Museums & Archives

We recognise and respect that New Westminster is on the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Halkomelem speaking peoples. We acknowledge that colonialism has made invisible their histories and connections to the land. As a City, we are learning and building relationships with the people whose lands we are on.

See the City page on Indigenous Peoples and Reconciliation.

New Westminster’s Museums & Archives are managed across three city locations: Anvil Centre, Irving House and the Samson V Museum. The operations care for over 36,000 objects, 50,000 photographs, and 500 linear meters of archival records that celebrate and document our city’s history. Our exhibits focus on the land, people, and development of the place now known as New Westminster. We aspire to be fun and entertaining places of learning and use the objects in the museum’s collection as an entry-point to inquiry, discussion, and exploration about the city.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Museum Contact                                  Archives Contact

T 604-527-4640                                     604-527-4640


The New Westminster Museum and Archives gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia

  • Mission

    The New Westminster Museum and Archives strive to enhance knowledge and deepen understanding of the City and its diverse peoples – from the First Nations cultures to the multicultural community of today – by illuminating past events, exploring current issues and facilitating conversations around future possibilities.


    The New Westminster Museum and Archives will:

    1. collect, preserve and house the objects, archival materials, natural history specimens and collective memories that best serve to illustrate the first peoples, environment, founding, settlement, relationships and development of the New Westminster area;
    2. research, make available, interpret and exhibit its collections for the use and benefit of the public;
    3. engage with all peoples and organisations that can inform and support the narratives of the New Westminster area.
  • Museum Hours

    Admission to all sites is by donation.

    New Westminster Museum (Anvil Centre, 3rd floor, 777 Columbia Street)

    Open 7 days a week 10 - 5 pm 

    *Open until 8 pm on Thursdays

    Irving House (302 Royal Avenue)
    Wednesday - Sunday, 12:00 - 5:00pm (last entry/tour begins at 4:00 pm)

    *Please note we cannot accommodate large groups via drop-in and during regular open hours.
    Please contact us at 604.527.4640 to book a group tour.

    The Samson V (880 Quayside Drive)
    Opening for the season on June 1, 2024!
    Saturday & Sunday, 12:00 - 5:00pm

    *Please note the ship may be closed in very poor weather.

    Archives Hours

    New Westminster Archives (Anvil Centre, 2nd floor, 777 Columbia Street)

    Drop-in Hours:
    Tuesday 10:00am - 12:00pm & 1:30pm - 4:30pm

    By appointment only: 
    Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 10:00am - 12:00pm & 1:30pm - 4:30pm. 
    Call or e-mail to make a reservation.
    T: 604-527-4640


  • The museum consists of three galleries. The permanent gallery at Anvil Centre takes you on a journey of discovery, covering over 10,000 years of New Westminster history and ending in 2010.

    Gallery 7 picks up where the permanent gallery leaves off. This is a place of engagement and interaction, bringing forth the contemporary stories of our city through discussion, dialogue, and exhibition in a smaller intimate setting. The temporary gallery lets us take a deeper look into many of our city’s more interesting and thought-provoking stories, individuals, and objects.

    The third gallery can be found at 1865 Irving House, the former colonial home of Captain William Irving, and one of the oldest community heritage sites in B.C.

    Tour Bookings
    Duration: 60 mins.
    Fee: $132.75
    30 participants max.

    Enquiries to the collections

    All museum collections are held in trust for the community. Should you have an interest in viewing an item in our collection that is not on display in the galleries, please contact us to book an appointment with our staff.

    To find out more about New Westminster history, please visit these pages:

    Archives Online
    The Archives database

    Heritage Register
    Official listing of properties deemed to have heritage value

    Heritage Resource Inventory
    Unofficial list of properties deemed to have heritage value

    Westminster Pier Park Memory Bands
    Profiles and photos of words and names along the Memory Band

  • Archives Reading Room and Research Inquiries available by appointment. Please e-mail

    The New Westminster Archives acquires, preserves, and makes accessible records that tell our story. The archives is home to a documentary heritage that documents New Westminster’s evolution from British Columbia’s first fledgling capital to a bustling 21st century city. Preserved for present and future generations are over 150 years of archival records that document local organizations, businesses, government, families, and individuals. Here you’ll find photographs, maps, plans, diaries, letters, city records, and oral histories. In the reading room there are reference files on people, properties, and subjects all related to the City of New Westminster.

    If you have questions about your family’s history, residence, the development of your neighbourhood, the history of a New Westminster business, or about the administration of the local government, the New Westminster Museum and Archives is the place to discover your heritage.

    Click here to access our Archives Online database. Search over 90,000 Archival records using easy keyword searches. Email links, post images to your social media site or comment on records to our Archivist.

    T: 604-527-4640


    Method of reproduction

    (tax extra)

    Scanned image emailed




    All orders require advanced payment by cash, debit, VISA or MasterCard.



    New Westminster Museum’s newest exhibition, titled “Downstream Where the Waters Mix” a season of “Honouring Our Grandmother’s Healing Journey”, is a multi-year movement. Curated by lead visionary artist, Nadine Spence, the project connects artists and Indigenous communities across B.C. through culture, arts and ceremony to restore relationships between generations with the water, lands and wild salmon. Featuring bentwood chests and boxes, woven blankets, carving, art, and regalia, this exhibition focuses on personal, family, and community healing journeys in a safe and respectful space that does not oppress the truth and realities of Indigenous Peoples of the past or in the present day.


    Gallery 2 (Anvil Centre)

    Opening July 1 2023

    On July 1, 1923, the Canadian government passed a law designed to stop Chinese immigration to Canada.  Over the next 24 years, only 14 new Chinese immigrants were allowed into Canada.  To commemorate this event, we invite you to meet Lee Sing Yen – an ordinary person who lived in New Westminster for 50 years and endured the consequences of Canada’s historic, anti-Chinese legislation.




    Fraser Cemetery Preservation Project (All Ages)

    Spend time outside connecting to nature and your community by helping to preserve the City’s grave markers. Under the guidance of museum staff, local groups and individuals will learn about the cemetery and clean gravestones using best practices. Please meet at the main office.

    Fraser Cemetery, 100 Richmond Street 604.527.4640
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    August 10 - Course ID 212334
    August 11 - Course ID 212335               

    Registration Fee: Free

    Hangouts and Hidden Histories: Carnarvon Street Walking Tour (14+ years) - FULL (Waitlist Available)

    Join heritage staff for a walk down Carnarvon Street. Discover duels fought over historic women, stand at the edge of the great fire, imagine New West’s historic Chinatowns, and recognize where institutions changed this place forever. Registration required.

    Meet at Carnarvon and Merivale (SE corner)   604.527.4640
    Saturday, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
    July 20
    Registration Fee: $5.00
    Course ID 212331

    Waterfront Wonders (8 – 10 years)

    Explore the last surviving wooden steam-power sternwheeler in Canada, play nautical games, create river-inspired art, and discover community stories along the Fraser.

    Samson V Maritime Museum 604.527.4640
    Saturday, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    August 17
    Registration Fee: $17.00
    Course ID 212330

    Archives in Film (16+ years)

    Screen and discuss the influence of archives in film. Archivist: Erin Brown-Osterman.

    Anvil Centre Studio 417 604.527.4640
    Thursday, 6:30 - 9:00 pm
    September 26 - Aliens (1986)

    Registration Fee: $5.00

    Up next...

    October 24 - The Ring (2002)
    November 28 - The Lives of Others (2006)

    Victorian Book Club (14+ years)

    Every two months, discuss literature with other enthusiasts while sipping tea in Grandmother’s Room. Read literary works by the Brontës, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, Mark Twain and more.

    Irving House 604.527.4640
    Call for dates
    Registration Fee: Free




  • Downtown Public Art Walking Tour (All Ages)

    Explore downtown New Westminster on a self-guided walking tour of public art.  A virtual map will reveal pictures, information, activities and games related to each piece of public art.  This unique, virtual experience was developed by the New Media Gallery, Heritage and Art Services. 


    Adventures on Twelfth Street (All Ages)

    The museum is excited to share the Adventures on Twelfth Street project, created by our 2021 summer students Daphne and Jacob.

    Over the summer visiting and capturing the charm of Twelfth Street for their self-guided walking tour of the community. Discover hidden histories from over the past 160 years!


    Follow the hashtag #adventuresontwelfth to see what adventures other folks have had on the street.

    Self-Guided Q to Q Ferry Tour (All Ages)

    We have an exciting new self-guided audio tour!

    From Quayside to Queensborough, uncover local histories as you enjoy your Q to Q trip along the Fraser.


    Wander Queen's Park (All Ages)

    Wander Queen's Park reflects on the unceded territory of the Halkomelem speaking peoples.

    This refers to a language group that more widely encompasses the Indigenous people who used and continue to use this land.

    Using QR codes, Wander Queen's Park is an activity that encourages people to explore the park, reflect upon its history and reimagine what it could have been if others were part of its design.

    This program is a collaboration between Museums & Heritages, Arts Services, and New Media Gallery.  It runs in Queen's Park for the month of July.  

    The museum's contribution reflects upon the park's creation and evolution using archival photos and records.

    If you are not able to visit the park and use the QR codes in person, reflect by clicking on the links below:






    Westminster Pier Park Memory Band (All Ages)

    Take a virtual walk along Westminster Pier Park's memory band


  • Written Tours

    We are pleased to offer written tours of Irving House in the following languages:

    The Irving House script is translated by our wonderful volunteers. Please refer to the volunteer section of our website If you are interested in volunteering your time and skills to translate the script into additional languages.

    Please note we cannot accommodate large groups via drop-in and during regular open hours. Please contact us at 604.527.4640 to book a group tour.

    Tour Bookings
    Duration: 60 mins.
    Fee: $132.75
    30 participants max.

    About Irving House

    Located in the heart of New Westminster, Irving House is one of the oldest community heritage sites in BC. Built in 1865, this Gothic Revival style colonial home belonged to Captain William Irving and family descendants. 

    Over 140 years of memories live within Irving House "…the handsomest, the best and most home-like house of which British Columbia can yet boast..." was how Irving House was described in the British Columbian newspaper in April 1865.

    With 14 furnished rooms to enjoy, Irving House is a must-see for everyone interested in New Westminster’s past and anyone interested in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, heritage architecture or colonial BC. 

    During your visit you will see ornate ceiling plasterwork, the glow of original wallpaper, original home items, and the elaborate fireplaces. 


    The City of New Westminster Public Art Program is excited to welcome Holly Schmidt and Janet Wang to the Irving House Artist in Residence which began in July and runs until the end of October 2023.
    In partnership with the New Westminster Museum and Archives, the Irving House Artist in Residence Pilot invites artists to explore and experiment in response to the site and surroundings of this historic home. Artists are encouraged to investigate the stories and narratives of one of British Columbia's oldest post-contact historic community sites, and to engage in dialogues that deepen a shared understanding of the role of these historic sites in our current context.

    The residency aims to support the artists with time, space, resources to further their research, interests and overall artistic practice. It seeks to generate new observations and perspectives, and facilitate meaningful and contemporary public art responses to the understanding place and the overall context of Irving House.

    Holly Schmidt is an artist, curator and educator that engages processes of embodied research, collaboration and informal pedagogy to explore the multiplicity of human relations with the natural world. Her work involves the creation of temporary site-specific projects and residencies, along with material-based explorations in the studio. Her national and international exhibitions, projects and residencies include: Vegetal Encounters Residency (2019-2021) UBC Outdoor Art Program, Quiescence (2019) Burrard Arts Foundation, A-Y with Locals Only (2018) AKA Gallery, Pollen Index (2016) Charles H. Scott Gallery, Till (2014/15) Santa Fe Art Institute, Moveable Feast (2012) Burnaby Art Gallery, Grow (2011) Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. Schmidt is grateful to live and work in Vancouver, Canada, the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̍əm (Musqueam),Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ(Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

    Janet Wang is a visual artist and educator working within a traditional painting practice, integrated with sculptural installation practices and digital media. A second-generation settler of Chinese heritage, she is based in Vancouver, Canada, the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and her Master of Arts in Studio Practice from the University of Leeds in England. Her work explores the construction of identity through the appropriation and disruption of social patterns and familiar gestures.

    Learn more at 

    Artist Talk: Click here to watch on YouTube

    Irving House Restoration Work

    Irving House was closed for restoration work from April 2-27, 2018, and reopened on April 28, 2018. The house’s entrance and upper hall were restored to the late Victorian Period, revealing papers not seen since the mid-20th century. 

    In 2009, while working with conservator Simone Vogel-Horridge, museum staff found original ca.1897-1903 papers in the entrance and upper hallway of the house — a 3-piece set of consisting of a wallpaper, 18” frieze, and a ceiling paper.  Last year, these stunning papers were meticulously redrawn and colour-matched by Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant and wallpaper designer, to the original palette used in the house. They were then printed in England and shipped to New Westminster for installation. The hallway cornice work and entrance ceiling medallion will also be painted to match the original colour scheme as a complement to the papers.

    This work is part of an ongoing multi-year project to stabilize and restore Irving House to its original appearance at the turn of the 20th century. Since 2011, Irving House has received a new fire and electrical system along with a state of the art geothermal heating and cooling system. The exterior of the house has also been repaired and repainted to match the original ca.1900 colour scheme.  In 2018, Ms. Vogel-Horridge returned to clean and restore the rare and original gilded 1887 wallpapers in the house’s Small Parlour and will be returning this spring to do the same in the Large Parlour. 

  • Samson V, launched in 1937, is the last surviving wooden steam-powered sternwheeler built for the federal Department of Public Works for use as a snag-boat on the Fraser River. At 418 gross tons and 115’ on deck, she was the fifth in a series of similar vessels dating back to 1884 that cleared debris, maintained aids to navigation and government docks, performed surveys and served other functions as needed.

    Samson V was the last steam-powered sternwheeler to operate in Canada and representative of a of the federal government’s long-standing involvement in maintaining the waterways of western Canada. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has declared the operation of sternwheeler snag-boats by the Department of Public works on the rivers of British Columbia an event of national historic significance and in the future intends to commemorate this by means of a plaque installed on or near Samson V, “the last representative example” of these vessels.

    Samson V was retired in 1980 and sold to the City of New Westminster for one dollar on the understanding that the vessel would be preserved as a museum and that it occupy a unique place in the Province’s and City’s maritime heritage. Samson V remains the only completely intact and floating wooden sternwheeler in North America.

  • Do you have city-related photographs, family heirlooms or other objects from New Westminster’s history that you would like to donate to the museum and archives? 

    The benefit of donating archival and artefacts is the museum and archives ability to properly store and care for these items while enriching New Westminster's history to residents, visitors and researchers.

    Learn how to donate your items by contacting our or .


    Feature Gallery & Gallery 7 (Anvil Centre)
    Closing April 2024

    Opening reception February 20, 2024 @ 6 - 8 pm 
    Anvil Centre, Museum Galleries (3rd floor)
    777 Columbia Street

    *This event is open to the public, free, and does not require registration. 

    Housing is the hottest topic around these days. Everywhere you turn, people are talking about housing but it’s not a new concern. How much, where and what people live in has been debated since New Westminster was founded in 1861. Housing Values is a new exhibit presented by the New Westminster Museum & Archives, examining ideas around housing in New Westminster and how cultural values, economics and history influence where and how we live in this city. The exhibit opens in October in honour of the United Nations’ World Habitat Day.

    Programs associated with this exhibition:

    Storytelling Walk: Homelessness and New Westminster (All Ages)

    Walk with Museum staff and the New Westminster Homelessness Coalition Society today learn about homelessness in our community from a historical perspective. Engage with important sites and stories, including the voices of those with lived experience. The current work of the NWHCS and supportive housing will also be discussed. Presented as part of the official kick off to Homelessness Action Week in New Westminster.

    Saturday, October 7
    10:00am - 12:00pm
    Registration Fee: Free Course ID: 191645


    Gallery 7 (Anvil Centre)

    February 16 2022 – September 2023

    Through three installations, Reconciling addresses truths attached to acts of reconciliation. Haida/Nisga’a artist Luke Parnell explores a feeling of disenchantment through his piece Neon Reconciliation Explosion; the downed statue of Judge Begbie addresses the imposition of foreign laws on a land; and the 215 shoes placed at New Westminster’s cenotaph reflects our community’s response to the Residential School legacy in Canada.

    Programs with this exhibition

    Neon Reconciliation Explosion Field Trip

    We have worked with Luke to create an interactive activity for students. Students will receive an inquiry-based tour of the exhibition and can then reflect, create, and connect with what reconciliation means to them.

    Click here to see the full flyer

    Celebrating Black History in Canada through Tessellation and Portraiture

    Moved by a push for greater social justice, New Westminster Secondary School Art students researched prominent figures from Black History in Canada and share their contributions in black and white tessellation patterns and portraits. Equal parts black and white, these works challenge a Eurocentric-lens that is too often applied when discussing history by featuring People of Colour and Black Canadians in an equally starring role. Each student provides a thoughtful artist statement with their portrait.

    This exhibition replicates the original class work, design, and display.

    View the portraits and artist statements here

    The 215

    Johnny Bandura is a Coast Salish artist who has created a series of 215 portraits that were inspired by his own family. His paternal Grandmother, Marie, was born in New Westminster and as a very young girl, she was taken from her home and family and sent to the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the 1930s. In May 2021, when the news reported that the skeletal remains of 215 children were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School, Johnny recognized that many of these lost 215 children could well have been his grandmother’s classmates and friends and he felt a very strong need to do something to honour these children.
    So, Johnny began painting. He painted to work through the pain, grief, and sadness. The first
    painting he completed was of a medicine woman, the second was of a hunter. These two portraits flowed easily from him, and he saw that they reflected the traditional way of life, before residential schools existed. But he couldn’t stop with these two portraits. He wanted to paint a portrait for each of the 215 children to reflect the life that they never that the chance to live. He painted the children as adults because he strongly felt they were speaking to him; he felt they wanted to be viewed as more than just children in uniforms. He wanted to let them grow up in his portraits and let them be something that they never got to be. He gave them lives that were both traditional as well as modern. He painted a Pow Wow Grass Dancer in traditional regalia and a Judge in courtroom robes. He painted doctors, nurses, Fancy Dancers, punk rockers, and hockey players.
    He imagined lives for them that reflected all areas of society. He created an exhibit to show what they could have become.



    A new exhibit on the community’s resilience during the pandemic.

    Gallery 7 at New Westminster Museum
    3rd floor Anvil Centre

    Tuesday March 31, 2021 – Sunday September 5, 2021


    Do you know the story behind a photo in the exhibition?  Do you want to share your experiences of the pandemic?  

    Stories from the past and present in New Westminster to help us understand how people eat in our community.

    View the exhibit here.

    The exhibition ran from Thursday May 16, 2019 to December 1, 2019.

    See below for exhibit links, associated programs and more.


    Community Kitchen


    This exhibition has QR codes with information if you want to find out more.  The links are also listed below, under each section:


    Some common food terms you’ll see in this exhibition.

    What is Food Security?

    “Poor people are lazy and don’t want to work.”  Do you believe these myths? Check out these New West poverty myth busters and what you can do to help pull people out of poverty.

    Like and follow New Westminster Community Food Action.

    The Official Community Plan provides the vision and goals for the city to 2041, including policies related to food.

    The Community Poverty Reduction Strategy identifies specific actions to enhance the quality of life of those people living in poverty and to provide opportunities to assist them to move out of poverty.

    Two of the 14 goals in the Environmental Strategy and Action Plan relate to the environmental impacts of food.

    New Westminster Food Security Action Plan

    Food Sovereignty

    Starting in 2007 and lasting about five years, the Fraserside Community Services Society’s Biggest Little Garden in Town project helped apartment residents start gardens on their balconies with tiered cedar boxes that were accessible for all people. With seed and garden workshops, this social enterprise helped people access fresh produce that they themselves grew, even if they didn’t have a backyard or a plot. Watch this video about the project.

    Community Gardens
    Find out about getting a plot at one of the community gardens.

    Keeping certain farm animals to supplement diets is legal in New West.

    For the laws on raising chickens in New Westminster, see 1967’s Public Health Bylaw No. 4271.

    If you meet the requirements, you can also keep a beehive in New West. See the bylaw.

    Food Systems: Farming and Fishing

    The Choi Guide
    Vancouver’s Hua Foundation put together a seasonal guide for the Chinese vegetables grown in the Lower Mainland. You can read it in English with pronunciations in Cantonese and Mandarin. Here’s the Cantonese version to help you on your next shopping trip.

    Food Systems: Distribution and Access

    The Food Costing in BC report provides data about the affordability of food. It tells us how much income families and individuals need in order to eat healthy meals. The report is done every two years by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), with the last one completed in 2017. The report informs calculations for living wage numbers.

    Fuel Up
    A 2017 UNICEF report ranked Canada 37th out of 41 countries for children’s access to healthy food.

    In February 2019, after two years of planning, the New Westminster School District launched a cost-shared universally accessible school lunch program, the first of its kind in Canada. Starting in three schools (Qayqayt Elementary, Queen Elizabeth Elementary and Queensborough Middle Schools), it will eventually be available to all schools in the district.

    Read more and order a meal for your kids.

    Things Were So Cheap Back Then!
    Or were they? Compare the prices in the ads below to what they would be in today’s money. Use an inflation calculator

    Food Systems: Consumption

    $40 a Week @ the Market
    In 2016, blogger Katie Bartel wrote about her summer market challenge: to stretch out $40 every week at the New West Farmers Market. Read about it.

    Food Literacy

    Canada Food Guide

    The new Canada Food Guide, released this year, recommends a shift to a more plant-based diet, with water as the drink of choice. The aim is to have a plate that is half vegetables, one-quarter protein (such as nuts, meat and tofu), and one-quarter whole grains (like bread, rice and quinoa). It also recommends reducing sugary drinks (including juice), sweets and pastries, salt and saturated fat, and alcohol.

    New West Cookbookery

    There is a cookbook lending library at the River Market. Share the cookbooks you love for a while or forever, or take out what you need for a month.

    To borrow a book, register here.

    Our City’s Food Culture

    Helping You Celebrate
    Did you know that the Family Services of Greater Vancouver has grants for community celebrations through the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grant program?

    Neighbours around New West have found unique ways to get to know each other through food. At the Glenbrooke Salad and Pie days, residents brought their home-cooked meals to share with one another. A Roma Hall chef got a grant to teach Italian cooking at Thompson’s Landing Park in Queensborough. The Fraser Fraser River Food Buying Club received seed funding to establish. Many have received grants to start new community gardens or have multicultural meals.

    Apply for a grant here.

    Diverse Eating in New West
    New West has many good international restaurants.

    Explore Downtown’s shops and restaurants with this map.

    Or check out the diversity along Twelfth Street.


    Opening Reception
    Thursday, October 25, 2018, 6 pm - 8 pm
    Exhibit dates: October 26, 2018 -  April 28, 2019

    From the first cumbersome printing press dragged over the stumps and hills of the budding city, this exhibit shows New Westminster’s past of fake news, clickbait and alternative facts.


    Click on the links below to learn more about disinformation, misinformation and how to be a better social media citizen. 

    We’ll also be updating the museum’s Facebook page regularly to share other articles that helped us in developing the exhibit: follow us for more information on media literacy.


    Verifying the News

    May 28 - July 29, 2021


    November 7, 2019 - May 2, 2021

    “Keeping warm was something you worked at in the old days,” as local historian Evelyn Benson put it. 

    January 24, 2020 - December 23, 2020

    The Long Hours: Art in the BC Penitentiary
    August 2018 - July 2019

    People Gotta Move
    July 5, 2018 - November 16, 2018






    February 17, 2018 - October 7, 2018

    Bottoms Up:
    The Cultures of Drink in the Royal City

    November 4, 2017 – May 27, 2018

    Planning New West:
    A History and Future of Urban Development in New Westminster

    June 1, 2017 – January 21, 2017

    Witness Blanket
    December 5, 2016 - April 28, 2017

    Ornamenting the Ordinary: Crafts of South Asia

    September 10, 2016 – January 2, 2017

    Branching Out: Plants in New Westminster's History
    June 2 – November 20, 2016

    The Living Archive
    June 23 - August 21, 2016

    Architectural Gems in the Royal City
    September 17, 2015 - May 8, 2016

    Our Working Waterfront, 1945-2015
    July 9 - October 27, 2015

    Hair Apparent: A Hairy History of New Westminster
    April 23 - June 21, 2015

    Baskets for Barter
    November 29, 2014 - January 24, 2015

    Wait for Me, Daddy

    October 4, 2014 - August 16, 2015





    February 17, 2018 - October 7, 2018

  • Depending on need, the museum welcomes program, curatorial, and archival volunteers. Most volunteer opportunities are program and tour support.

    See current opportunities and aPPLY HERE

    Upon receipt of your application, our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to set up an interview and start the volunteer screening process to ensure safe meaningful volunteer engagement. 

    Volunteer Screening includes:

    1. Application Form
    2. Interview
    3. References check
    4. Police Information Check
    5. Orientation and Training
    6. Support and Supervision
    7. Follow up and Feedback

    Call the Volunteer Coordinator Jill Howey at (604) 515-3798 or email  with any questions about applying through our system, Better Impact.

  • BC Genealogy

    Census (2016)

    Censuses (Historical)

    Directories (1860-1955)

    Heritage Resource Inventory Index

    Heritage Resources

    New Westminster Japanese Canadian History (created and maintained by Sakura Taji)

    New Westminster Members of Parliament

    May 2022 Proclamation - Commemoration of 80 years since the internment of Japanese Canadians
    Watch the proclamation in Council (52:55s)
    Read the proclamation

    Street Name Derivation and Index




    Chinese Canadian Community

    Hobbis Family Films

    Japanese Canadian Community

    A Mighty Hand (Twelfth Street Barber Albert Kamba documentary)

    My Name Was January (January Marie Lapuz documentary)

    New Westminster History

    Running to India (1964 Mani Singh and Family documenary)

    South Asian Community

    Tribe of One (Qayqayt Chief Rhonda Larrabee)



    Albert Crescent Heritage Resource Inventory

    Brow of the Hill Historical Context Statement

    Connaught Heights Historical Context Statement

    Downtown Heritage Resource Inventory

    Downtown Historical Context Statement

    Glenbrooke North Historical Context Statement

    Massey-Victory Heights Historical Context Statement

    McBride-Sapperton Historical Context Statement

    Moody Park Historical Context Statement

    Quayside Historical Context Statement

    Queen's Park, Uptown, Brow-of-the-Hill Heritage Resource Inventory

    Queen's Park Historical Context Statement

    Queensborough Industrial Heritage Inventory

    Queensborough Residential Heritage Inventory

    Queensborough Historical Context Statement

    Sapperton, Victory Heights, Queensborough, Connaught Heights, West End, Kelvin and Glenbrooke Heritage Resource Inventory

    Star Shipyard Heritage Assessment

    West End Historical Context Statement



    1859-1861: New Westminster Times

    1882-1890: Daily British Columbian

    1889-1890: Truth

    1891: Morning Ledger

    1893-1894, 1916-1917: Pacific Canadian

    1906-1914: New Westminster Daily News

    1909, 1911: Citizen

    Note that there are also paid newspaper sites you can consult to find New Westminster and other local newspapers:

    Paper of Record: 1861-1869 British Columbian and 1870-1889 New Westminster Mainland Guardian 1989-1990 Sunday News, 1894-2020 Province, 1912-2020 Vancouver Sun


    Oral Histories:

    Historical Figures




    Other Waterfront Work


    Pronunciations and Local Language Resources:

    Skwo:wech Elementary School

    Skwó:wech (sturgeon)

    hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Down River language)

    Halq'eméylem First Voices

    Halq'eméylem Language Resources

    Hul’q’umi’num’ / Halq’eméylem / hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓



  • The New Westminster Museum and Archives is documenting Covid-19 pandemic in New Westminster and reaching out to community members to collect both physical objects and digital documentation, and thus document history as it happens. 


    The curator, Oana Capota, invites residents to make suggestions for what they would like to see preserved by emailing .  Though donations are not possible at this time due to safety, the curator will work with potential donors to write profiles of the objects and what they mean.  Objects can then be brought into the museum at a future date.

    The museum also encourages citizens to keep diaries of this time and/or to contribute to a community diary, using the hashtag #nwcovidlife.  During this time of social isolation, keeping a journal also has benefits for mental health.

    Oral History Interviews

    In addition, the museum is looking to make audio and video recordings of people’s experiences during Covid-19.  People from a broad base of different backgrounds are invited to come together and share their experiences through a recorded video conference interview.  The interviews could either be one-on-one with a museum staff member or as part of a community program. 

    Virtual Story Gathering – People from a broad base of different backgrounds will be invited to come together and share their experiences of the pandemic through a recorded video conference interview.  Participants will listen to stories, then tell their own story, in this process of collective reflection and building community in isolation. (Monday June 22, 2020 from 6 – 7pm, register by emailing ).

    If you, or anyone you know have an experience to share about our city’s COVID experience, please contact the museum at 604-527-4640 or .  Please also fill in the following form: Virtual_Story_Sharing_Application_Form.pdf.