About the Collections

The BV Museum’s artifact collection includes over 3600 items related to the history of the Bulkley Valley, with a predominant focus on the Town of Smithers. The collection includes a strong natural history component in the form of fossils from the nearby Driftwood Canyon fossil beds, as well as strengths in mining, agriculture, railroad history, and Euro-Canadian settler history. The Museum has a small collection of cultural and historical items representing the history and culture of the Witsuwit’en, on whose traditional territory the Museum is located.

The Museum’s archival collection includes over 9000 photographs, available online through our Collections Online web portal. Other archival strengths include documentary collections related to mining, local community organizations and activities, as well as a large collection of local newspapers (print and microfilm), representing over 100 years of newspaper business in the region. Hundreds of digitized documents, including the former Smithers newspaper The Pictorial, are available through the web portal.

Donating an item to the Museum

Artifacts and archival items (photos, documents, etc.) offered for donation are assessed against the Museum’s mission statement, and collecting priorities. No items will be taken without assessment; they must be viewed either in person or via photographs by the Curator prior to acquisition. Due to storage constraints the Museum has a moratorium on most collecting at this time, and items must be carefully assessed before they are accepted. No oversized agricultural or transportation items (e.g. wagons, plows, etc.) can be accepted at this time.

The Bulkley Valley Museum is able to issue tax receipts for donations at the request of the donor, following the guidelines of the Canada Revenue Agency. Tax receipts are issued based on the value indicated as part of a formal appraisal. It is the responsibility of the donor to have an appraisal performed by a recognized appraiser if they wish to receive a tax receipt. A copy of the appraisal, including contact information for the firm or individual performing the appraisal, must be provided to the Museum. No staff member of the Museum will perform appraisals for any purpose.

To discuss donating an item or archival collection to the Museum, contact the Curator Kira Westby in person at the Museum, by phone at 250.847.5322, or by email at curator@bvmuseum.org.

Research and Reproduction Services      

The Bulkley Valley Museum welcomes inquiries from individuals interested in accessing our archival or artifact collections for research.

Visiting Researchers

Researchers must contact the Museum prior to their visit to book a research appointment. Most of our collection items are stored offsite from the museum and prior notice is required to retrieve them. Researchers are encouraged to consult the Collections Online website to compile a list of items they would like to consult during their visit. Researchers may book appointments to access the collections Monday – Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm. All researchers must abide by the research room rules.

Researchers may be asked to sign a researcher agreement. Contact the Museum to receive a copy of this form.

Access to the Interior News on Newspapers.com

The Interior News from 1910-2007 is digitally available through Newspapers.com. The Museum is pleased to offer free public access to this digital archive onsite in our research room. As with any visiting researcher, we ask that you book an appointment in advance. Alternatively Museum staff can complete searches for those unable to physically visit the Museum (see Research Services below). For Interior News editions from 2007-2011, please contact the Museum.

Research Services

The Bulkley Valley Museum may conduct research on behalf of an individual unable to visit the Museum, or where the collection items are too delicate to be handled by researchers. If you would like Museum staff to complete research for you, please download and complete the Research Services Request form and send it to the Museum at info@bvmuseum.org. Alternatively, contact the Museum by phone or by email to discuss your research request.

Fees for research services are outlined in our Research and Reproduction Services Policy.

Reproduction Services

The Bulkley Valley Museum collects fees for the following reproduction services:

  • Digitization of collection items
  • Commercial / publication reproduction of images or collection items
  • Non-watermarked copies of images for research or personal use

Fees for reproduction services are outlined in our Research and Reproduction Services Policy. Revenues generated from these fees support preservation of the Museum’s collections and hosting costs associated with the Collections Online website.

Collections Online ➜

Search over 10,000 archival and museum catalogue records at search.bvmuseum.org.

The Collections Online website was developed with funding support from the Library & Archives of Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program. Additional upgrades and features funded by the Wetzink’wa Community Forest Corporation.