The first Chilliwack Museum Society was founded in 1958 by amateur historians and anthropologists Oliver and Casey Wells. The Wells’ founding collection consisted of early resident biographies, Stó:lō oral history recordings, photographs, maps, and artifacts. Since 1958, the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society has amassed volumes of objects, archives, research and expertise relating to the history and culture of Chilliwack. This knowledge is made available to the public through exhibitions, educational outreach, programs, publications, and through free and open access to archival, research and object collections.
Geographical and cultural context
Chilliwack is located 102 km southwest of Vancouver in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley. The collecting area of the Chilliwack Museum and Archives covers area within the City of Chilliwack, Cultus Lake and Stó:lō traditional territory, extending to the borders of Abbotsford, Hope, Agassiz and the international boundary line.
Mandates/Sources of authority
The Museum and Archives are governed by the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society via a Board of Trustees and funded in large part through grants from the City of Chilliwack, the Chilliwack Foundation and the BC Arts Council. The Museum administrative offices, gift shop, and exhibitions spaces are based out of the historic former City Hall building, a National Historic Site. The archives and object collections are housed in a research centre located at the City of Chilliwack’s Evergreen Hall.
Records management and collecting policies
The Chilliwack Archives holds community artifacts and historic records of enduring value. Archival holdings include an extensive collection of newspapers, photographs, local government records, personal papers, organizational records, audio recordings, maps and genealogical records.
Finding aids, guides and publications
Finding aids are available at www.chilliwackmuseum.ca
as well as at the Archives. The Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society has published some books on the Chilliwack area including: 'The Chilliwack Story' and 'Memories of Sardis'. Local history books are available for sale and reference at the Chilliwack Archives.