Research and Collections

Archival Collections

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The Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives has extensive holdings of unpublished documents, photographs and audio-visual material and is a major research centre specializing in anthropology, archaeology, Aboriginal and Métis peoples, folklore, multicultural communities, social and political history, material culture, linguistics and museology in Canada. In addition, files which document the Museum’s history, exhibitions, collections and productions fall under the auspices of the Archives.
It houses a wide-ranging collection of archival records (such as field notes, letters, research reports, maps, conference papers, folk tales, legends and songs, musical transcriptions, sound recordings, films and videos). The collections, which take up 4 kilometres of shelf space, date from the 1860s to the present.
The photographic collection encompasses over one million images from the end of the 19e century to the present day. It illustrates research activities, artifacts, exhibits, special events and architectural views.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is mostly known for its important collection of historical photographs of Canadian Native people among which you can fin photos of Inuit individuals taken by ethnologist Diamond Jenness, of photos of totem poles and West Coast Aboriginal peoples.

The collection also store a variety of the usual traditional photographic formats like B&W glass negatives, lantern slides, B&W or color negatives, transparencies, photographic prints on their original supports along with an increasingly growing collection of digital images.

The audio-visual collection comprises more than 72,000 sound recordings and 18,000 films and videotapes representing more than a century of research at the Museum ; thousands of hours of interviews, songs, stories and other events on a variety of media from wax cylinders to MP3’s, from 16mm film to DVD’s.

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