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The Whyte Museum Archives and Special Collections hold over 800 archival fonds and collections that represents the culture and history of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Archival holdings 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. As well, the Whyte Museum houses three special collections libraries: Archives Library, Alpine Club of Canada Library, and Art Library. Many of these publications, including books, periodicals, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, and audiovisual materials, are rare treasures.

Through archives and special collections, the Whyte Museum seeks to make the human and natural history of the Canadian Rocky Mountains accessible and meaningful to all audiences.


Over 800 Archival Fonds

Access to the collections' descriptive catalogue databases.


Indigenous Archival Access Guide

This access guide was created to give reduced barriers for Indigenous users in accessing the materials we hold in the archives.

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Indigenous Photo Identification Project

This  community-naming project was started in order to update the captions and descriptions of our collection of photographs representing local Indigenous peoples.*


Lillian Agnes Jones Scholarship

The Lillian Agnes Jones Scholarship was established “for study and research related to the history of Western Canada.” Explore the research work of past scholarship recipients.

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Interview Series by Chic Scott

In this live interview series hosted by the Whyte Museum, Chic Scott sits down with esteemed members of the community - from backcountry lodge owners to climbing pioneers, and much more.


Legacy Project

In the early 90s, Chic Scott interviewed Canada's leading climbers while researching for his book Pushing the Limits. Through efforts of the Archives, Chic Scott, and filmmaker Glen Crawford, they have been digitized and revitalized. 


Catharine Robb Whyte & Peter Whyte

This portfolio celebrates and chronicles the life of Catharine Robb Whyte (1906 – 1979) and Peter Whyte (1905 – 1966).


Volunteer Opportunity

 By increasing readability and keyword searching, you can open new doors for both researchers and the general public to access and use our collections.

Archives and Special Collections appointments are available Tuesday – Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Appointments will be CLOSED on October 23rd - 30th for the Back to the Community Book Sale

Appointments can be booked in advance. Some morning appointments may be possible. Appointment access is through the Archives’ Entrance, and no admission is charged. Please review the required procedures for researching and requesting materials.


Drop-in researchers are welcome through regular admission to the Whyte Museum. However, due to capacity restrictions, priority access is given to researchers with appointments. 


Email to book your appointment. Please review the required procedures for researching and requesting materials.

The monitoring and replying to queries in mailbox is limited to Tuesday – Friday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Digital reproduction orders are available to order via our online database, but are limited to images that are currently digitized and available on the website. Requests for the digitization of analog material requires pre-approval by the Head Archives and Special Collections. Additional fees and restrictions may apply.

*Disclaimer: This material is presented as originally created, it contains outdated cultural descriptions and potentially offensive content. Materials in historical collections reflect the attitudes, ideas, and norms of the era and culture in which they were created or collected. Offensive or harmful terms are retained for historical accuracy or to document the issues and social context of a specific time and the attitudes and opinions of the people who created the material.


The Whyte Museum's art collection embodies the artistic spirit and vision of our founders Peter and Catharine. The collection includes over 10,000 items spanning the early 1800s to the present day. Featured are drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures by celebrated local, regional, national, and international artists who have been captivated by the local landscapes.

The collection includes artifacts that help to convey the stories of the numerous residents of and visitors to the town of Banff and area. Over time the region has become a destination for adventurers, artists, climbers, explorers, guides and outfitters, hikers, immigrants, Indigenous Peoples, and sport enthusiasts. Items from these individuals acquaint us with the past while simultaneously connecting us with the present.

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Join a Heritage Home Tour

The Heritage Homes form a unique and distinct part of the Whyte Museum’s Heritage Collection. They are aimed at preserving significant examples of Banff’s earlier architectural styles and homes associated with some of the area’s more noteworthy residents.

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Art & Heritage Collections

Explore the art and artifact collections from the online database.

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Additions to the Collection

View various exhibitions hosted in the Founder's Gallery at the Whyte Museum, featuring exceptional artists and additions to the collections.

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies acknowledges the Government of Canada Department of Canadian Heritage through the Museums Assistance Program for their generous support.

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