It has been said that great collections make great museums. In reality, there are many factors that go into creating a great museum, but among a community's civic institutions, the collecting, preservation and documentation of that community's material heritage set museums apart from all the rest.  The Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum has one of the largest community museum collections in Ontario. Schneider Haus National Historic Site also has large collections. To search our collections database for each site click on the icons below.Curatorial Centre Storage with a long aisle of metal shelves covered in artifacts

Collecting of local history artifacts in Waterloo Region predates the opening of Doon Pioneer Village, now known as the Doon Heritage Village. The Waterloo Historical Society began collecting in 1912, donating their collection to the museum in 1960. 

When the Waterloo Historical Society was founded, then president W.H. Breithaupt and Secretary H. W. Brown stated that "it is the ambition of the Society to acquire at an early date, a substantial fireproof county building in which to preserve permanently all such records and general objects of historic interest". 

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Folk Art

As a community museum the Schneider Haus collection reflects the unique identity and folk traditions of Waterloo Region. With a focus on local Germanic folk art, the Schneider Haus collection consists of more than 7,000 objects.

Schneider Haus is also home to the nationally certified Canadian Harvest Collection, which includes pieces representing the greater Germanic folk tradition of Canada.

The Schneider Haus collection includes a variety of unique pieces. Pictured right is an example of Fraktur, a folk art tradition of decorated texts and stylized drawings. This example is by local artist Anna Weber dated February 27, 1875.

Other items in the collection include paintings, drawings, calligraphy, pottery, weaving, paper cutwork, ironware, treen, woodcarving, decorated furniture and needlework, woven coverlets, hooked rugs, quilts, bookplates, illuminated family registers, birth records, inscribed books, glazed earthenware, weather-vanes and whirligigs (wind toys, sculpture, decorated utensils (butterprints, cabbage cutters, powder horns, tools), leatherwork, decorated gum boxes, toys, game boards and more.  

Want to know more about Pennsylvania Germans?

If you'd like to know more about the immigration of Pennsylvania Germans to Ontario, check out the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society

McDougall Cottage Collection

Baird PaintingVisit McDougall Cottage and admire some of the best hand-painted friezes and trompe l'oeil ceilings Ontario has to offer. Also on display at the Cottage are a number of landscape oil paintings by local artist Jack Baird (1869-1922). Jack Baird was the younger brother of McDougall Cottage's second owner, James Baird.