About the McGill Digital Archive
The McGill Digital Archive: Canadian Corporate Reports Project comprises historical annual reports from major Canadian corporations. McGill University’s Howard Ross Library of Management has what many regard as one of the oldest and most complete print collections of Canadian corporate annual reports. The collection, which traces many companies back to the 19th Century, consists of annual reports of approximately 2,000 Canadian corporations in all business sectors. Business and economic historians, as well as contemporary business researchers, find the library’s print-based collection to be an invaluable resource.
At one time, most Canadian corporations had a corporate library or archives that housed the firm’s annual reports and other corporate documents. However, changing business practices, corporate mergers, and the closure of many Canadian corporate libraries and archives has meant that the rich history of a large number of once-influential firms has been lost or now resides within the library or archive of a university. Because many university libraries - as is the case with McGill’s - have existed since the days when many Canadian firms were founded, they often remain the only repository for this type of information.
McGill University has developed a virtual archive of the Howard Ross Library’s holdings of corporate reports. This project serves to preserve the collection in perpetuity, and provides a unique web-based archive of primary materials related to Canadian history. The project is to be completed in phases: the first phase includes reports from the mid-1800s, up to and including reports from 1945. Once this first phase is complete, work will begin on digitizing post-1945 reports. Eventually we hope to provide online access to the entire collection.
The Mcgill Digital Archive: Canadian Corporate Reports Project is designed to dovetail with the SEDAR, Canadian Depository for Securities (CDS) Limited, electronic collection (www.sedar.com). The SEDAR collection includes reports from 1997 or later, and thus the Digital Archive Project will involve only pre-1997 reports. Available on this site are: digital images of historical corporate reports from McGill’s collection, holdings information for the collection, predecessor and successor information, and links to company websites. Please be aware that this site is a prototype, and as such contains a selection of reports from companies whose names begin with “A". In the coming months, additional digital images will be added. Search features will be added as well, including the capability to search within the texts of the images.