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Fonds F1787 - David Thompson fonds

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David Thompson fonds


  • Microfilmed 1958 (originally created 1790-1825) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

9 microfilm reels

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

David Thompson, 1770-1857, noted explorer, fur trader and mapmaker, was born in London. He joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1784, and in 1790 studied surveying and mapmaking with the HBC's official surveyor. In 1792, he was asked to find a better route from Hudson Bay to Lake Athabasca. Unhappy with HBC support for his surveys, he joined the North West Company in 1797, and over the next two years mapped its posts and connecting waterways. In 1799, he became a trader with the NWC, and by 1806 had risen to partner. From 1806 to 1811, with the aim of extending the fur trade, he explored and surveyed the area west of the Rockies, including the Columbia River to the Pacific. He married Charlotte Small, a fur trader's daughter, and they had 13 children. He retired to eastern Canada in 1812 with his wife and family. He then completed maps of his surveys, and later in life wrote a narrative of his explorations. For more biographical information, see David Thompson : Fur Trader, Explorer, Geographer / James Kimmond Smith. - Toronto : Oxford University Press, 1971.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Purchased from the Department of Public Records and Archives, Government of Ontario, 1960.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of diaries of travel and observations in western Canada.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The originals are in the Archives of Ontario.

Existence and location of copies

The journals have also been published in David Thompson's Narrative of his Explorations in Western America, 1784-1812 / edited by J.B. Tyrrell. - Toronto : Champlain Society, 1916.

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Notes area


M 1220 and M 1223 are partial copies of the microfilm and should be deaccessioned.


Microfilm-Thompson, David

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Wednesday, October 03, 2018




Accession area