Tips on How to Search for Companies’ Archival Records

Have you come upon an old stock certificate and wondered if the company is still in existence?

A very good starting point is the FP Survey, Predecessor & Defunct. This book provides information on changes to companies, as well as on those that are no longer in existence. It is also helpful in determining the date of incorporation of a company, the jurisdiction of incorporation (i.e. federal or provincial) and the status of a company (e.g. dissolved).

The actual stock certificate often indicates whether the company was incorporated under federal or provincial legislation.

If the company in question was incorporated under federal legislation, you can use Library and Archives Canada’s Archives Search to see if we have files on the company as part of the Corporations Branch (RG95) records. These records consist of files relating to companies which were incorporated, amalgamated, and dissolved between 1867 and 1973. It is possible to order copies of these files, but keep in mind that some of these can be voluminous.

You can also search Industry Canada’s Corporations Canada database for more recent company information. If your company was incorporated at the provincial level, Industry Canada provides a handy list of provincial registrars. A few jurisdictions offer free company databases (others may charge a fee) that provide information on the status of a company.

If your certificate is from a mining or oil company, you could ask your local library about these sources:

Canadian Mines Register of Dormant and Defunct Companies, compiled, printed and published by Northern Miner Press Limited. Toronto: Northern Miner Press, c1960. 419 p. AMICUS No. 1715558
Canadian Mines Register of Dormant and Defunct Companies. Supplement, compiled, printed and published by Northern Miner Press Limited. Toronto: Northern Miner Press, 1966- . ISSN 0068-9300. AMICUS No. 13231254
Canadian Mines Handbook. Toronto: Northern Miner Press. Maps. 19 cm. ISSN 0068-9289. AMICUS No. 89851
The Financial Post Survey of Mines. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter. ISSN 0071-5085. AMICUS No. 104992
The Financial Post Survey of Oils. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter. ISSN 0071-5093. AMICUS No. 34629
FP Survey, Mines & Energy. Toronto: Financial Post. ISSN 1486-4266. AMICUS No. 18927856

Good luck with your research!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s