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Artifacts and Archives Services

Artifacts and Archives Services Explore the items and stories of the people who help shape Kawartha Lakes
Artifact and archival services seeks to celebrate the heritage of Kawartha Lakes by not only documenting, preserving and promoting Kawartha Lakes three dimensional (3D) and two dimensional (2D) collections, but by exploring and showcasing our unique stories. 

Kawartha Lakes recognizes that artifact and archival care is a valuable cultural asset that expresses cultural identity and heritage of all those who call Kawartha Lakes home, both historically and today.

Learn more about donating to our programs

Laura Love Headshot

Contact the team

Laura Love

Economic Development Officer - Curatorial Services

Explore Our Programs

Palestine Community Centre Artifact
Connect with Your Collection
The City's collection is truly for the past and current residents of Kawartha Lakes. Explore the artifacts and archives that tell the stories of the people and places who helped shape the towns and villages of Kawartha Lakes.
collection of recipe cards
Recipe Revival

Using recipes from Kawartha Lakes archives, as well as recipes submitted by the community, this program celebrates the exceptional heritage behind food and provides others with a new tasty treat to try!

Imagine of James Jenkins and Fanny Beer
Moments and Memories
Step into another time and discover the moments and memories of places and the people who used to, or still do, call this place home. The Moments and Memories Map shares the stories that help you make deeper connections to the area.

Collecting & Preserving Your Treasures

Program Objectives

  • Maintain to the highest professional standards for the care, display and preservation of the artifacts and archival collection owned, in trust, by Kawartha Lakes.
  • Collaborate with internal and external organizations to celebrate and advocate for the region's heritage.
  • Provide support for community members (residents, organization, businesses, etc.) needing artifact and archival documentation and care.

Caring hands iconCaring for your Collections

The City offers a wide range of professional services to make sure that your treasures are taken care of for generations. We house thousands of historical artifacts and archives in our secure and climate-controlled facilities. Much of our collection, dating back over a century, results from the generous donations of local families, organizations and communities.

Home heart iconHeirlooms at Home

The preservation of Kawartha Lakes history does not end with the care and documentation of heritage material that is owned, in trust, by Kawartha Lakes, it is more than that. To preserve and celebrate its full history, Kawartha Lakes offers professional advisory services for residents to care for their privately owned items. Whether you would like to reorganize your photographic collection or are ready to unfold your mother's wedding dress from its trunk, we can help.

Red Brick

Donating Artifacts

Kawartha Lakes welcomes individuals, organizations and businesses to donate items that advance the Municipality's mission: to collect, preserve and celebrate the heritage of the region.

Whether you have called Kawartha Lakes home for many years, or just a few moments, we encourage all residents to reach out and add to the heritage and story of any of our great projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Kawartha Lakes decide was artifacts it will accept?

  1. History: the value of an object increases when more is known about it. Do you have information about how and where the artifact was created, collected or used?

  2. Condition: Is the object complete and in good condition? Qualified Kawartha Lakes staff will assess the item to make sure it can be properly cared for.

  3. Relevance: The municipality will consider how the object fits within its artifact mandate and if it will bring a new perspective to existing collections.

Why would Kawartha Lakes not accept my donation?

We receive far more offers of donations than we can accept. Our storage, display space and our resources to care for artifacts is limited. We are grateful to receive objects but must decline objects that are:

  • Already well represented in our collections
  • Without a known history
  • No connection to Kawartha Lakes
  • In poor physical condition
If we decline your donation(s), we will do out best to work with you to recommend alternate museums and organization that might be more suitable for your item(s).

Will Kawartha Lakes display the object if I donate it?

Like most organization that hold an artifact collection, we can not guarantee if, or when, we will exhibit artifacts. The continuous display of many different objects is not beneficial to their long- term preservation. Part of the role of this program is to preserve artifacts for future generations.


Will Kawartha Lakes purchase an artifact from me?

Most of the artifact in our collection are donated. The Municipality will rarely purchase unsolicited offers of artifacts.


I have changed my mind. Can I have my donation back?

No, Kawartha Lakes cannot return donated artifacts (whether deaccessioned or not) to their original owners. This is in compliance with the Canadian Income Tax Act.


Will Kawartha Lakes keep my donated artifact forever?

Kawartha Lakes accepts objects for its permanent collection with the goal of preserving them for the education and enjoyment of future generations. However, in some situations, we have to remove an item from our collections.


How does Kawartha Lakes handle Indigenous and cultural materials?
Kawartha Lakes does not accept items of Indigenous origin into its permanent collection. The Municipality will work with potential donors to locate the appropriate community or institution for the object(s).

Will Kawartha Lakes hold onto my artifacts if I don’t want to donate them?

Kawartha Lakes does not accept permanent loans. We preserve and display items only when they are donated to us for permanent preservation or we have agreed to a temporary loan with a deadline.

Lindsay town hall 1933

Donating Archival Material

The municipality holds in public trust for the people of Kawartha Lakes a fascinating collection that is comprised of over 9,000 artifacts and over 3 linear meters of archival records.

A significant part of donating and preserving your items is connecting them with the stories behind the items. It is these stories that bring artifacts and archives to life!

Frequently Asked Questions

What archival material does Kawartha Lakes collect?

Kawartha Lakes accepts records from a variety of different sources, including:

  • Local government
  • Individuals and families
  • Community organizations, groups and clubs
  • Churches
  • Businesses (small and large)

Kawartha Lakes collections a wide variety of material in any format (digital and/or analog), including but not limited to:

  • Paper (physical and digital)
  • Diaries and letters
  • Photographs and digital image files
  • Postcards
  • Maps
  • Art
  • Movies and films (including video files)
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural and technical drawings and plans
  • Original research
  • Family histories and genealogical material

We are particularly interested in original, unpublished materials (diaries, photographs, personal and institutional papers).

What archival material does Kawartha Lakes not collect?

Kawartha Lakes is eager to expand its collections but reserves the right to refuse records. Records will be refused when:

  • They are not related to Kawartha Lakes, its communities, residents, businesses, or organizations
  • They are contaminated (this will be on a case by case basis, but the archives can not accept anything that would out the rest of the archival collection at risk)
  • We already have multiple copies of the same record
  • Records that are not donated outright, wither in their original form or as a copy loan

We store records only when they are donated to us for permanent preservation.

How do I donate archival material to the City?

To make the donation process as efficient as possible, please ensure that:​

  • You have the legal right to donate the records.
  • The records meet the museum’s collection criteria.
  • The records relate to the history of the City, past and present
Please provide as much of the following background information as you can:
  • The name of the creator or creating organization
  • The custodial history – who has held the records, and when
  • Historical or biographical information about the creator or creating organization
  • The nature of the records and the purpose for which they were created and/or used
  • Any rearrangement of the records that may have occurred
  • Any organizational systems used to arrange the records
  • The name of the copyright holder

Isn’t an archive a part of a museum?

Some archives are a part of museums, some are with libraries, and some are stand-alone.


Where is the Municipal Archive for Kawartha Lakes and how do I access the Municipal Archives?

The Municipal Archives for Kawartha Lakes is found at:

31 Mary Street E. Lindsay Ontario
(705) 324-9411 ext. 1136

While drop-in visits are welcome, if you call or email ahead of time, we can discuss your research needs and have records ready for when you arrive.

Am I charged fees to enter the Archive or access the records?

Kawartha Lakes Archive does not charge for entry to the Archives nor are there any charges associated with in-person research at the Archives. There are only charges for reproduction fees, copies of photographs, and for remote research that takes longer than one hour. All fees are in accordance with those charged by the Kawartha Library.


Why does Kawartha Lakes have an archive when there are other archival repositories within Kawartha Lakes, i.e., Kawartha Library and KLMA?

The Municipal Archives program in Kawartha Lakes comes out of the Ontario Municipal Act §254 (1) that states “[a] Municipality shall retain and preserve the records of the municipality and its local boards in a secure and accessible manner.”


What is the difference between “archiving” and “storing”?
Archiving is the act of preserving, and making available for research, records of historical significance. What most people refer to as an “archives” or “archiving” is actually just long-term storage. If there isn’t a finding aid, it isn’t an archives.

Are all records archived? What about digital?
Not all records are archived. Only those that are determined by the Municipal Archivist to hold long-term historical significance are brought into the Archival Services program regardless of format. Digital records are still records just as if they are on paper, a VHS/Beta tape, USB, CD-ROM- photograph, film, negatives or slides. A record is a record is a record!

What would I find in the municipal archives?
At the Municipal Archives you will find public records such as: historic accession, tax, and collectors rolls; maps, plans, and drawings; By-laws and Minutes for both the CKL and its predecessor municipalities and the County of Victoria as well as photographic images. Also, a Municipal Archives.

Why can’t I browse the archive stacks?
Unlike libraries, archival stacks are not open to the public as there is confidential and restricted information.

Can I borrow records?
Again, unlike libraries, archival records may not be borrowed. They are accessible through the Municipal Archives at 31 Mary Street E. by drop-in or appointment.

See the Collections in Person

Maryboro Lodge

The artifact and archival collection is primarily exhibited at Maryboro Lodge, the Fenelon Museum and at other civic venues. Artifacts and archives that are not currently part of temporary or permanent exhibits are carefully stored to ensure their preservation.

Maryboro Lodge is open seasonally and admission is by donation. Please visit their website for more information on times, programs and events.

Contact Information:
50 Oak St, Fenelon Falls, ON
(705) 887- 5174

Celebrate Heritage with the Osprey Heritage Awards

Celebrate outstanding projects and contributions that have promoted and preserved community heritage within Kawartha Lakes.

In 2023 the Municipal Heritage Committee announced that it will be further celebrating community heritage with a new award, the Heritage Milestone Award. This award acknowledges, in 25 year increments, the dedication of heritage organizations within Kawartha Lakes.

These awards will follow a bi-annual schedule, alternating with the Doors Open program.

The submission for 2023 Osprey Heritage Award nominations are closed and will reopen in 2025. This will include both 2024 and 2025 contributions to the preservation of Kawartha heritage.

Osprey Heritage Awards

Image of Reeve Jenkins
Mr. Charles Jenkins, Reeve of Mariposa in 1919 and 1920.

He, along with other community members in Oakwood were responsible for the installation of the original cenotaph in 1920.


A note about the program...

We ask that you do not leave items unattended at municipal facilities within or outside regular hours of operation.

Kawartha Lakes does not accept human remains such as skeletons, human bones or biological tissue. Some exceptions may be made for items of mourning and personal mementos.

For information regarding Kawartha Lakes' Archival collection and their services, please visit Records and Archival Services. They house and care for the municipalities recent and historical records as well as some special collections. They are currently accepting donations of paper records, photographs, and other textual documents.

Artifact services are administered through Economic Development and Archival services are with the Clerks Office, in partnership with the Fenelon Falls Committee of Council. The established principles for artifact care is outlined in the Artifact Policy CP2022-011 and archival care is outlined in the Archives Policy CP2021-037.

Angela Fornelli Headshot

Contact Records & Archives

Angela Fornelli

Manager- Corporate Records and Archival Services

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