The Royal British Columbia Museum is renowned for its authentic and evocative exhibitions, but there’s so much more to discover behind the world-famous dioramas and displays. The collections housed in the museum and archives include millions of plant and animal specimens, and great numbers of historical and archaeological artifacts, photographs, films, audio recordings and fine art, such as the world’s largest collection of works by Emily Carr.
Treasures of the Royal British Columbia Museum and Archives features full-page colour photographs of artifacts and specimens selected from its vast collections and celebrated exhibitions. In the essays, Jack Lohman argues how museum collections are vital to our understanding of nature, culture and the world in general; Martha Black discusses the evolution of collecting First Nations art and artifacts since the museum opened in 1886; Richard Hebda relates the natural history collections to our growing understanding of ecosystems, biodiversity and climate change, locally and globally; Grant Keddie explores the importance of archaeological collections to the study of long-term cultural development; and Gary Mitchell recounts the history of archival collecting in BC and the importance of having a central repository for the province.
Dr Martha Black is curator of ethnology at the Royal British Columbia Museum and the author of Out of the Mist.
Dr Richard Hebda is curator of botany and earth history at the Royal British Columbia Museum and the co-author of Saanich Ethnobotany.
Grant Keddie is curator of archaeology at the Royal British Columbia Museum and the author of Songhees Pictorial.
Professor Jack Lohman is chief executive officer of the Royal British Columbia Museum and the author of Museums at the Crossroads.
Gary Mitchell is emeritus provincial archivist for the British Columbia Archives.