LONDON, ON – Labatt Breweries and Western University have announced the launch of a new virtual exhibit that offers an online look at highlights from the Labatt Brewing Company Collection, one of the largest and most valuable corporate archival collections in the world.
Donated to Western and Museum London in 2011, the archive features tens of thousands of documents, photos, and other artifacts and memorabilia from Labatt’s long history, and has been valued at $8.3 million.
The online exhibit, which is available to view now, features “400 images from the Labatt collection, plus 100 images of London/Canadian life,” as well as “47 audio-visual elements, including interviews, radio and TV ads.” Compiled and digitized by a team of students in Western’s Library & Information Science and Public History programs, the site also features insights and commentary from several Canadian historians.
“It’s much more than the history of Canada’s most venerable brewery,” said Robin Keirstead, University Archivist at Western Libraries, in a press release. “It’s a multi-faceted view into events that shaped this country, from the ‘ordinary’ to the extraordinary: it’s a source of cultural, social, political, industrial, corporate and sports history that you simply won’t find anywhere else.”
One of Canada’s oldest and largest brewing companies, Labatt is celebrating its 170th year of business in 2017.