Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum

Infobox Museum
name = Glenbow Museum

imagesize = 200
map_type = Canada Calgary
map_caption = Location in Calgary
latitude = 51.0452
longitude = -114.0609
established = 1966
dissolved =
location = Calgary, Alberta, Canada
type = History, Art
visitors =
director = Christine Chin
curator =
publictransit = Olympic Plaza C-Train station
website = [ The Glenbow Museum]
The Glenbow Museum in Calgary is Western Canada's largest museum, with over 93,000 square feet (8,600 m²) of exhibition space in more than 20 galleries, showcasing a selection of the Glenbow's collection of over a million objects.

The Glenbow-Alberta Institute was formed in 1966, when Eric Harvie donated his vast historical collection to the people of Alberta. Located in downtown Calgary across from the Calgary Tower, the Institute maintains the Glenbow Museum, open to the public, which houses not only its museum collections, but also a very extensive art collection, library, and archives. In 2007, a new permanent exhibit entitled "Mavericks" opened on the third floor; this exhibit traces the history of Alberta through a series of 48 influential and colourful personalities. The Glenbow Museum's CEO, Jeff Spalding, took over from Glenbow's former President and CEO Mike Robinson.


The museum has four primary collections:.
*Cultural History
*Military History

Cultural history

The Glenbow cultural history collection contains over 100,000 objects originating from many corners of the world, providing insight into the life in Western Canada from the late 1800s to the present day. Items in the collection reveal how people made a living, worshipped, and were governed, what they did to relax, how they dressed and ate, and how family mementos helped create a home in a new land. The cultural history collection also includes important holdings of Alberta pottery, Western Canadian folk studies, northern explorations, numismatics, pressed glass, and textiles.


The Glenbow ethnology collection contains approximately 48,000 items made or used by the indigenous peoples of North America, particularly the Northern Plains, as well as the Northwest Coast, Arctic, and Subarctic regions, and select regions of South America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia.

Military history

The Glenbow's military collection is the most diverse in Western Canada, with 26,000 items, spanning many countries over nearly five centuries, particularly European, Asian, and North American firearms and edged weapons. Also well represented are Japanese arms and armour, and Canadian medals, orders, and decorations.


The Glenbow's extensive mineralogy collection includes minerals and precious and semi-precious stones from around the world, particularly Western Canada. Specimens were selected for exhibition value as well as mineralogical significance, and the 'Treasures of the Mineral World' exhibition is popular with geologists, rock hounds, and visitors of all ages seeking to enjoy the depth and diversity of the Earth's minerals. The exhibit includes minerals that glow in the dark, a display of Fool's Gold, a piece of the Earth's oldest rock, and rock crystals in every colour of the rainbow.

Asian collection

In addition, the Glenbow has a substantial Asian collection on semi-permanent loan from the Bumper Development Corporation Ltd., including reliefs, masks, paintings and sculptures in stone, wood, and metal from the Buddhist and Hindu cultures of Asia, from the first century to the 18th century.

Art collection

The Glenbow's art collection comprises 28,000 works, mainly dating from the 19th century to the present, primarily historical, modern, and contemporary work from or pertaining to the northwest of North America. The collection contains an outstanding selection of landscape painting, a renowned Canadian prints collection including works from modernist printmaker Sybil Andrews, First Nations and Inuit Art, American Illustration, and Western and Wildlife Art. Works from other parts of the world provide a broader national and international frame of reference.


The Glenbow's library contains 100,000 books, periodicals, newspapers, maps, and pamphlets with relevance to Western Canada, from the time buffalo roamed the plains, to the coming of the railroad and settlement of the West, to political, economic and social events in Alberta today. The collection includes rare illustrated equestrian literature from the 15th century, school books from one-room school houses, and numerous volumes and other material related to the Museum's collections of military history, ethnology, mineralogy and art.


The Glenbow archives are one of Canada's largest non-governmental repositories and a major research centre for historians, writers, students, genealogists, and the media. They comprise an extremely large collection of archival records of individuals, families, organizations and businesses from Western Canada and includes 3,500 metres of textual records, over a million photographs, 350 hours of film footage, and 1,500 sound recordings. The Archives range from the 1870s to the 1990s, documenting the social, political and economic history of Western Canada, particularly Calgary and southern Alberta. Areas of specialty include First Nations, Métis genealogy, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ranching and agriculture, the petroleum industry, politics, labour, women, and business. Unique collections in the archives include catalogs, cookbooks, records of land sales by the Canadian Pacific Railway, maps, school yearbooks, [ extensive genealogical resources,] and [ an excellent collection of resources for the study of Métis genealogy.]

External links

* [ The Glenbow site]
* [ Online exhibit on Niitoy-yiss (tipi) of the Nitsitapii (Blackfoot) people, based on Glenbow collection, in French and English]
* [ Glenbow Library and Archives search menu]

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