Digitization at the Archives of Manitoba

The Archives of Manitoba, including the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, makes digital copies of archival records for the purposes of preservation and access. These digital copies will now be made available through the Archives’ Keystone database. Search Keystone to find digital copies of photographs, textual records, maps, audio recordings and more! New content will be added regularly.

The Archives creates digital copies of archival records in order to increase the accessibility of our records through our website. The Archives is committed to digitizing a broad sampling of the subject matter and various media represented in our holdings.

  • The Hudson's Bay Company Archives has 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. Find out more about Hudson's Bay Company Archives Microfilm Digitization.

The Archives of Manitoba has also begun to digitize records for the purpose of preservation. Audio recordings, films and videos are particularly vulnerable to degradation over time. Currently, the Archives is focusing its digital preservation efforts on audio records.

Learn more about our digitization program through our Frequently Asked Questions:

+ What records does the Archives digitize?

The holdings of the Archives are vast and cannot all be digitized. Several factors are considered when records are being selected for digitization, including:  accessibility, demand, fragility and interest to remote communities.

+ Will all records be digitized?

No. The Archives of Manitoba has a vast number of records and it would be impossible to digitize them all.

+ Does the Archives of Manitoba have technical standards for digitizing archival records?

Standards for digitizing records have changed over time and so not all of our records have been digitized to the same standard. As of 2012, more consistent technical standards were adopted and implemented by the Archives of Manitoba. For more information, read a summary of our current equipment and working standards for digitizing photographic records. Please contact us if you want further information about digitization standards at the Archives of Manitoba.

+ Does the Archives of Manitoba enhance or alter images of archival records?

We have altered the records as minimally as possible. It is our goal to present an accurate as possible reflection of the physical record which a researcher might view in the Archives Research Room. Alterations are limited to compensation for the affects of the scanning or digitizing process. Any exceptional alterations which change the appearance of the record, as compared to the original, will be noted.

+ Are original records destroyed once they have been digitized? What happens to original records once they have been digitized?

No, original records are not destroyed after digitization. The original record has information that cannot be transferred to a digital format – the type of paper, ink, texture, etc. might be of interest to a researcher. Digital assets that are not properly maintained, are corrupted or are destroyed cannot be recovered.

+ What if I have comments, suggestions or feedback about which records will be digitized by the Archives of Manitoba?

We would love to hear from you! All comments are reviewed by our digitization committee and will be taken into consideration for future digitization planning. Due to the long-term nature of the digitization planning process, at this time we are unable to respond to requests to digitize particular documents and place them on our website. However we are happy to provide copies to help in your research activities. Read more about our Copy and Reproduction Services.

+ Can I use any images found on your website?

Records contained on this database may be used for the purpose of research or private study in accordance with the Copyright Act. Clients must receive written permission to use copies of records for publication, exhibit, and film or for any purpose other than research or private use. Visible credit must be given to the Archives of Manitoba or the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives as holders of the original records. Please see our Terms Governing Copying, Reproduction and Use for more information.

+ Can I have a high resolution version of an image I saw on your website?

Yes, it may be possible to acquire a high resolution version of an image on our website. Please contact us for further details.

+ I am looking for a low resolution image of a record I think you have but I can’t find it on your website. Can you email me a low resolution scan of the image I am looking for?

Unfortunately, unless the image has already been scanned and uploaded to our website, we cannot scan specific records on demand. Please visit Copy and Reproduction Services for other options.

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