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Archives & Rare Books • Seagram Museum Library Collection

The Seagram Museum Archives

Queen and Kings Plate winners whisky bottle label

The archival materials donated by The Seagram Museum were acquired from a number of sources, through purchase and donations from individuals and from other offices of The Seagram Company, particularly from offices within Seagram's Waterloo plant. The archives collections of The Seagram Museum were initially established in 1970 at LaSalle, Quebec and until 1982 functioned as the Seagram Information Centre, whose mandate was to acquire, arrange and make available to company employees all historical and contemporary records pertaining to the beverage alcohol industry and The Seagram Company in particular. These collections were moved to Waterloo in 1982. A significant donation of material from the home of Joseph Edward Frowde Seagram, grandson of the founder Joseph Emm Seagram, was made in 1982, and a further group of material from his home was later purchased from another source.

The portion of The Seagram Museum archives donated to the University of Waterloo falls into four distinct groupings. The first of these is records of The Seagram Company's Waterloo plant, from its beginnings in 1857 as Granite Mills to its purchase in 1928 by Distiller's Corp. Ltd., owned by Samuel and Harry Bronfman. The second group consists of archives relating to the Seagram family. These are fragmentary but represent a beginning in documenting an important local family, and contain correspondence, wills, ephemera, vertical files and photographs relating to the family and to the local area. The third group is a collection of documents relating to the history of beverage alcohol, documents which were donated or purchased and kept for their topical interest. These include manuscripts, clippings, ephemera and articles on the wine trade, prohibition, bootlegging, temperance and distilling. The fourth group consists of records of the Seagram Museum Library and Archives, documenting book and archival purchases and donations from 1982 to 1995.

Sources consulted:

Brown, Lorraine. 200 Years of Tradition: the Story of Canadian Whisky. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, c1994.

Seagram, J.E.F. History of Seagram's '83' (speech notes).

Seagram Museum Archives biographical and historical files.

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Last Updated: June 3, 2005