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The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education and exhibition.
The Museum is renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections, which serve as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world’s cultures.
The Autry National Center, formed in 2003 by the merger of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage with the Southwest Museum of the American Indian and the Women of the West Museum, is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry’s collection of over 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts, which includes the collection of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, is one of the largest and most significant in the United States. The Autry Institute includes two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K–12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine critical issues of society, offering insights into solutions and the contemporary human condition through the Western historical experience.
Located within the Department of First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University, the Bill Reid Centre is devoted to the study Northwest Coast art as the visual embodiment of a broad cultural development occurring since the end of the last Ice Age.
A major activity of the Centre is to visually document through photographs, drawings and other works, the depth and richness of Northwest Coast art in the hundreds of communities in which it was recorded and where it continues to thrive today.
The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. Only a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, with its own newly renovated subway station, the Museum is part of a complex of nineteenth-century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo.
The Burke Museum’s ethnographic collections are world renowned. Numbering over 42,000 objects and more than 50,000 archival records, the collections focus on the cultures of the Pacific Rim. The Northwest Coast ethnographic collection is the fifth largest in the United States, with approximately 10,000 items and includes the important early Swan, Eells, Emmons, and Waters collections, as well as the unmatched Blackman-Hall and Ottenberg contemporary silkscreen print collections, and the Steinman contemporary Northwest Coast sculpture collection.
The Burnaby Village Museum is a combination of heritage and replica buildings on a 10-acre site that represents at typical tram-stop community along the B.C. Electric Railway. Period costumed townsfolk welcome visitors and give demonstrations in the homes, businesses and shops. Popular stops include the blacksmith, the print shop, the gardens, the farmhouse and the General Store. Listen to the stories of Interurban Tram and take a whirl on the vintage carousel. Amenities include a gift shop, a restaurant offering light menu options and picnic tables.
The Burnaby Village Museum’s collection includes over 50,000 objects, ranging from items as small as a sewing needle to items as large as buildings, cars, and an interurban tram. A sample of items from the collection can be found at Heritage Burnaby".
The Museum’s permanent collection started in 1958 when the first Chilliwack Museum was opened in a room in the local police station. The founders of the historical society had deep roots in the community. Brothers Oliver Wells and Casey Wells were the grandsons of A.C. Wells who settled on a farm in Sardis in 1865. As amateur historians and anthropologists they left us with our foundation collection, biographies of early settlers, interviews with Sto:lo elders, oral histories from a wide variety of people and much more.
Their influence was profound and helped propel the museum and archives on a course that continues today.The holdings of the museum and archives have expanded greatly since those early days but the spirit of the Wells brothers still guides the staff in daily decision-making.
Since 1958 the Museum has moved several times. The current configuration has the Museum housed in the City’s former City Hall building while the object storage and Chilliwack Archives are housed in a municipally owned structure three blocks from the museum. The Museum and Archives are governed by the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society. The Board of Trustees are elected at a yearly annual general meeting. We dream of a new facility where the museum and archives can share the same roof.
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At the Glenbow Museum, intriguing stories from Western Canada connect with extraordinary art and artifacts from around the world. Combining a museum, art gallery, library and archives all under one roof, Glenbow boasts over a million artifacts and some 28,000 works of art in its vast collections and is one of the largest museums in Canada. Through a variety of dynamic programs and changing exhibitions and programs, and a broad collection of art, artifacts and historical documents, Glenbow Museum builds on a commitment to preserve our cultural and western heritage while simultaneously providing visitors with a glimpse of the world beyond.
The Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) is committed to the scholarly study of the material evidence of past cultures. The study of these materials is an essential part of the Laboratory’s responsibility to further knowledge of the past. The Laboratory also recognizes the rights of descendants and originating peoples and is committed to dealing sensitively and responsibly with the First Nations groups on the care and disposition of these materials.
The Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) is an autonomous research and teaching unit of the Department of Anthropology created by the late Dr. Charles (Carl) Borden (often referred to as “the father of B.C. archaeology”) in 1949. LOA is also actively engaged with public education, the curation of exisiting collections and frequent requests from B.C. First Nations and Bands for information about the collections and repatriation.
Since 1977 the Laboratory has occupied space in both the Anthropology & Sociology Building (ANSO) and the Museum of Anthropology (MOA). The ANSO building houses faculty offices and research areas, GIS laboratory, archaeological soil and midden samples, image collections, and field gear. LOA facilities located in the Museum (MOA) accommodate collections storage, the undergraduate teaching laboratory, the Archaeology Reading Room, and faculty research bays for analysis of collections. Collections include artifacts, field documentation, faunal comparative collection, and botanical comparative collection.
The Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) policies and procedures describe the handling of cultural materials and human remains in LOA’s care at all stages of collection, research, reporting of results, access, and repatriation.
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A unique forward-looking and thought-provoking museum. The McCord is a public research and teaching museum that preserves our collective past – over 1,440,000 objects, images and manuscripts, irreplaceable reflections of the social history and material culture of Montreal, Quebec and Canada – a true source of inspiration. The McCord reaches out to the world by exploring contemporary issues and engaging with communities at the local, national and international level to further the appreciation and understanding of our heritage.
MOA houses over 48,000 ethnographic objects (as well as 535,000 archaeological objects under the care of UBC’s Laboratory of Archaeology). The ethnographic materials derive from all over the world, including Asia, the Americas, Australia and the Pacific Islands, Africa and Europe. There are approximately 9,800 objects from B.C’s First Nations in MOA’s collections; we also house over 15,000 objects from Asia, over 6,700 textiles from around the world, over 5,000 coins from Europe and Asia, and over 6,200 paintings or works on paper.
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The Musqueam people have lived in our present location for thousands of years. Our traditional territory once occupied much of what is now Vancouver and surrounding areas. The name Musqueam relates back to the River Grass, the name of the grass is məθkʷəy̓. There is a story that has been passed on from generation to generation that explains how we became known as the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) – People of the River Grass.
“It was noted that in some periods the məθkʷəy̓ grass flourished, and in some periods it could scarcely be found. It was also noted that in some periods our people would flourish and in some periods the population would dwindle, perhaps by plague or war. It was in this way that we became known as Musqueam.”
We are traditional hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people and have descended from the cultural group known as the Coast Salish Tribe. Our people moved throughout our traditional territory using the resources the land provided for fishing, hunting, trapping and gathering, to maintain their livelihood. Today, the Musqueam people still use these resources for economical and traditional purposes.
Although a metropolitan city has developed in the heart of Musqueam territory, our community maintains strong cultural and traditional beliefs. Our community historians and educators teach and pass on our history to our people, which has always been the way of our people, to keep our culture and traditions strong.
Today our population flourishes and we are a strong community of over a thousand members. We live on a very small portion of our traditional territory, known as the Musqueam Indian Reserve, located south of Marine Drive near the mouth of the Fraser River.
The National Museum of the American Indian is the sixteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans. Established by an act of Congress in 1989 (amendment in 1996), the museum works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the Indian voice.
The museum’s extensive collections, assembled largely by George Gustav Heye (1874–1957), encompass a vast range of cultural material—including more that 800,000 works of extraordinary aesthetic, religious, and historical significance, as well as articles produced for everyday, utilitarian use. The collections span all major culture areas of the Americas, representing virtually all tribes of the United States, most of those of Canada, and a significant number of cultures from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Chronologically, the collections include artifacts from Paleo-Indian to contemporary arts and crafts. The museum’s holdings also include film and audiovisual collections, paper archives, and a photography archive of more than 300,000 images depicting both historic and contemporary Native American life.
The National Museum of the American Indian comprises three facilities, each designed following consultations between museum staff and Native peoples. In all of its activities, the National Museum of the American Indian acknowledges the diversity of cultures and the continuity of cultural knowledge among indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere and Hawai’i, incorporating Native methodologies for the handling, documentation, care, and presentation of collections. NMAI actively strives to find new approaches to the study and representation of the history, materials, and cultures of Native peoples.
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), located in Washington, D.C., USA, is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum complex and research organization composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo.
The Department of Anthropology at the NMNH cares for over 2 million cultural artifacts in its ethnology and archaeology collections.
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Nova Scotia Museum (NSM) is the corporate name for the most decentralized museum in Canada – 27 museums across the province, including over 200 historic buildings, living history sites, vessels, specialized museums and close to a million artifacts and specimens. These resources are managed either directly or through a unique system of co-operative agreements with societies and local boards. The NSM delivers its programs, exhibits and products to serve both local residents and tourists in Nova Scotian communities. Over 620,000 people visited last year, making it a huge part of the province’s tourism infrastructure.
Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has conducted more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world. Three gallery floors feature materials from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Canaan and Israel, Mesoamerica, Asia and the ancient Mediterranean World, as well as artifacts from native peoples of the Americas and Africa. With an active exhibition schedule, a membership program, and educational programming for children and adults, Penn Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind’s collective heritage.
The Pitt Rivers Museum was founded in 1884 when Lt.-General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University. His two conditions were that a museum was built to house it and that someone should be appointed to lecture in anthropology.
The Museum displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world. The General’s founding gift contained more than 18,000 objects but there are now over half a million. Many were donated by early anthropologists and explorers. The extensive photographic and sound archives contain early records of great importance. Today the Museum is an active teaching department of the University of Oxford. It also continues to collect through donations, bequests, special purchases and through its students, in the course of their fieldwork.
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The Royal BC Museum Corporation is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world. The museum was founded in 1886; the archives in 1894. In 2003 these two organizations integrated to become British Columbia’s combined provincial museum and archives, collecting artifacts, documents and specimens of BC’s natural and human history, safeguarding them for the future, and sharing them with the world.
Through research and education, we strive to broaden understanding about our province and inspire curiosity and wonder. We are passionate about sharing British Columbia’s story with the millions of visitors who walk through our doors and explore our web site each year.
Our archives, exhibits and galleries change and grow as our understanding grows, and we endeavour to share our knowledge in original and exciting ways. Each exhibit and gallery tells important stories about British Columbia and provides an engaging and thought-provoking window on the province’s past, present and future. Our archives provide a treasure trove of information for researchers and genealogists through the stories that are preserved here.
Numbering almost six million objects, the ROM’s diverse collections of world cultures and natural history make it one of the largest museums in North America.
The ROM is also the largest field-research institution in Canada with research and conservation activities that span the globe. From fieldwork to onsite laboratory work, Museum staff study artifacts and specimens to further our understanding of the collections and the world.
The Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology collects, researches and exhibits artifacts from around the world, with a focus on British Columbia. The Museum is affiliated with the Department of Archaeology.
A large and growing archive of images having to do with archaeology and ethnology is the basis of many of our virtual exhibits. If you have photographs you think the museum might be interested in, please contact Dr. Barbara Winter at [email protected] or (778) 782-3325.
The exhibits are created by students as part of the museum studies courses offered in the Department of Archaeology. Students study collections management, archaeological conservation and web exhibit design. Some of their work may be viewed on this site.
Archaeological collections arising from excavations and other research by faculty, staff and students are housed in the museum.
The Stó:lō Archives was established in 1996 by the Aboriginal Rights and Title department with a mandate to support and encourage all the Stó:lō to re-establish, protect and assert self-government through research, documentation and communication of Stó:lō rights and title. The Archives has collected and preserved thousands of documents, oral interviews, publications, maps and photographs which illustrate the history and promote the values of the Stó:lō.
Facilities associated with the SRRMC Archaeology program include the Material Culture Repository. The Repository houses cultural artifacts in a respectful manner and place. Cultural objects include a collection of Coast Salish baskets and many archaeological artifacts either collected during research projects or donated. These objects are held in trust by SRRMC on behalf of all Stó:lō.
The mandate of the U’mista Cultural Society is to ensure the survival of all aspects of the cultural heritage of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw.
U’mista Cultural Centre is one of the longest-operating and most successful First Nations cultural facilities in BC, founded in 1980 as a ground breaking project to house potlatch artifacts which had been seized by government during an earlier period of cultural repression. The return of the potlatch artifacts not only provided U’mista’s name (‘the return of something important’), and sparked a general trend toward repatriation of First Nations and cultural artifacts, it led to the creation of a physical facility and human resources infrastructure which have been successfully operated for close to three decades.
U’mista now operates a modern museum and cultural education facility in Alert Bay. Their operations include the museum, an extensive art gallery and gift shop, group tours, and presentations by dance troupes. The facility hosts international scholars, and supports researchers in a range of disciplines.
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