Using the Museum Collection

Browsing the catalogue or conducting a search is the first step to researching and locating items in the museum collection. 

Artefacts in the museum collection are available for examination and research in person by appointment. Due to the fragile nature of historical materials and conservation considerations, certain artefacts may not always be accessible for research. However, other viewing options such as digital surrogates, artefact replicas or curator-led visits can be arranged. 

Photo identification must be presented and registration is required prior to accessing materials in the archives, museum and Holocaust testimony collections. No food, drink, pens or indelible pencils are permitted when accessing materials. Researchers may be required to wear non-latex or cotton gloves when handling artefacts or fragile documents. Paper and pencils are available on site. Researchers wishing to use digital cameras (or camera equipped mobile phones) are asked to consult the staff on duty prior to use. Digital copies of materials may be available. Staff will be available to answer research questions and to help users navigate the cross-collection database.

Museum works are used to educate future generations about the Holocaust through exhibitions and school programs. Artefacts from the museum collection have been displayed as part of numerous exhibitions and have been loaned to other cultural institutions for exhibition, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York.  

Learn more about using archives in the classroom here: Museum in the Classroom.

Find more information about Planning a Research Visit and the Use and Licensing of materials. 

Museum works should be cited whether they are referenced directly or used as an illustration. The following are recommended citations for museum items in the VHEC's collection. These should be used with whichever style manual is being used (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago/Turbian). See the basic template below for guidance: 

Title of museum work, date, Creator/copyright. Materials/techniques. Provenance and owner's credit line [if applicable]. Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Item (Object ID). url/permalink. Reproduced with permission.

Example: Abandoned rail siding, 1941, Robert Langstadt. Watercolour on paper. Gifted by Gerry Waldston to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Item 2012.008.001. Reproduced with permission.

Example: Handmade box from Canadian internment camp, 1941. Cardboard covered in cotton denim. Gifted by Gerry Waldston to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Photo: Jessica Bushey. Item 2011.009.001. Reproduced with permission.