Literacy, Literature and Libraries in the Fur Trade,

p. 44: However fortunately for me I have dead Friends (my Books) who will never abandon me, till I first neglect them. [Daniel Williams Harmon at Fort Alexandria in 1803.]

p. 44, books were sent by company for their long struggle “to Promote Virtue and Discourage Vice.”, but there were also the private libraries of traders.

p. 45: Many of the North West Company’s posts also contained libraries of sorts. Forts Dunvegan, Alexandria, and Chipewyan are all mentioned by Daniel Harmon as repositories of books. Most of them, like the books at Hudson’s Bay Company posts, were probably part of private collections originally, though some may have been sent out by the company itself. The merger of the Northwest and HBC also helped form the basis of post libraries.

p. 47: Fort Vancouver had a library by the mid 1850s (hardly Arctic).

Picture caption: Interior views of the restored Men’s House and Big House (governor’s residence at Lower Fort Garry) reflect the social divisions that existed between HBC servants and officers. Prior to c. 1821 reading was mainly the activity of the officers of the fur-trade companies. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, due to factors such as the establishment of formal post libraries, reading materials were more accessible to fur-trade employees of most ranks.

p. 49, York Factory library, established by Rev. William Mason and including a great deal of religious matter, opened 1 Nov 56 with 133 volumes plus publications of the Religious Tract Society: May it be a means of creating a thirst for the knowledge of eternal things. See McTavish for description in 1889 when it had 1900 volumes. “That library was my best friend” (McTavish p. 61).