Source: McGill University
Summary: Professional Development:In Pursuit of Adventure: The Fur Trade in Canada and the North West Company is a scholarly research site, which illustrates and documents, in part, the heroic age of the fur trade in Canada by examining the exploits of the North West Company and other Montreal-based fur trading companies at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. The story of the North West Company is closely tied to the evolving economic, geographic and political history of Canada and Quebec, especially after France seceded Quebec to Great Britain in 1763. At the core of this site are the full texts of thirty-eight manuscripts that are known collectively as the Masson Papers and cover the period ca 1790-1820. The patrimonial importance of these diaries is of the first order and provide important insights into the history of the North West Company and the fur trade in general.
Although the Masson Papers have appeared in print, first in 1889 and in subsequent editions, they appear here for the first time in a searchable full-text database. Of particular note is the fact, as is explained in the introduction to the Manuscripts, the transcription team has painstakingly produced what is in effect a new critical edition of the Masson Papers. This was no small achievement and this alone will be of enormous benefit to researchers.
To assist users of the site, particularly, students and the general public, we have included additional material including a specially commissioned history of the Fur Trade with special emphasis upon the activities of the North West Company, its evolution and eventual assimilation by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821. Additional online tools have been included: a chronology, a glossary, a selected bibliography and a list of related web sites. We have included, when appropriate, images and maps to enrich the site. The creators of the site envision In Pursuit of Adventure a project in evolution and new material will be added when time and resources permit.