Artifact Collections

Staff can provide general information about Museum's collections. For further inquiries:

  • Send an email to the Curator
  • Tel: 705-743-5180
  • Toll-free: 855-738-3755

Archaeological Collections

Clovis Point

The Museum has two noteworthy collections including the McGrath Collection of 1186 artifacts from across North America and the Brock Street Collection of 33 native burial goods (the physical remains and sacred items were repatriated and re-buried in 1990). The Museum is the custodian of an intact clay pot dating to about 1350 CE.



The Museum has a selection of First Nation and Inuit artifacts from across North America, including clothing, tools, weapons and ceremonial items.


Furniture Display

The Museum has an eclectic collection of 19th century furnishings, most notably, items originally belonging to Catharine Parr Traill and other members of the Strickland family.

Military Collections

Ross Rifle

The military collection is quite extensive and includes uniforms and memorabilia from the Northwest Rebellion, assorted uniforms from the Boer War, World War I, and World War II. In 2006, the military collection (approximately 8,000 artifacts) of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52 was donated to the Peterborough Museum & Archives.

Natural History


Within its collection of over one thousand mineral specimens and nearly 500 fossils, the Museum has specimens of national and international significance.

metal toyRecreation

The Museum has a large collection of tin and metal toys and dolls, some dating to the early 1700’s, also a variety of early sporting equipment (ice skates, boxing gloves, sports jerseys and trophies).

Technological Artifacts 

The Peterborough Museum & Archives has an eclectic collection of tools and equipment but there are several specialized collections of note, including: surgeon's kits from the War of 1812 and American Civil War era, a complete leather-workers kit, a comprehensive collection of alarm clocks (over 300 - mostly from Westclox of Peterborough). The Museum also has an extensive collection of 19th century woodworking tools and canoe and boat building tools used by Edmund Barrie, owner of Barrie Boat Works in Peterborough.


The Peterborough Museum & Archives has one of the finest collections of 19th century homespun in Ontario. It also has a fairly comprehensive collection of women's wear (approximately 400 dresses and 93 wedding dresses from the 19th and 20th century, 33 christening gowns).

Transportation Artifacts

Reflecting the community's heritage as the home of the modern canoe, the Museum & Archives has a collection of canoes that represent a cross-section of local boat builders' art. Most of these vessels are of national significance. Canoes manufactured by the Strickland Company, Peterborough Canoe Company, Gordon, W.A. Payne and Stephenson Canoes are in the collection. The Museum also has medals won by the William English Company at the Paris Exposition of 1878.