeg’s boom, an impressive winning design, a political scandal, a Royal Commission, a World War, a general strike and a slightly scaled back version of the original 1912 plans whose construction was overseen by the original architect, Frank W. Simon, and which finally, officially opened in July 1920.



“The Archives of Manitoba holds many records related to the construction of the building, then known as the New Parliament Buildings (NPB) and related events. There are the original plans from the competition; correspondence, reports and other records in Department of Public Works series; records and exhibits from the Royal Commission; case files from the court cases against Premier Rodmond P. Roblin and Thomas Kelly, owner of the construction company who had the main contract to build the New Parliament Buildings; and thousands of architectural drawings which detail every part of the building.




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A portion of Legislative Building architect’s files, before archival processing.

“I am choosing something from another related series of records: Legislative Building architect’s files. These are records which were transferred to the Archives of Manitoba in the 1980s with a large number of architectural drawings (GS 0100, GR0331) but which, up until about 5 years ago, were mostly unprocessed. Several attempts had been made to list the records but there were questions about whether they were government records or perhaps records of the architectural firm of Simon & Boddington, who had an office in Winnipeg for a time after winning the design competition. Some of the records were also quite dirty and tightly folded or rolled. This left them in a kind of archival limbo for many years.




“As the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Leg Building loomed, the records came to our attention and became a priority. Our conservators cleaned and flattened the records that needed attention, a student listed the contents of the boxes and I began my research into Simon & Boddington and the construction of the New Parliament Buildings to determine who created these records and whether they were government or private sector records.



“I learned that after the political scandal, the Royal Commission, and the cuts and changes at what had become a very large Office of the Provincial Architect, Frank W. Simon took over the supervision of the construction of the building. He signed himself ‘Architect for the New Parliament Buildings’ on all his correspondence, submitted annual reports to the Minister of Public Works and received a salary from the government. I therefore determined these to be government records and created a new series called ‘Legislative Building architect’s files’ which was how the records had been identified when they were transferred to the Archives of Manitoba in 1984. I created an authority record for the Architect for the New Parliament Buildings, Frank Worthington Simon. When the records went online in our Keystone database, it felt like they had finally been put back into this fascinating story!



“Choosing one particular record from this series is difficult because there is so much of interest: correspondence with many different artists, tradespeople and companies; various inspectors’ reports (everything was very carefully supervised and inspected after the Royal Commission) and lists of plans and records used by the Royal Commission and in the various trials.



Letter from the Deputy Minister of Public Works, dated July 8, 1920, inviting Frank Simon, Architect, to the formal opening of the Parliament Building
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Archives of Manitoba, A 0273 Legislative Building architect’s files, GR13326, Government Correspondence, 8 July 1920, C-17-1-14 file 15.
Letter from Frank Simon to the Deputy Minister of Public Works, dated July 12, 1920, accepting the invitation to the formal opening of the Parliament Building
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Archives of Manitoba, A 0273 Legislative Building architect’s files, GR13326, Government Correspondence, 12 July 1920, C-17-1-14 file 15.

“Since I have to choose, I’m selecting the July 1920 letter from the Deputy Minister of Public Works, S. C. Oxton, on behalf of Premier T. C. Norris, asking Simon to attend the formal opening, and Simon’s response. They are not lengthy records but there is so much behind them. I try to imagine how Simon felt that this nine-year project, full of drama and war and strikes, was actually coming to an end.

‘It will give me much pleasure,’ he writes. ‘Will you kindly express to Mr. Norris my appreciation of his wish that I should do so.’”

Want to know more?  Search Keystone for other records related to the Legislative Building, architectural plans, and Frank W. Simon.  You can read a past blog about the construction of the New Parliament Building. You can also Visit Us in person at the Archives of Manitoba.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.


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July 10, 2020

Legislative Building architect’s files — Submission by Zenon Gawron, researcher

“Some of F.W. Simon’s architectural drawings have great visual appeal and it is the building’s centennial after all.”

Sketches of sculptures and carvings for Manitoba Legislative Building
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Sketches  of sculptures and carvings for Manitoba Legislative Building
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Sketches of sculptures and carvings for Manitoba Legislative Building
Archives of Manitoba, A 0273 Legislative Building architect’s files, GR13326, Sketches of carving and sculpture with envelope from Piccirilli Bros. (file no. 20), D191/3.

Want to know more? Search Keystone for other records related to the Legislative Building, architectural plans, and Frank W. Simon. You can read a past blog about the construction of the New Parliament Building. You can also Visit Us in person at the Archives of Manitoba.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.


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July 3, 2020

Hudson’s Bay Company’s 300th anniversary press kit — Submission by Joan Craig, Archivist, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, 1968-1973

“The Company celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1970 by commissioning the building of a replica of the 1668 Nonsuch at Appledore, North Devon, and by putting on an exhibition at Beaver House, the Company's London office, in June and July of 1970.

Cover of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s 300th anniversary press kit
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Nonsuch’ replica, 1970
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba, “The Beaver” magazine vertical files, “Ye Olde Hudson’s Bay Co. Press Kit, 1670,” 1970, H4-84-1-6.
Nonsuch’ replica, 1970.
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Cover of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s 300th anniversary press kit
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba, “The Beaver” magazine vertical files, “Nonsuch” replica, 1970, H4-84-1-6.

“In June Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the exhibition and were shown around by the HBC Governor, Viscount Amory. The visit concluded with the presentation to the Queen of furs. Several of the HBC London staff, including myself and Gwen Kemp, had the honour of being presented to the Queen.  Gwen Kemp had also worked in the archives department, probably from the late 1940's to 1974.



“The formal transfer of the Company to Canada took place on 29 May 1970 with granting by the Queen of two Charters, one in London and one in Ottawa.”


Want to know more? Search Keystone for other records related to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s 300th Anniversary.


Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.


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