Archives & Artifacts


‘Archives’ can be defined as documentary records of long-term value to an organization, family or a community. The Fernie Museum’s archival collection includes thousands of photographs, municipal records, diaries, newspapers, oral histories, and maps. These records are a vital part of the community’s collective memory. Proper care and handling procedures are followed in order to preserve these records for current and future generations to study, learn from and enjoy.

Online Archival Photograph Database

The Fernie Museum archives includes over 9,000 photographs. The museum’s in-house database is available online at British Columbia Regional Digitized History.

Fernie Free Press 1899 – 1947 Digital Database

Newspapers have been issued in Fernie since 1899. Thanks to generous funding from the Regional District of East Kootenay Area A, phase 1 of the digitization of the Fernie Free Press, 1899 – 1947 is now available online at British Columbia Regional Digitized History.

With additional funding received from the RDEK, phase 2 will now continue the project to digitize issues from 1947. 

Ordering Archival Reproductions

Looking for a unique gift or wall decor? Need a high resolution image illustrating Fernie’s dynamic history? Our library archival images are available for reproduction for a wide range of personal, corporate or media uses.

Documents from the museum’s archives may also be photocopied for research purposes.

Fees for reproduction of archival materials apply.

Research Inquiries

Original documents can be retrieved for further study, upon request. The archives also has over 100 years of Fernie newspapers that have been transferred onto microfilm. Museum staff and volunteers are available for research or historical inquiries.

For all research inquiries, please contact the Fernie Museum at 250-423-7016, ext. 0 or by emailing

Donations of Archival Materials, Photographs and Documents

Donations of records relating to Fernie and the Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass regions are most welcome.

Please contact the Fernie Museum at 250-423-7016, ext. 0 or by emailing prior to sending or bringing any items to the Museum.


‘Artifacts’ can be defined as objects of historical significance. It is the mandate of the Fernie Museum to collect, preserve and exhibit artifacts that have historical significance to Fernie and the Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass regions.

The Fernie Museum’s artifact collection consists of approximately 5,000 unique objects. The collection ranges from the fine silverware rescued from the Methodist Church during the devastating 1908 fire to industrial artifacts from the Coal Creek, Morrissey and Hosmer mines. The museum uses many of these objects in its exhibits to illustrate the fascinating stories of the people and events that shaped Fernie’s past.

 Permanent Artifact Collection Database

The Fernie & District Historical Society was founded in 1964 with the purpose of protecting, preserving and cherishing the community’s physical memory. By 1979, a large collection of artifacts had been gathered and the first museum was opened in the Catholic Church Rectory. 

Over the years, the collection has been in various states of preservation and storage from public exhibitions to temporary basement locations. In 2019, the FDHS began a painstaking process of inventorying and cataloguing the entire collection and rehoming it in a new custom-designed facility beneath the Catholic Church. Many of the artifacts have now been properly recorded and are being added to an online database. Starting from late 2021, this database will continue to be updated until all artifacts in the collection have been added. You can view the progress in our virtual collection on Ehive.

 Community Education Collection

The Museum has a Community Education Collection of items available to loan to schools and educational institutions.

Objects in this collection do not have a documented provenance related to our mandate and are suitable for hands-on use and/or exhibition in a non-museum environment. Please contact the Collections Manager for inquires and access to this collection by calling 250-423-7016 ext. 0 or by emailing

Donations of Archives

The Fernie Museum welcomes donations of artifacts, subject to assessment.

Upon approval by a collections committee, donations of objects related to the city and surrounding region will become part of the museum’s artifact collection. The museum also welcomes donations of objects for the museum’s educational collection, which is used for hands-on programs.

Please contact the Collections Manager by emailing prior to sending or bringing any items to the Museum.