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Richmond Museum

Museum Collections

Coast Salish Baskets

About the Collections
From First Nations baskets to bog horseshoes and Chinese opera costumes, the City of Richmond’s 20,000+ artefact collection tells the many stories of Richmond.

Artefacts in the City of Richmond Collection tell our stories, past and present. While the Museum is known for contemporary collecting, objects in the collection range from a First Nations cedar-bark shield to cranberry scoops, an interurban tram, horsehair couches, Hong Wo signs, suribachi grinding bowls, false teeth, typewriters and wedding dresses. 

Community members began collecting artefacts for us more than 50 years ago – and are still the source of most of our donations.

Our Collections Mandate
The Collections mandate is to: collect and maintain material (artefacts) that has historical, social and/or cultural significance to the community of Richmond and that contributes to an understanding of the past and present human behaviour, customs, activities, events and institutions.

The City of Richmond Collection includes:

Permanent Collection: The majority of the City of Richmond Collection falls into this category. It includes objects that are of lasting significance to the community.

Olympic Collection: The Olympic Collection provides a comprehensive picture of the Olympic movement, the Olympic Games, and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which Richmond helped to host.

Corporate Collection: Gifts and other items received by the Mayor, Councillor and other City departments are transferred to the City’s Corporate Collection.

Education Collection: The Education Collection is touchable! Students and program participants handle and use these artefacts during school and public programs.

Props Collection: Objects in this collection are used in exhibitions to support displays or enhance another artefact. They are not treated as artefacts. These objects include reproductions, facsimiles and props. Reproductions are modern re-creations which look like original objects when they were new or in use. A facsimile is a faithful reproduction of an original artefact, using similar materials. Props can be anything from simple forms that suggest furnishing and objects, to period pieces with no provenance or history.

Reference Library: The Reference Library collection consists of books, articles, journals, publications, and audio and visual material that relate to the programs, services and research carried out on behalf of the Museums or Heritage Sites in Richmond.

Accessing our Collections
We’re working to make the City of Richmond Collection accessible to you. There are currently over 2000 artefact available to view and more to come!

How to Donate
If you have any objects you think may help us tell Richmond’s stories, we’d love to hear from you. Each year we receive close to 200 objects from donors like you!

The Richmond Museum welcomes donations of objects that tell the stories of Richmond, big and small. Some of our most relevant, iconic and meaningful objects have been donated by members of our community.

Contact Information
Curator of Collections
Tel: 604-247-8331

Wish List
We are currently looking for objects that tell the story of:
• Our community and the people who live here
• Richmond’s business community
• The Vancouver airport (located in Richmond) and the history of flight
• Horseracing and the history of Richmond’s tracks
• Communication technologies in Richmond
• Migration and immigration to Richmond
• Changing technologies, including gaming systems and cell phones

If you have any questions about what the Museum needs, please contact the Curator of Collections.

Caring for Your Collections
When it comes to caring for your collections, we recommend you go straight to the experts:

Museology and Conservation

Artefacts Canada

Canadian Conservation Institute