HBC Heritage Services maintains a collection of company newsletters for reference purposes. While they are important artefacts, they are also invaluable as sources of information. They provide a unique look at the policies, happenings and atmosphere of the stores at different times throughout the history of the Company.
Please note that our series of newsletters is not complete. To request information about particular holdings, please complete the attached request form.
If you have copies of newsletters from any of these companies, and are interested in donating them to our collection, please Contact Us.
Most of the major companies that are part of HBC's history had at least one staff publication sometime in their history and in some cases there were several. HBC itself is a good example. In 1920, its 250th anniversary, the Company launched its first corporate newsletter, The Beaver. It was originally subtitled "A Journal of Progress" and dealt mainly with items of interest to those associated with the Company. In 1944, it broadened its appeal and became "A Magazine of the North" containing many articles not related to HBC. Larger stores had their own newsletters, e.g.: The Bay Breeze (Edmonton); The Bay Window (Victoria), and The Bayonet (Winnipeg). The Northern Stores were served by the Moccasin Telegraph.
While it is difficult to assess the relative importance of these newsletters at the time of their creation, today the value of all of these documents is great. They permit a glimpse of the past and provide a much more candid view than contemporary corporate documents. They illuminate working conditions in stores and the degree of social interaction among the staff while providing insights into the values and issues of the day.