3312 Wax phonographic cylinders – one of the most significant collections of its kind in Canada
3+ million Over 3 million artifacts and specimens
Information About the Collections
The Canadian Museum of History archival collection has extensive holdings of unpublished documents, photographs and audio-visual material and is a major research centre specializing in anthropology, archaeology, Aboriginal and Métis peoples,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 kilometers of shelf space, date from the 1860s to the present.
The photographic collection encompasses over one million images from the end of the 19th century to the present day. It illustrates research activities, artifacts, exhibits, special events and architectural views.
The Canadian Museum of History is mostly known for its important collection of historical photographs of Canadian Native people among which you can find photos of Inuit individuals taken by ethnologist Diamond Jenness, of photos of totem poles and West Coast Aboriginal peoples.
The collections 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 MPEG/AVI formats.
The Library’s collection covers subjects ranging from ethnology and archaeology through to Aboriginal Peoples and all aspects of history, folklore, multiculturalism, material culture, postal history, as well as museology. The collection is comprised of more than 60,000 books, over 2,000 journal and magazine titles, of which 450 are current subscriptions, all Museum publications dating from 1910 to the present day and a unique collection of rare books.
Finally, the artifact collection is comprised of over 3 million artifacts such as archaeological specimens, aboriginal artworks and artifacts, folk art, furniture, glass, porcelain, textiles and much more.