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The Most Visited Museum in Canada

with
  • 25,000Square Metres of Display Space
  • 295Seats in our IMAX® 3D Movie Theatre
  • 20,000Years of Human History Presented
  • 218,000Artifacts Accessible Online

About the Museum

Our Mandate:

“To enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.” (Canadian Museum of History Act)

The Canadian Museum of History welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year to its celebrated complex in the heart of the National Capital Region, making it the country’s most-visited museum. With roots stretching back to 1856, it is one of Canada’s oldest public institutions and a respected centre of museological excellence, sharing its expertise in history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies both within Canada and abroad.

In addition to its ongoing exhibitions, including the spectacular Grand Hall and First Peoples Hall, each year the Museum presents a number of outstanding exhibitions focusing on Canadian and world history and civilizations. These exhibitions include those developed by the Museum as well as many produced by other Canadian or international institutions. The Museum is also home to the Canadian Children’s Museum, a 500-seat theatre and a 295-seat IMAX 3D movie theatre. Online, the Canadian Museum of History presents a number of excellent virtual exhibitions, including the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Virtual Museum of New France.

Research activities are concentrated in the fields of history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies. The National Collection consists of more than four million artifacts, specimens, works of art, written documents, and sound and visual recordings. More than 218,000 artifacts in the collection are accessible in an online database.

Exhibition Galleries

The Canadian Museum of History has roughly 25,000 square metres of display space, spread over four floors in its Museum Building.

Visit the Museum Galleries

Museum Publications

Through our rich collection of publications, we hope to bring the Museum a bit closer to our fellow Canadians and to interested readers around the world.

Your History. Your Museum. Your Books.

Travelling Exhibitions

Find a travelling exhibition near you

Museums Act

The Museums Act begins with the following declaration:

“It is hereby declared that the heritage of Canada and all its peoples is an important part of the world heritage and must be preserved for present and future generations and that each museum established by this Act

a) plays an essential role, individually and together with other museums and like institutions, in preserving and promoting the heritage of Canada and all its peoples throughout Canada and abroad and in contributing to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians; and

b) is a source of inspiration, research, learning and entertainment that belongs to all Canadians and provides, in both official languages, a service that is essential to Canadian culture and available to all.”

As an amendment to the Museums Act, the Canadian Museum of History Act received Royal assent on December 12, 2013. Through the Canadian Museum of History Act, the Canadian Museum of Civilization was renamed as the Canadian Museum of History, and the Museum’s purpose was defined as being “to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.”

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