Enlightened Zeal: The Hudson's Bay Company and Scientific Networks, 1670-1870

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Discusses the role of the Hudson's Bay Co., a joint stock company that engaged in the fur trade in central and western Canada, in scientific networks. HBC encouraged staff to support scientific endeavors, such as sending specimens to London and US museums, to recording weather and astronomical data, to assisting scientific explorers and cartographers. Binnema discusses what motivated HBC to cultivate an image as a virtuous patron of the sciences. He places the HBC in the nexus of two emerging historical trends - capitalism studies and network integration. The study includes discussion of HBC's relationship with the Smithsonian's United States National Museum, especially the roles of HBC's Bernard Rogan Ross, and the Smithsonian's Spencer Fullerton Baird, and Robert Kennicott.


  • Kennicott, Robert
  • Ross, Bernard Rogan
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Hudson's Bay Company
  • North West Company
  • United States National Museum
  • Meteorological Project


Smithsonian History Bibliography


Review on H-Net, July 2015, http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=43361

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu




  • Scientific expeditions
  • Cartography
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Astronomy
  • Kennicott Expeditions
  • Meteorology


  • Canada
  • North America

Physical description

Number of pages: 474; Page numbers: 1-458

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