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About This Site
The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies aims to foster an appreciation of mountain culture by preserving, providing access to, exhibiting and interpreting materials related to the mountain cultural and heritage of Western Canada.
The geographic extent of the Whyte Museum's collecting mandate includes the mountainous areas of Canada bounded by the 49th parallel on the south, the Peace River on the north, the Front Ranges on the east and the Columbia Mountains on the west. Materials from First Nations, Town of Banff, Banff National Park and the Upper Bow Valley are prominent within these collections. The Whyte Museum uniquely focuses on the human relationship with mountains through its extensive historical and contemporary collections.
The Whyte Museum's art collection embodies the artistic spirit and vision of our founders Peter and Catharine. Our art collection spans the early 1800's to the present day and includes regionally created and related works by Canadian and international artists.
The Archives and Library
The Archives holds over 800 archival fonds and collections, representing mountain culture, and history of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In addition, the Archives and Library holds in trust and provides access to the Luxton fonds from the Eleanor Luxton Foundation.
These fonds include approximately 350 metres of textual records, more than 700,000 photographs, and over 1500 sound recordings, motion pictures and videos. Dating from the mid-19th century to the 21st century, these records document not only the people who created them, but also the broader social, political, and economic history of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
The Library has grown to become an internationally recognized repository and resource for historians, scholars, filmmakers, and authors. Holdings include over 8500 books, rare maps, periodicals and newsletters film documentaries, clipping files, and complete collections of newspapers from Banff and Canmore. Since 1971, the Archives and Library has also been the custodian of the Alpine Club of Canada Library, which contains over 4000 books and periodicals documenting the mountain cultures of the world from the mid-1600s to current.
There are approximately 4000 researchers and browsers using the Archives and Library per year. For more information on visiting the Archives and Library, see our Welcome Guide.
The Heritage Collection began with the vision of Peter and Catharine Whyte. The collection includes artifacts that help tell the stories of Indigenous Peoples, artists, immigrants, guides and outfitters, climbers, surveyors, hikers, explorers, adventurers, skiers and residents of the town and area.
Select one of these links to begin exploring our collection.