Important New Resource for Canadian Historians: Labatt Brewing Company Archival Collection

3 06 2011

Labatt Breweries of Canada has donated much its corporate archives to the University of Western Ontario, according the UWO’s website:

Until four years ago, the material Labatt had gathered since its founding – along with other materials acquired as a result of acquisitions of smaller Canadian breweries over the years – resided in thousands upon thousands of boxes, drawers and filing cabinets across the country.

Amongst some of the collection, the artifacts include John Labatt’s personal letter book (1883-1906) containing company correspondence; a brewery book (1884-1895) providing details of daily production and year-end summaries; a stereoscopic slide viewer (1950s) used to train staff to identify aluminum can defects; draft minutes of the first Board of Directors meeting (1911); and the certificate of registration of the ‘Blue’ trademark.

‘Project Dusty,’ as affectionately branded by Labatt’s, brought those disparate pieces together. The company, along with professional archivists, gathered, catalogued, itemized and organized virtually all its irreplaceable corporate documents.

With the help of professional archivists Labatt gathered, catalogued, itemized and organized virtually all its irreplaceable corporate documents. The materials illustrate the evolution of corporate governance and management models, and include market research; commercial advertising which mirrors Canadian cultural values and trends; research, technology and engineering materials related to brewing processes and innovations; and iconic images of corporate branding, packaging and memorabilia.

The Labatt Brewing Company Archival Collection is now stored and managed within the Archives and Research Collection Centre at The University of Western Ontario. Labatt also donated $200,000 to Western to assist in digitizing portions of the collection, which will help preserve some of the key content and make it more accessible.

Read more here.

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