BMO's Heritage

Since 1817, Canada’s first bank has been helping customers make real financial progress and helping communities across North America grow and prosper. We invite you to explore the BMO Archives – a unique collection that traces the financial world’s progress over the centuries, and the people who shaped it.

Welcome to our BMO Heritage site

You can now explore our rich archival collection and discover how Canada’s first bank helped build a nation, communities thrive, and customers make real financial progress for more than 200 years.


Human resources ledgers

Learn more about our people. The BMO Human Resources Ledger Books, spanning the 1880s to the 1920s, have now been digitized. You can browse these files to get to know the people who served our customers and communities, and helped our economies thrive, over the years.

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Notman photo albums

Bankers are often community leaders, helping economies to thrive and businesses to grow. Browse this rare collection of historic, black-and-white photographs, and come face to face with the BMO employees who innovatively served our customers and communities between the 1880s and 1920s. Photos were taken at the studio of 19th century Montreal photographer William Notman, the first Canadian photographer to gain an international reputation for his work.

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Explore our exhibits

BMO’s archivists are always on the lookout to share intriguing stories from our heritage – and bring them to life again. Explore their latest finds in our virtual exhibits section.

Explore all exhibits

The contents of these collections may contain terms and descriptions that reflect the historical contexts and cultures of their creators. They may be deemed inappropriate and inaccurate within today’s public and community contexts.

Image: Street view photograph of Chicoutimi Branch, Quebec, 1925.