Artifacts & Archives

As the only institution of its kind in the district, the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society endeavors to be a community facility for the city of Thunder Bay and a regional institution for the people of the district.  Given the working-class nature of the region’s early people, we have collected mostly artifacts of a popular, everyday character with a strong focus on regional history.

The collection presently includes some 28,000 artefacts, 400 feet of archival records, 500,000 images, and over 2,000 books. Major areas of acquisition include: archaeology from the Palaeo-Indian to the Woodlands periods (10,000 B.P. to A.D. 1650); the fur trade, (1800-1880); transhipment, especially grain, forest products and minerals; business and industrial history; Native beadwork (including one of the best collections of Cree beadwork in the country); clothing; early settlement, both urban and rural; household furnishings; fire fighting equipment; transportation by rail and ship; armaments and military history emphasizing local units; medicine; food processing; photographic equipment; and original art (including oil and watercolour paintings of considerable age, as well as pottery). The collection is well-rounded and representative of the region; Northwestern Ontario in microcosm.

We encourage you to explore samples from the permanent collection of artifacts and archival material on the pages in this section.