The Archives is housed at the University of Winnipeg. The founding denominations of the Church were instrumental in creating the colleges which, in turn, became the foundation of the University. The Presbyterian Church of Canada established Manitoba College in 1871. In 1884 the Methodist Church of Canada established Wesley College which found its permanent home in 1894 at 515 Portage Avenue, the site of the present day University of Winnipeg campus. Following Union in 1925 the two colleges operated cooperatively as The United Colleges. In 1938 they united into one institution: United College. The College achieved university status in 1967. Under the terms of the University of Winnipeg Act, The United Church of Canada General Council appoints ten members to the Board of Regents.
In the development of the Canadian West the history of Church and community are inexorably linked. As well as documenting the work of the Church within its own institutional boundaries, the holdings of the Archives provide an important key to understanding the social and cultural development of Manitoba and the Northwest.
The Archives exists to remember, keep, and hand on the story of God’s working in and through the people of the United Church of Canada … to bring renewed life, meaning and understanding to the story of our Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario and the All-Native Circle Conference, their congregations, ministries, and people.
The United Church of Canada Archives acquires, preserves and makes accessible the permanently valuable records created by the Church and its antecedent denominations within the geographical boundaries of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, the records of conference level administration of the All Native Circle Conference, its Keewatin Presbytery, and the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre. The Archives also collects the records of ecumenical initiatives and the private papers of clergy and lay persons who have played a significant role in the life the Church. Records date from 1868.