The OMAH collection is home to over 15000 donated artifacts which illustrate the heritage of the City of Orillia and surrounding area. Our collection features objects, archival documents, photographs and works of art pertaining to the local area. Some of the notable individuals highlighted in our collection include Sir Samuel Benfield Steele, Arthur Shilling, Franklin Carmichael, and others that have a relationship to, or have made a significant contribution to the City of Orillia and the surrounding area. These artifacts reflect the natural and human history of Orillia and are used for documentation, preservation, research, exhibition and interpretation purposes. 
Heritage research is a never-ending treasure hunt through time. We are constantly researching and categorizing new donations that piece together Orillia’s history. By hosting interchanging exhibitions throughout the year, we are able to put a variety of artifacts from our collection on display, or use them for educational purposes. 
OMAH’s Lake Country Rotary Research Room is a volunteer run resource for information on local history and genealogy. Visitors looking to do research are welcome to set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable volunteers.


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FAQs about the Collection at the Orillia Museum of Art & History

What kinds of artifacts are in the collection?

Among the 15,000 artifacts in the museum collection, we have a variety of pieces which range from artwork, textiles, metal and woodwork. Some of our featured pieces can be seen in our “Archive Finds”. 

How do I donate to the collection?

Do you have something you would like to donate to our collection? Contact our museum’s Collections Coordinator to set up an appointment. OMAH will not accept donations on the spot and consultation with Collections Coordinator is necessary for all incoming donations.  Please visit our “Contact Us” section of the website to get in touch with our Collections Coordinator.

Can I volunteer for the Collections Department?

Absolutely! The Orillia Museum of Art & History is always looking for interested volunteers to help create a safe and organized environment for our collection. An ideal candidate will have some interest in history, keen sense of organization and appreciation for detail. If you are interested in volunteering in the collection department, we ask that you fill out the online form with your contact information and your availability. Forms can be found here

What does the Registrar Do?

The Collections Coordinator at the Orillia Museum of Art & History is the steward of Orillia’s history. The Collections Coordinator’s main role is to preserve artifacts related to the history of Orillia and the surrounding area. This involves carefully monitoring the controlled Collections Room using the Canadian Conservation Institute’s guidelines for good museum practices. The Collections Coordinator maintains the computer database where all information regarding the collection is stored. Having a concise and accessible database is crucial for the museum. The Collections Coordinator  plays an integral role in deciding which artifacts are collected for the museum that fit our collections mandate. The Collections coordinator is also responsible for working with other departments in the museum to help develop exhibits and education programming based on the current permanent collection.