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Category Archives: HBC Collection

Shedding Light on the Darker History of Nonsuch

View of the stern of the ship and sails illuminated in a dark gallery.

I recently wrote a fun little article with some facts about Nonsuch for the local newspaper, but I thought we should take some time to dive a bit deeper into the darker history of Nonsuch.  Don’t get me wrong, like many Winnipeggers I have a sentimental attachment to this ship, but sometimes we need to take a step back and critically reflect on history.  The history of our beloved Nonsuch…

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Baychimo: The Adventures of the Ghost Ship of the Arctic

By Cortney Pachet, Collections Registration Associate, Human History and former Assistant Curator for the HBC Museum Collection when Amelia was on parental leave. The Hudson’s Bay Company has a long nautical history, from the Nonsuch to countless canoes and York Boats to steamers, paddlewheels and schooners. While the majority of HBC’s travel and transport took place on water, we also see a pattern of the Company’s vessels meeting untimely ends…

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Legacies of Confederation: The Document that Shaped Canada

2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday, and to commemorate this anniversary all seven museum curators collaborated on the creation of an exhibit that really highlights what was happening here in Manitoba at the time of Confederation, and the effects of this political shift.  Our Legacies of Confederation: A New Look at Manitoba History opened last week, and runs throughout 2017 so you’ll have plenty of time to check it out. As…

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Planes, Trains, Automobiles, & A Ferry: My UK Adventure

This summer I spent three glorious weeks exploring museum collections, historic ships, archaeological and historic sites, and local cuisine in England and Scotland.   Here’s the stats on this trip: 8 cities 22 museums & galleries (including 4 historic ships) 15 heritage sites (including archaeological sites) 2 17th century pubs (for Nonsuch Gallery research!) 380,504 steps (according to my iphone health app) 10 days of train travel 1 roundtrip ferry to…

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200 Years Later: The Battle of Seven Oaks

Yesterday (June 19th) marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Seven Oaks, the boiling point of years of conflict (not always violent) between the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company in the Red River settlement region. Like any historic event, isolating the details of June 19th, 1816 is a disservice to both parties involved, so I strongly encourage readers to take a look at the resources listed at the end…

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Beadwork Then and Now

One of the really fun parts of my job is when I get to interact with other researchers and assist them with their projects as they use the collection.  One of these lovely individuals is Monique Olivier, Assistant to Heritage and Education Programs at Festival du Voyageur. Monique has been learning how to do beadwork, and she asked if she could use one of the dog blankets in the HBC collection for…

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Christmas at York Factory

Yes, I still have York Factory on the brain.  I have many more photos and stories from our trip to share but those shall have to wait until the new year.  Instead I thought I’d share some of my recent thoughts on Christmases past, what was Christmas like during the fur trade? Fortunately for me the HBC Archives has started digitizing some of the post journals, saving me a long trek through…

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The Smell of History

It’s fairly obvious based on my current job and previous work experience that I love all things old.  I love the smell of old books, antique furniture, and apparently historic sites. One of the goals for my recent trip to York Factory National Historic Site was to capture the site for our visitors with a videography team, but in the planning it seems I forgot about the other senses. A lot of…

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Guest blog by Jacinda Sinclair, contract Cataloguer and long-time TMM volunteer. In Northern Exposure Parts 1-3, Amelia wrote about her experiences excavating. Now I’m going to cover what happened to her artefacts once she got them back to the museum. Cataloguing is a 7 step process. Step 1 is sorting. To start, I order the artefacts by matching them to the field records made by Amelia’s team. Artefacts found in…

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Journey to York Factory

My last stint of fieldwork this summer had me checking off a box on my bucket list, I finally made it to York Factory!  Why did I want to go there so badly?  Well, not only is it one of the most important Hudson’s Bay Company sites, it was also the entry-point for early immigration to our province and beyond, I knew I had to see if for myself. In partnership with Parks…

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