HBCA Digitization Program

Fort Nisqually and Puget Sound
This drawing of Fort Nisqually was done by Steve A. Anderson and is used with his kind permission

My book, The York Factory Express, IS available for pre-order through the publisher. Please use this page on his website to order: http://www.ronsdalepress.com/york-factory-express-the/

So this is what I am writing about this week: The Hudson’s Bay Company Archives has digitized some of its microfilm records, and you might like to know about this. They digitized 1052 reels of microfilm, “encompassing over 10,000 volumes of the pre-1870 records kept at almost five hundred Hudson’s Bay Company posts.

The digitized records include post journals, incoming and outgoing correspondence and accounts kept at individual posts…. These records include lists of servants, reports, engagement records, abstracts of servants accounts and minutes of council.

Go to this page on their website to find out more: http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/hbca_microfilm_digitization.html 

This is, of course, pretty interesting news, and they only completed the work in November 2019. Now for our West of the Rocky Mountains people, I have put together a sort of “catalogue” that will at least tell you what page, out of 112 pages, the information you want to access might be. Always remember, if you are looking for your ancestors, there are more places to look than just these I have in the list. 

So, anyway, you go to Keystone and enter PDF in the keyword field. You will get 112 pages of material, with 100 or so pieces of information on each page. Have fun!!!

Fort Nisqually Correspondence, 1850-1854, is on page 45 of this catalogue.

Flathead Post Journal, 1824-1825, is on page 49, as is: Fort Nez Perces Post Journal, 1831-1832; Spokane House Post Journal, 1822-1823; and Fort Vancouver Post Journal, 1825.

Fort Nez Perces Post journal [?], 1827-1829, is on page 82. Flathead River accounts, 1810-1811, is on page 92 Some Cowlitz Farm information is on p. 94-95. 

Snake River Expedition Journals, 1824-1832, is on page 95. Columbia District Correspondence, 1826-1860, is on page 95 and 96. The Fort Vancouver report, 1845, is on page 96.

Fort Nisqually Correspondence, 1826-1837, is on page 96, as is Fort Colvile Post Journal, 1830-1831 (and other items relating to Fort Colvile). Also on this page is another Flathead Post item; and a Fort George Post Journal along with some other items.

The link to the Fort Victoria Post Journals, 1844-1850, is on page 100, as are the Fort Victoria Correspondence Books. There is a varied lot of Columbia District reports, etc., on page 101. Fort Kilmaurs [Babine Lake] Post Journal appears on page 101, as does some Fort Yale correspondence, 1867.

The Fort Alexandria Post Journals, 1822-1867, are on page 101, as are the Chilcotin Post Journal, 1837-1840, and Sam Black’s Journal of 1824, including a letter written to Sam Black by George Simpson! (This is exciting stuff!). The Fraser Lake Post Journal, 1822-1824, is on page 102, and the Thompson’s River Post Journal for 1827 and 1846 is also on page 102. You may or may not know, but the 1846 section of the Thompson’s River district is Alexander Caulfield Anderson’s Journal for that year.

Fort Langley’s Post Journals and letter books are on page 102-103, and Western Caledonia Post Journal [McLeod’s Lake], 1823-1824, is on page 103. The 1824 McLeod’s Lake Post Journal is also there, as is the Fort McLoughlin Post Journal, 1833-1834. 

The Quesnelle letter book, 1867-1868, is on page 104, as is the Fort St. James post Journal, 1820-1856. The Fort Rupert Post Journal, 1849-1850, is on page 104 as well, and the New Caledonia District Correspondence are on pages 104 and 105.  Fort Hope, 1868, is on page 108, and miscellaneous Columbia District documents are on pages 109 to 112. 

Go break the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives website, everyone, and have fun doing it! This is my Happy New Year present to all of you. 

Copyright, Nancy Marguerite Anderson, 2019. All rights reserved.


8 thoughts on “HBCA Digitization Program

  1. Tom Holloway

    A quick dive into this digital archive shows that there is an amazing amount of varied and useful raw material for researchers. I commend HBCA for making this trove available, and thank you very much for spreading the word!