Our Collection


The BYTOWN MUSEUM collection can trace it roots back to the drawing room of Mrs. Matilda Edgar on June 3, 1898. Mrs. Edgar hosted thirty-one Ottawa women who would found the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa with Adeline Foster as its first president. Their goal was to “encourage the collection and preservation of Canadian historical records and relics.” Today, the BYTOWN MUSEUM builds upon the legacy of the WCHSO. The Museum’s mandate is to collect, preserve, study and make accessible the material and cultural heritage of the Ottawa region’s multicultural and diverse history. Through its important and eclectic collection the Museum strives to tell the stories of an evolving city – from its first inhabitants and the early days of Bytown to present-day Ottawa. 

The Ottawa Museums and Archives Collections

The Ottawa Museums and Archives Collection portal provides access to Ottawa’s rich collective history via the combined online resources of the City of Ottawa Archives and eight City of Ottawa and Community Museums. Each partner institution has its own individual landing page providing access to its own collections database. The collection is continually growing with updates happening every week! Check back often to see what’s new. Please click to visit the portal