Title and statement of responsibility area
Centre for Rupert's Land Studies fonds
General material designation
- Sound recording
- Textual record
- Records in Electronic Form
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Centre for Rupert's Land Studies
Physical description area
117 compact discs (sound recordings, mp3)
2 textual file lists
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Archival description area
Name of creator
The Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies (CRLS) at the University of Winnipeg (UW) was established in 1996 as the successor body for the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives Research Centre (1984-1985), renamed as the Rupert’s Land Research Centre (RLRC) (1985-1996). It functions as a membership-based organization promoting and facilitating the study of the history of Rupert’s Land from 1670-1870, especially Indigenous and fur trade history, through documentary publishing, biennial colloquia, interdisciplinary research, and the Dr. C. Richard Harrington Fellowship. The Centre is managed by a Director, who is appointed by and reports to the Vice-President (Academic) of UW, and an Advisory Council of 12 members. From 2004-2011, the first Director, Dr. Jennifer S.H. Brown, held a Canada Research Chair (CRC) within the CRLS, and in 2012, it received a North West Company endowment. Along with McGill University, it publishes the Rupert’s Land Record Society series, and has participated in other collaborations as well, such as the Omushkego Oral History Project with Louis Bird from 1999-2005, which resulted in the Our Voices website (www.ourvoices.ca) and the publication “Telling Our Stories: Omushkego Legends & Histories from Hudson Bay” by Louis Bird (Jennifer S.H. Brown, Paul W. DePasquale, Mark F. Ruml, eds. With contributions by Roland Bohr, Anne Lindsay, and Donna G. Sutherland. Broadview Press: Peterborough, ON, 2005).
As the University of Winnipeg Library is responsible for maintaining the Our Voices website, this material was transferred to the University of Winnipeg Library for preservation and backup purposes by the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies in the early 2000s. The Library later deposited the material with the Archives for safekeeping. The recordings were rehoused into archival boxes, placed in backlog storage, and assigned the number BL-156.
Scope and content
This fonds contains master copies of approximately 80 oral history recordings, copied to compact disc, made by Louis Bird, an Omushkego (Swampy Cree) storyteller, as part of the Omushkego Oral History Project at the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies (CRLS) (1999-2005). These CDs contain a subset of the stories that Bird first began to record in 1965 in an effort to preserve and maintain the history, language, and traditional knowledge of the Omushkego. They include a wide range of oral traditions and stories as told to him by Omushkego elders from his home community of Winisk, Ontario. They were recorded, digitized, and disseminated online to the public through the Our Voices website in collaboration with the CRLS in Winnipeg, assisted by a Canadian Heritage grant from the Canadian Culture On-line Program (CCOP) in 2003. These CDs are the University of Winnipeg Library’s backup copies to help maintain the Our Voices website. The fonds also contains two paper copies of the CD file list.
The fonds contains 117 700 MB Sony CD-Rs, with sound files in .mp3 format. Requires a CD-ROM drive. Some of the CD cases are in poor condition.
Immediate source of acquisition
Centre for Rupert's Land Studies
The donor has identified CDs as either CCOP or Web, and arranged them according to their own file numbering system, which includes some overlap and duplication.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script note
Some Cree words have been written in English script - there are no Cree syllabics present.
Location of originals
The original audio recordings are held by Louis Bird in Peawanuck, Ontario. The Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies holds the original master digital recordings.
Availability of other formats
The recordings on these compact discs are accessible online, along with English transcriptions, through the Our Voices website: http://www.ourvoices.ca/index/ourvoices-browse-action. The Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies also holds backup copies on CD and hard drive, as well as paper copies of the English transcripts.
Restrictions on access
As these recordings are preservation copies, access is restricted.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright to the recordings is held by Louis Bird.
There are two paper copies of the file list in Box 1.
Transcripts for these recordings (16.002) have been donated to the University of Winnipeg Archives.
The Jennifer S.H. Brown fonds (MSS 336 (A11-17)) at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections contains correspondence with and other notes about Louis Bird and the Centre for Rupert's Land Studies collaboration (1998-2006).
The Centre for Rupert's Land Studies at the University of Winnipeg also maintains original project notes and other documentation regarding the Omushkego Oral History project.
Further accruals are possible.
The following publication was based on the stories in the recordings: Bird, Louis. "Telling Our Stories: Omushkego Legends & Histories from Hudson Bay" Jennifer S.H. Brown, Paul DePasquale, Mark F. Ruml, eds. With contributions by Roland Bohr, Anne Lindsay, and Donna G. Sutherland. Broadview Press: Peterborough, ON, 2005.
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Centre for Rupert's Land Studies (Subject)
- University of Winnipeg (Subject)
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Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Rules for Archival Description (RAD)
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Created by Samantha Booth, February 2016
Revised by Brett Lougheed on March 8, 2016
Language of description
Script of description
Dr. Jennifer S.H. Brown (Feb. 2016)
Dr. Roland Bohr (Feb. 2016)