Human history artifacts, and natural specimans

Come and visit the Kitimat Museum & Archives collections

The Museum has human history artifact and archival collections and natural history specimens unique to the Kitimat Valley and surrounding area, including the Douglas Channel.  See below for an overview of the Museum’s collections and view collection highlights at MemoryBC.

Donations are encouraged.  If you wish to make a donation, please contact the Curator directly at the Museum or e-mail info@kitimatmuseum.ca

Kitimat Project History Collections 

Kitimat has received much attention over the years for its provincial and national story.  The massive Kitimat Project in the early 1950s was completed in just five years – dam, tunnel, powerhouse, the village of Kemano, transmission line, smelter, and the town of Kitimat.  This construction event received world-wide attention from the media and thousands took part in the construction.  The Museum collection features oral histories, souvenir memorabilia, photographs, published materials, maps and plans, Kitimat furniture (by American designers Ray and Charles Eames and Canadian designer Robin Bush), and Morrison-Knudsen plans.

Kitimat Community Collections

Memorabilia, photographs, documents, and published materials highlight the town’s early beginnings to the present day.  Of particular note, the Museum has the Max Patzelt Photograph Collection with documentary images of the town and Ocelot/Eurocan construction.  The Museum also has the Northern Sentinel Photograph Collection, commercial records of Helen’s Cafe (an early-Kitimat restaurant) and the Kitimat Business and Professional Women’s Club records.

Early Valley Settlement, Haisla First Nation Collections

The Haisla of the region, explorers, trappers, prospectors, homesteaders, adventurers, and missionaries have all called the Kitimat Valley and Douglas Channel home.  Artifacts have been collected that document the history and stories of early settlers to the Kitimat Valley and of the Haisla, there lives and traditions during the years of the Methodist Mission at Kitamaat.  Collected are colour copy of the original ban of the potlatch of 1898 (BC Archives) for the Haisla, and artifacts of the Royal Templars of Temperance, Kitamaat (1890s).  The collections also feature bentwood boxes and stone tools of the Haisla and early settlement artifacts.  The Museum has the original diary of George Anderson and that of his first wife Cora.

Natural History Collections

There is a large 400-specimen fossil collection dating back to the Jurassic Period (136-190 million years) and a collection of geology samples representative of the region’s geology.  Some crab and mollusk shells, dried specimens of seaweed and coral are on display – representative of the Douglas Channel environment.  The Museum also has collected taxidermy specimens of birds of the region, nests, migratory birds and raptors.  Woodland and estuary mammals of the region are also on display.

Visual Arts Collections

The Museum has collected a number of art pieces by Kitimat artists past and present in watercolour, oil, and acrylic and contemporary Haisla carvings.  Also received is one collection by Kitimat cartoonist Gerry Hummel.

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