The records in the MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. fonds span from 1866 to 2002. They represent the records of the three major predecessor companies, - Powell River Company; Bloedel, Stewart & Welch; and H.R. MacMillan Export - as well as records of the amalgamated corporations - MacMillan& Bloedel; MacMillan, Bloedel and Powell River; and MacMillan Bloedel Limited. Each of the original predecessor companies had a distinctive function, Powell River Company was a pulp and paper operation focused on the manufacturing of newsprint paper; Bloedel, Stewart, and Welch was a logging company whose main activities included acquiring timber lands and harvesting timber; H.R. MacMillan Export was a lumber trade and export company. When H.R. MacMillan Export and Bloedel, Stewart, and Welch joined in 1956 to form MacMillan and Bloedel Ltd., and then when Powell River Company joined in 1960, the resultant records of these amalgamations reflected all of the previously separated functions, and evidence the vertical integration of MacMillan Bloedel Ltd.
Records subjects include all aspects of the private Forestry industry, including: acquisition of title, licences, and leases to land, timber, and water rights; mapping, inventorying and cruising forests; building and maintaining access to timber resources via land and water; methods of harvesting timber, disposing of slash, and reforesting previously forested areas; methods of processing timber to make lumber and wood products, including pulp and paper; studies and reports on wood products ,the lumber trade and national and global markets; management of personnel and relations with labour unions; acquisitions of companies in allied industries; marketing of wood products; and responding to shifts in economy, public perception, British Columbian government legislation and industry regulations, and the legal recognition of the land and water rights of First Nations.
The records primarily relate to and originate from British Columbia, though some records are directly related to the creators’ relationships with, forestry operations on, and concerns in other nations and regions including; Florida and Alabama in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and China, Southeast Asia and South America.
Records in the fonds have been divided into six separate sous-fonds to reflect the corporate body they originated from: MacMillan Bloedel Limited sous-fonds, Powell River Company sous-fonds, H.R. MacMillan Export sous-fonds, Bloedel, Stewart, and Welch sous-fonds, MacMillan and Bloedel sous-fonds, and MacMillan, Bloedel, and Powell River sous-fonds.
Within each of these sous-fonds records are further arranged into series, subseries, and in some cases sub-sub series to reflect the creating body and specific record type.
Record types consist of a wide variety of textual records including correspondence, meeting minutes, annual reports, ledgers, studies, tax records and workers’ compensation records, timber cruise reports, marketing materials, manuals, transcripts of narrative histories, financial records, news clippings, daily journals, receipts, contracts, and more. Non-textual records include individual photographs and photograph albums documenting individuals and business processes in the Forestry industry, as well as over 1,000 maps, primarily of British Columbia, and audiotapes, sound-recordings, films, ephemera and artefacts.