‘Something everybody in Manitoba should see’: Historical maps on display at Archives of Manitoba

Hundreds of history buffs made their way through the Archives of Manitoba Friday and Saturday for the organization’s open house that featured an array of historical maps.

“These records really belong to the people of Manitoba,” said Kathleen Epp, keeper of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives. “We’re looking for ways to open our doors so that people can take it in without needing to come with a research purpose.”

The display included maps from the archives, with some dating back to the 18th century. It aimed to show the development of mapping across western North America and the Arctic in the 1700s and early 1800s.

“The oldest map that we have is from 1709,” Epp said. “It’s a Hudson’s Bay Company map that shows where the Hudson’s Bay Company was trading at that time.”

Epp said the maps help show people how the province evolved over time, down to bridges and neighbourhoods known to Winnipeggers today.

In honour of the City of Winnipeg’s 150th anniversary, the display also showcased several maps of Winnipeg, including one from 1911 that depicts Winnipeg Trolley Zones.

For some, the open house was an opportunity to learn more about the province’s history.

“This is something I think everybody in Manitoba should see,” said Meghan Fast, a Grade 11 history teacher at the open house. “Our story and our history and specifically how it relates to Indigenous communities too.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this up close where I can kind of like touch it and read it,” Fast added.

Archives of Manitoba said it plans to open its doors again soon and encourage the public to take a peak at another part of the province’s history.

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